Spark’s Resident Cool Cat
Our team spend their days cultivating market expertise, learning everything there is to know about what is fuelling regional markets and the specific practices and the laws that govern them. This prowess allows us to both tailor our product and build out important market-specific features, but also to guide our clients to utilize our tools to sell more homes, faster.
Spark’s Sales Team is at the forefront, speaking daily to sales, marketing and brokerage teams of all sizes, learning the pain-points in their processes and gaining insider knowledge of specific market workings. In the thick of it is Spark’s radical AE, David Neal, a Toronto native dedicate to understanding all aspects of the new development space in the 6ix.
We caught up with David in between surf weekends, concerts and preparing for his upcoming trip to Toronto for some long overdue face time with both clients and prospects to discuss the development trends he is seeing and how Proptech adoption is accelerating the industry at large.
You are from Toronto and since starting at Spark have really made it your market, what are the main trends in new development that you are seeing there right now?
Growing up along the 401 means I spent my early years watching the urban sprawl almost in real-time. The city has grown so rapidly that I almost scoff when people consider areas like the Durham Region part of the GTA… but here we are!
I think everyone’s seeing the same trend that has developed since the beginning of the Pandemic — which is that living space needs to be exactly that. LIVING space. Encompassing so much more than just a place to sleep and make dinner. You need to accommodate changing work schedules, active lifestyles, and people that want to build a family life close to the downtown core. I think in the coming years we’re going to see the incorporation of much more outdoor space and amenities to suit the growing needs of our population.
After being at Spark for almost two years, what excites you about the Proptech industry?
Two years already, time flies. I would have to say that I’m most excited about the speed at which Proptech is being adopted, engaged with, and then changed based on feedback. It’s becoming a more perfect loop of cause and effect.
The result is really a more satisfied client base and the ability to address the nuances of the multiple markets we work in. Toronto and the GTA will always hold a special place for me, being where I spent most of my young adult life, but the way we’ve had to change and remain flexible for that market has made us more capable when approaching other emerging areas like Miami, Austin, and San Fran.
You have been responsible for bringing on some of Sparks largest clients with some of the most prestigious projects — Is there a memorable project you can speak to?
The VMC project from SmartCentres is the first thing that jumps into my mind. Every single time I’m asked this question by prospects and clients alike. Their ArtWalk renderings look fantastic, and the people they’ve brought on as they begin to transition into the pre-construction residential market are extremely knowledgeable.
Lily, Alex, and William from the SmartCentres team will be an exciting group to watch as they continue to change the footprint Vaughan has on the GTA.
What is one upcoming feature in Spark that you are excited about / What do you think of Sparks most recent feature releases has the greatest value add?
An upcoming feature in Spark I’m extremely excited about is our Digital Negotiations tool. I think this one has been on all of our minds for a while but you need a solid foundation to begin bringing in customer facing and customer induced changes to an Agreement.
A recent release was our ability to automatically CC Conveyancing Team Members when sending contracts out for signature. When this option is toggled on, a team member with the conveyancing permission role will receive a private URL via email to download a copy of the completed documents. This feature alone is such an indicator for me of where our values lie — intuitive workflows, easy access, and transparency.
You’re not only a sales pro — You’re a talented musician with a close photographic memory?
Hahaha, sure. I’ll take it. I’ve always enjoyed the creative process of writing and recording music. Growing up playing the piano and taking on the guitar and bass in my early 20’s gave me a small and very limited toolbox… but a toolbox none the less to express that creative side. As venues and open mics begin to open up again you may catch me crooning something silly in Mount Pleasant or East Van. Who knows.