2019 HW Vanguard: John Berkowitz


John Berkowitz is leading a transformation within the real estate industry through OJO Labs’ AI technology that conducts text conversations with consumers at scale and serves as a powerful digital assistant for home buyers and sellers.

Berkowitz launched OJO Labs in 2015 and has grown the company to over 340 employees steeped in a culture that encourages individual thinking, idea-sharing and a drive to accomplish the impossible. He has secured enterprise partnerships with the largest brokerages, bringing OJO to multiple markets across the U.S. and Canada and obtained $70 million in funding. 

OJO is supported by a network of industry experts who supplement the data when needed, continuously training the technology. 

To accomplish this feat, Berkowitz leveraged his previous experience setting up and running major call centers and built proprietary tools and a 36,000-square-foot real-time AI training center in St. Lucia to enable the capacity to tag, categorize and direct hundreds of thousands of messages and images. The company’s patented process and combination of machine learning and human interaction provide OJO with the necessary resources to track down information not readily available on other online property databases.

Since OJO’s commercial launch in September 2018, starting with its integration into Realogy Holdings Corp’s key brokerages across several U.S. markets, OJO has helped thousands of real estate agents connect with leads. Recently, OJO Labs joined with Realogy on the TurnKey program with Amazon that will connect buyers to agents through Amazon’s platform.

What has been your secret to success?

“While playing an integral role in Yodle’s growth, I saw first-hand how a company’s needs, challenges and opportunities shift over time. This understanding around how to make critical decisions as an entrepreneur is one of the most impactful in preparing me to be CEO.”

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