Serial entrepreneur Mike Koshatko is turning a new page with his online real estate venture, Ofirio. The new company offers in-depth research to homebuyers and investors.
Ofirio allows real estate website users to compare properties, find good deals and make better investment decisions with just a few clicks of a mouse. Mike’s aim is to use the insights he developed by running his Arteza art supply company to improve the value Ofirio offers to customers.
Mike explains that before starting in business, he studied electronic engineering back in Ukraine, his homeland. When he came to the United States he took courses, kept up with current business developments, and jumped at the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies and highly skilled individuals.
“That experience gave me the knowledge that I was able to monetize with Arteza,” he said. “Arteza was my training field.” Arteza became the fastest-growing private company in South Florida and achieved the #32 ranking on Inc Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America list.
Mike Koshatko founded the Arteza direct-to-consumer e-commerce art supply company with his friend and partner Jurgis Plikaitis. They discovered a gap in the market and were inspired by each other’s strong work ethics. Mike became the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), building teams and an artists and hobbyists’ community around the business, while developing the website.
Jurgis was CEO (Chief Executive Officer), focused on product development and product launches. When the company was small, they were a very close-knit team bouncing ideas off each other daily with honest feedback between the two.
Arteza started out on Amazon, but they decided to expand outside to build closer customer relations. Mike studied drop shipping and everything to do with websites and e-commerce business building. He used successful marketing techniques like ads with colorful artistic images, tempting discount deals, and links to enthusiastic and engaged Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook communities, along with affiliate marketing.
Mike noted that when they founded Arteza he thought he had a good understanding of the business, but experience proved him wrong. “I learned a lot along the way by making mistakes, figuring out how to fix them, and trying new things,” he said.
Necessity, the Mother of Invention
After selling his successful Arteza art supply business that made him millions with trailblazing marketing techniques, Mike Koshatko decided to use the same innovative methods that he learned from Arteza in his next venture. Ofirio aims to transform the user experience researching the US property market.
The idea for Ofirio came from necessity. Mike found that the manual searches to analyze 7-10 properties daily before making an investment were tedious and time-consuming. Very often Mike found that by the time he analyzed an interesting property and finally found a good deal, it was already sold.
As a solution, he worked with talented software developers on an algorithm to find and filter valuable financial property indicators for investors such as the CAP rate, cash-on-cash, and IRR. Ofirio also analyzes residentials, sales and rent in the area, providing insights and comparison against similar properties. Mike emphasized that Ofirio works well for homeseekers as well as investors.
The Ofirio website currently covers 19 states and allows users to check out the property history, calculate monthly cash flow and observe home price medians in the specific area of interest, along with other metrics. Mike hints that many additional features will be added to benefit users down the road.
Finding Success in Business
According to Mike, anyone who is looking to succeed in business must understand what is good for their own company and learn from trial and error.
Mike was responsible for developing the architecture for the marketing model, figuring out how to get maximum attention for the budget and testing unique approaches to reduce advertisement spending. “At first, we spent a whopping $3 billion in total on advertising alone,” he said.
“Eventually we figured out what worked best for us with an in-house team for social media marketing, close customer relations, constantly analyzing performance and building on customer feedback. We also had a growing organic influencer base, and we were running our own production studio to produce content. We had multiple posts that generated 20 million views.”
The main goal for Ofirio was the desire to make the best products possible, which meant constantly improving products, services and website conversion rates, identifying website traffic drops and figuring out how to make it all better. “We listened to customer feedback to try to make it right, one customer at the time. With Arteza, we started with zero and ended up making millions in sales. We hope to do the same with Ofirio.”
Tapping Into Online Consumers
Mike and Jurgis were working from home even before the Covid pandemic. “We already knew everything about remote work by then,” Mike said. “For the public, it opened up their eyes, showing that you don’t have to be at work every day. You can shop online, buy groceries online. The same goes for buying properties.”
Mike explained his decision to start his new Ofirio venture on the property market in January 2021 – in the middle of the Covid crisis when most businesses were forced to keep their doors closed to the public or instituted drastic safety measures. Buying property online has become more and more common since Covid safety regulations restricted property viewings in real life.
Mike admits that he has bought properties without viewing them first in person. So how does that work? “Send in an inspector, who will write up a detailed report for you,” is his short reply. “You just need to know the ins and outs of the property, its condition and price.”
When talking about his future plans, Mike Koshatko explains that his focus right now is on expanding across every state and launching the Ofirio brokerage in all of them within a year. Talking about his international ambitions, Mike noted that as Ofirio gets stronger they will expand further. “But for now, we are focused on the demographic we know. With Ofirio we want to concentrate on one thing – and do it well.”