Casandra Properties CEO James Prendamano and Operations Manager Rebecca Matulonis sit down in the podcast studio this week with IT Specialist & Cyber Security Expert Mike Bloomfield, proprietor of Tekie Geek. Mike has played an integral part in the growth, success, digital advancement, and cyber protection of Casandra Properties over the last five years. Founded in 2012, Mike WAS the sole Tekie Geek. With his talent and motivation, his company now comprises a team of nine, serving Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. Tekie Geek provides technical helpdesk support, computer support, security, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses, a one-stop shop for all IT consulting services.
Early Tech in Mike’s Early Years . . .
Born in Brooklyn, Mike Bloomfield has lived in Staten Island, Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, and now resides in Staten Island once again with his wife. Always a hard worker, when Mike was about 12, he thought up the idea to sweep the sidewalks in front of businesses in Tottenville, Staten Island, his neighborhood at the time. Having heard about the fines that were being issued for litter and refuse on sidewalks in front of storefronts, he saw it as a great opportunity to provide value to his neighborhood and make some extra cash at the same time. He grew up loving video games, science, and attended the highly-competitive Staten Island Tech High School and NJIT for college. Mike believed his passion for programming was spawned by his love for playing the videogame Half-Life in high school. In high school, he became a self-taught programmer, having read dozens upon dozens of the For Dummies book series.
James points out how he and Mike come from slightly different video game generations. Nintendo was more of Mike and Becca’s generation, James notes, adding that the first video game he had ever seen as a kid was Pong. James had seen the advent of Atari and ColecoVision, while Becca and Mike first played on Nintendo systems. Nonetheless, Mike (and James) have always been video game enthusiasts.
Seeking High-Tech Support . . .
Five years ago, Casandra Properties enlisted Mike Bloomfield’s services. Rebecca had interviewed him and, admittedly, Rebecca and James both found it challenging to understand the digital details Mike was referring to at the time – tech-wise. However, they went with their gut and very much trusted him. “When he spoke, he was selling without selling at all,” notes Rebecca and James, who could not be happier about finding Mike Bloomfield five years ago. Now while Coronavirus continues to usher in even more digital advancement, Casandra Properties could not feel more secure and confident, knowing that Mike has their back.
Time-Saving Technology Emerges in Real Estate . . .
James, Rebecca, and Mike speak about the immersive experiences of Matterport virtual tours, which save so much time for all parties involved. In addition, Mike notes that drones are being used in some areas to capture detailed acreage of land. Mike and James agree that we will soon have virtual closings. Mike says, “It’s all about saving time and efficiency now. And while a global pandemic is never a good thing, he thinks “it couldn’t have come at a better time, as were prepared for it digitally.” And again, digital tech will continue to accelerate because of these rapidly changing times. In addition, this pandemic showed all of us how time is our most invaluable commodity. And, again, video and virtual tours lead to vast majority of home sales these days, not still photos in the listings, notes James, adding that in this age of AC (After Coronavirus), we’ve learned how much time can be saved through virtual showings. They maximize exposure and facilitate sales, streamlining the process. Everyone agrees Open Houses will one day be a thing of the past. “Why shouldn’t they be,” Bloomfield retorts. “Do agents really want to continually chase clients around homes and disinfect every single place that was touched! It saves everyone’s time; it’s efficient. It limits exposure and maximizes sales.”
Working Remotely Works . . .
James loves that he now has time to spend with his family up in the country while working remotely and thanks Mike for it, noting “For many years Casandra Properties was both peddling the bike and having to fix it at the same time. Was it a necessity at the time? Yes.” He adds with the help of Mike Bloomfield and Tekie Geek, it’s nice not having to fix the bike. Plus, we get to hop on and off the bike, too. Mike Bloomfield calls this “Business Continuity.” It essentially means you always have access remotely and your systems are running effectively under any extreme circumstances, such as hurricanes, bad storms, fires, etc. Everyone agrees that they had never thought it would be a global pandemic that could potentially disrupt technology. And thankfully, with Bloomfield and Tekie Geek, things ran seamlessly as ever for CP at that time. Rebecca Matulonis notes that no one even gives it a second thought when the lights flicker during a bad storm, with Mike on our side. James attests to this, noting that when Coronavirus hit, we couldn’t have been better prepared for it – digitally – because of Mike’s foresight and aptitude in this field.
Internet Security . . .
Mike goes on to explain to the essentials of cyber security, telling James and Rebecca how hacking always occurs in a similar fashion -- through an email. He also explains the perils of ransomware, which takes your data, encrypts it, for which you then must pay large amounts of money to get it back. “It is a billion-dollar business for hackers,” adds Bloomfield.