Q&A: Franklin Muanankese, General Manager, Atlanta

December 9, 2021 — Written by Opendoor

At Opendoor, we are building what we believe will be the best end-to-end real estate experience, empowering consumers to move seamlessly without disrupting their lives. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or move into your dream home, we’re building a one-stop shop that makes the entire experience as easy as a tap of a button.

As our footprint continues to grow, we’re focused on building a team of people who are committed to helping our customers navigate one of the biggest decisions of their lives. We’re proud to welcome Franklin Muanankese as the General Manager of Atlanta. 

Franklin understands where he can make a direct impact on customers, ensuring they have a great experience with Opendoor from the first “hello” to “welcome home” – call it Southern hospitality. Franklin says that even as Atlanta continues to grow, one thing remains: people are polite, kind, helpful, and generous with their time. 

We asked Franklin to share more about what makes him proud to call Atlanta home, and what led him to join Opendoor.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to Opendoor? 
I’m an engineer by training and spent the majority of my career as an engineer at ExxonMobil. I have an MBA from Harvard Business School and ran a search fund before joining Opendoor.

I came to Opendoor because of the people. Before joining, a business school classmate raved about the company and the culture. When I met the team, I was genuinely touched by the passion for the company and the “Opendoor family.” In business school, I wrote a case study on real estate investments strategies and was impressed by what Eric Wu has built in terms of product market fit, great customer service, and  building a product that works in all market conditions.   

What are you most excited about for your role as General Manager in Atlanta? 
I’m excited to continue to focus on providing great customer service to the people of Atlanta. I recently talked to a team member who shared the great experience that her daughter had with selling her home to Opendoor – how we took the stress out of the selling experience and how, as a first-time home seller, it was super easy to sell her home.  

I’m also looking forward to working with our trade partners and ensuring that they have a great experience with the Atlanta team. I plan to ensure that every company or person that does business with Opendoor has a phenomenal experience.   

What makes you proud to call Atlanta home? 
Southern hospitality – even as Atlanta continues to grow, the Southern hospitality remains. The people are super polite, kind, helpful, and generous with their time.

What’s the most unique aspect of living in Atlanta? 
The vibe and the diversity of the city. Atlanta has attracted people from all over, and it’s exciting to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. There is always something fascinating to do, from all of the various events at Piedmont Park (e.g. farmers market, World Kite Festivals, etc.), to watching a play at Fox Theatre, or going to an Atlantas Braves game at Truist Park.  

What does home mean to you? 
Home is where a person feels comfortable, relaxed, and safe. It’s more than a house; it’s where families have dinner, play in the backyard, and spend time watching TV together.   

What are your hobbies outside of work? 
I’m an outdoor person. I enjoy taking walks and attending music festivals or concerts at Piedmont Park. On the weekends, I typically walk the Atlanta Beltline and explore different neighborhoods. I also enjoy reading really good pieces of literature; I’m a big fan of Joan Didion. I also spend time going to my nephew’s basketball games and niece’s track meets, and answering all of their “why” questions about the world. 

What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
Graduating from Harvard Business School’s MBA program. The experience was transformational, and it made me a better leader. Additionally, it improved my understanding of the world (i.e. business, government, etc.) and empowered me to be a leader that can make a difference in the world.

I am a part of the Harvard Business School Alumni Forum. Similar to Young Presidents’ Organization, the Forum is a leadership community of executives that are focused on becoming better leaders by discussing personal, professional, and civic issues. 

I am also proud to have worked to launch the Muamba Muanankese Scholarship for High School Excellence, as a tribute to my late brother. I’m a big believer in the transformational capabilities of education to help people improve their lives.  

Share three things about yourself that would surprise people?
• I have thirteen siblings.
• Avicii is my go-to Spotify playlist. 
• I won two state football championships.

Now for rapid fire q’s:
1. What’s your favorite neighborhood in the Atlanta area?
Midtown
2. What is your favorite local bar or restaurant? The Southern Gentleman
3. Where is the best coffee? Dancing Goats at Ponce City Market
4. Salty or sweet? Sweet
5. Favorite movie genre? Comedy  
6. What is the most recent book, podcast or show you binged? Squid Game
7. What’s your personal anthem/go-to song? John Legend – Ordinary People