In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Wendi Burkhardt from Silvernest.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Wendi Burkhardt, and I’m the CEO and co-founder of Silvernest. We’re an online roommate-matching platform that pairs boomers, retirees, empty nesters and other aging adults with compatible housemates for long-term homesharing. Through these creative living situations, they can earn extra income, remain in their homes longer and keep isolation at bay.
What problem does your product/service solve?
The US is seeing unprecedented growth in aging, with 12,000 individuals per day turning 65. Of this group, 90% have expressed a desire to age in place. However, studies show that nearly half of all adults over the age of 50 have less than $50,000 in retirement savings and earn less than $60,000 annually. Rising expenses such as housing (45% of total spend), life transitions and economic challenges leave millions of aging adults financially vulnerable and isolated. Additionally, one-third of aging adults live alone and prolonged social isolation is shows to have the same detrimental health effects as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Our homesharing solution enables homeowners to remain in the homes and communities for as long as possible, while helping them generate extra income to fill their retirement savings gap or offset expenses. Homesharing also helps renters because it opens up more rental space in cities across the country, so they can often get into a situation with below-market rent. Meanwhile, both parties benefit from the companionship that comes with sharing a home.
What are you most excited about right now?
The longevity economy is picking up a lot of attention from investors, businesses, and government. We’re excited that Silvernest is positioned to be a strong solution that addresses the challenges faced by Americans over 50 years old. We know this group, which is led by the baby boomers, does not want to age like their parents, so we see a big opportunity for Silvernest’s solution to help modernize the way we age.
What’s next for you?
We continue to expand our service offerings, as well as partner with organizations where our solution creates a synergistic offering. We’re also preparing to fully mass market across all 50 states.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I continue to support women, especially mentoring new women entrepreneurs. In my career, I’ve found myself paving the way as an women entrepreneur myself. I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors, such as my mother, who have been amazing inspirations in my journey. I’m passionate to pay that forward to inspire and support other women, particularly those who are working to overcome challenges such as gaining access to capital.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).