About Us

Mission

Monetize Your Property

“Renovate Now, Pay at Close”

Monetize relentlessly seeks to help our clients realize the best value from sale of their property, without coming out of pocket until close. We do this by executing on a well-informed selection of structural and cosmetic improvements to enhance the marketability and value of the property.

Real Estate Renovations in Chicago

Monetize is a local company that serves the real estate industry, throughout the greater Chicagoland region. Working with real estate agents as well as individual home owners, we help clients decide upon a set of value-added improvements they can make to their property that will help them to sell faster and at better prices, without initially coming out-of-pocket for these expenses. Payment on the renovations is deferred until either the sale closes, or the payment deferral period expires, whichever comes first. We structure our agreements to reflect local conditions, using the realtor’s local market knowledge, to “hit the bid,” as this important advisor and market-watcher sees it. While the real test of a broker’s input is a successful sale in line with expectations, we generally look for realtors and agents who derive a significant portion of their income acting as a buyer’s broker. This helps ensure that their pricing indications accurately reflect that side of the market. Our approach also allows the client some control over changes to the listing price, unlike others in the industry. There may be nationally focused companies active in this space, but we have successfully dealt with such David and Goliath scenarios throughout our history, delivering value-add to our clients with a sharp focus on quality client experience, by hitting the mark on smart renovations, and providing real hands-on attention via local connection to business principals.

our

Company History

Our Founders, Viktor and Tim, have built an evolving and dynamic construction company, one that is very sensitive to, and sharply focused on, the kinds of improvements that make the most difference in a residential, investment, or commercial property’s marketability. While we will do whatever a client decides design-wise, we have found that the best overall satisfaction comes from projects that are in sync with the property’s overall market and specific competitive set.

Early Days

As the country began to recover from the financial crisis about a decade ago, Viktor developed an on-line, virtual company model called Assembly Squad for installing home furnishings. It had the potential to grow, but the question was, in what direction? The initial focus was on small one-day, or less-than-one-day jobs, installing all types of flat-pack, ready-to-assemble furnishings and fixtures. We consistently ranked highest in our space in Google and Yelp! ratings. Tim recognized this nascent opportunity when he met with Viktor a few years later, and together, we began trying to answer that question.
Real Estate Renovations in Chicago
Initial Expansion - Monetize Chicago

Initial Expansion

We realized there was an organic opportunity to take it to this next level by designing and installing IKEA kitchens. While we had worked with many, many different flat pack manufacturers early on, we found IKEA to be among the best for product consistency, but couldn’t shake the “disposable furniture” stigma. Then some clients called us in on their kitchen projects, based on our reputation for working with IKEA and other such RTA (ready-to-assemble) products. When we saw these kitchens for ourselves, we were impressed by the quality and value, and even installed them in our own properties. We quickly became the go-to provider in that space, despite there being several established competitors, one of whom automatically receives referrals for every kitchen sold by IKEA. Our research indicated that we could leverage our strong market presence, hands-on experience, and those 5-star results, to win an increasing share of projects, and our marketing reflected our dedication to providing every client with the best experience in each situation. It took a lot of hard work and determination to make this work, but we persevered, building on our 5-star reputation, to become the region’s number one installer.

Becoming A General Contractor (GC)

Pursuing the kitchen business, we worked alongside a variety of general contractors, as well as clients serving as their own GC. In these situations, we were often involved in the beginning, with design by us or by trusted designers, and then we would return towards the end of the project to execute on our piece of it. By the time we got back, things had not always gone well for a variety of reasons, and there was often lots of tension among parties. We believed we could do better. We became a GC, so we could apply our client-focused approach and compete effectively to tackle all or a majority of each project. Again, we have found ourselves up against larger competitors, and we have thrived by keeping our quality and service standards high, defining our niche carefully, and dominating it, while being open to new opportunities. This way, we can ensure that all aspects meet our rigorous standards and client expectations. Essentially, we integrated the interim steps between the familiar areas of design and project completion, to assume responsibility for the entire project, beginning to end. We leverage a well-vetted set of subs we use regularly, bringing in specialists according to each individual project’s requirements. These flexible relationships provide us with the commitment to quality we seek, as well as fair value, which keeps overhead low. We focus on delivering our signature 5-star service, from the very start.
General Contractor - Monetize Chicago
Home Renovation Contractor Chicago

Monetize

During the prior stages of our business, both Viktor and Tim sought to help clients focus their investment in their properties on truly value added projects. Do what is worthwhile, given the clients’ specific needs, but always with an eye towards whether this is a good investment relative to the property’s market value. This value-conscious approach and mind-set is our shared belief and passion. It has served our clients and ourselves well, with many successful projects for clients who have recently bought, or who are finally getting that renovation they have been promising themselves for years. Building on this experience as a GC, Monetize allows us to challenge ourselves to achieve positive outcomes for an expanded set of prospective clients, those who are looking to sell. Positive outcomes are more crucial than ever in these situations, given the risk in Monetize’s approach. We scrutinize prospective projects very carefully, to make sure that the planned improvements will contribute commensurately with the expected sale price, help it happen sooner rather than later, or ideally, both. During our years together, we have always been building a business for the long-term, and positive client outcomes have been absolutely critical to that development. This is important to us, and we strive to continue that tradition in every situation. We have found that our clients achieve the best outcome by making wise choices throughout the project specification process, pairing with good, experienced, and ethical people across the board, and staying focused on the overall goals.

Our

Team

Viktor Aharon is a proven business leader and successful entrepreneur. Viktor has an eye for business and has established and run multiple startups that he made a success from hard work, attention to detail, marketing and a keen eye for style. Viktor has grown his net worth by being a serial entrepreneur in many sectors from fashion, to tech to real estate and his brands span across the globe. His start was in Miami where he runs some of his companies and real estate investments and now calls Chicago his home where he has several startups that mix tech, real estate and design. Viktor turned his eye towards the real estate market and construction in 2014 with that start of Assembly Squad LLC which serves Illinois.
His expertise, management, organization and the ability to determine what construction projects to improve a property’s value became his specialty and helped fuel his expertise in construction management and cost controls for his projects. Assembly Squad LLC a home improvement startup, continuing through today has grown from assembling bookshelves and cabinets to installing kitchens, remodeling bathrooms and baths. After receiving gross revenues in millions of dollars, Viktor saw another problem facing homeowners. What if I want to update my home to sell it and I do not have the current funds to pay for the project? How can I help the homeowner? Another problem created another opportunity for Viktor! MONETIZE, a construction startup that assists real estate agents and their clients to remodel their listing and pay for the construction costs at closing! Another great innovation and another great product for Viktor’s companies, but an even greater opportunity for the consumer and property owner. Update now and the ability to pay later, with creative designs, cost controls and an increased opportunity to market your property.
Viktor Aharon - Monetize Chicago Founder
– Viktor Aharon
Founder
Tim Goebel - Monetize Chicago Founder
– Tim Goebel
Founder
Tim Goebel leads up client consulting, design, talent acquisition, and operations. He has successfully designed and led numerous projects at Assembly Squad, as well as recruited and vetted new talent for the company, to ensure consistently great client experience. Tim’s background also includes corporate finance, investor relations, and Wall Street buy & sell-side equity research in the REIT and other sectors. After seeing Assembly Squad in action, and the growth opportunity, he partnered with Viktor in Assembly Squad to grow and develop that company, and most recently, founded Monetize along with Viktor.
Melinda Cabanilla, is a published interior designer and is a real estate broker licensed in Illinois and loves her work with buyers and sellers alike. Her designs can be seen in countless loving homes she has gained public attention through the media on HGTV House Hunters, The Today Show, Bedrooms and Bath Magazine, The Boston Globe and more.
 
Melinda holds a Masters of Interior Design from The Boston Architectural College and has designed over $30 million in residential properties and commercial developments over her 15 years in interior design. Her passion for design led her into real estate as she saw a need for buyers and sellers to redesign and update their properties with an real estate broker that could do both. She has the ability to stage, redesign and prepare the home to sell with a budgeted renovation to prep their property for the market and then ready to list it for market, sell and then help her clients close faster. This led her to the Monetize team where she works as their business development director with the real estate industry and their design team.
 
Melinda believes collaboration and team work with her clients, trades, contractors are the best assets, it’s what makes her real estate deals and interior design projects standout against all others. She uses her design/build/real estate knowledge for all the Monetize clients as an unlimited depth of knowledge and support from start to finish in the deal.
Melinda Cabanilla - Director of Real Estate and Design
– Melinda Cabanilla
Director of Real Estate and Design