Pop Quiz, Monday with Ben Voltz, Co-Founder at NOKK

Ben Voltz

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Ben Voltz

Ben Voltz
Photo credit: Ben Voltz

What is your job role?
Co-Founder of NOKK

Tell us about your company?
NOKK is a property platform that offers a solution for vendors to make their property discoverable and let an opportunity NOKK.

What do you love most about your job?
What I find the most exciting about having co-founded the PropTech platform NOKK with Will Evans, is that we are solving a problem in real estate. The idea behind NOKK came about when both Will and I had trouble finding a home in our desired locations due to the limited stock listed on the market. After turning to letterbox drops, we were amazed by the number of vendors who were interested in a conversation and even willing to sell, if the right price came along. We realised there was a gap in the market and started to develop NOKK, a platform that enables Australian property buyers and sellers to have more control over their real estate journey.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I get motivated by the fact that NOKK is solving a real-life problem and changing the way that we buy and sell real estate in Australia. To make this happen, Will and I have built a great team of talented people who are excited to share this journey with us, and they are talented, fun to work with and make each day enjoyable.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
One thing I’ve learnt, having started two companies before NOKK, is that your team is critical. You are only as strong as your weakest link, and at NOKK everyone has their unique strengths and weaknesses, and we are not shy to communicate these. We recognised this at an early stage, and this enables everyone to thrive in an area they are most passionate about.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
As a start-up, everyone plays an essential role within the business, and as a small team, we wanted to create that family feel where people feel part of the core of the business. We have a work-hard-play-hard environment, and we love to celebrate our wins together as a team. More often than not we tend to go down to the local pub around 3 pm on Fridays and share the peaks and troughs from the week together. In a small start-up, you have to let your guard down at times to maintain that collaborative culture, we are one team, and we stick together like glue. We also run an end of quarter social gathering for the team including barefoot bowling and similar, these events are priceless.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Every day is a challenge with a start-up. You need to be a bit of a jack of all trades with multiple skills and capabilities and get in and get the work done! With NOKK, we are pioneering a new space, which requires creative marketing to successfully educate consumers about thinking differently when it comes to their real estate journey. We have to clearly (and cleverly) articulate how our platform is different from others, and what we bring to the table that others don’t. Establishing a good team, operations and budgets are other key factors that at times also can be very challenging.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
My most significant learning from having started two businesses before NOKK is about people. Hiring the right people for the right job takes time, and it is essential to allow yourself enough time to find people who share your vision and can jump on the start-up journey with you. Remember people are a product of your business.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My best advice for someone starting their own business is to seek the right counsel. People often work in silos, and it is vital to share your idea with people from all walks of life to temperature test it. Do not be too locked into your specific idea, be open to peoples’ feedback to improve and finesse your product. Remember that bamboo is flexible and that is why it is so strong.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: www.nokk.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nokk.com.au
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/nokk

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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