Title: I guess this is my job title (founder and CEO) as well as my bio — Dave Sims is founder and CEO of Floify.com, a mortgage borrower portal and dashboard. Sims also founded StartupMortgage.io, which caters to technology geeks seeking a mortgage in Boulder, Colorado.
Time at current company: two years at Floify.com. Just founded StartupMortgage.io in March.
Describe what you do in one sentence: I listen to what mortgage loan originators need and then, along with my colleagues, write the code to provide software solutions to those needs.
Degree, school: Ph.D. in computer engineering, University of Cincinnati; M.S. in computer science, University of Cincinnati; B.S. in computer science, Polytechnic University
Location: Boulder, Colorado
What do you do?
I write code. I write server-side and Web front-end client code. We use Twitter Bootstrap on the front end, Play Framework for the middleware, and OrientDB for the database. The back-end code I write is in Java.
I also sell for Floify.com. I respond to sales inquires and guide our customers through our buying process.
I also eat my own dog food. I’m a licensed mortgage loan originator and provide a technology-focused mortgage process for mortgage borrowers in Boulder, Colorado. I use Floify to give my mortgage borrowers a smooth borrowing experience.
My mortgage website is: StartupMortgage.io.
How’d you end up in real estate tech?
I refinanced my home a couple years ago. The process was a bit ridiculous at times, and I knew there had to be a better way for us borrowers. As I got to know how loan originators worked, I saw that what they did was a bit ridiculous at times as well.
What aspects of real estate are you trying to make better?
The mortgage borrower’s experience, from loan application, to document collection, to closing. Also trying to make the back-office experience better after the loan application has been taken and the rate locked and then through till closing.
What’s your favorite part of what you do?
I get a rush when the code I’ve been working on starts to come together. It’s a different-but-equal rush when I see users start using my software and are getting benefits from it.
What products have you had a part in developing in the past?
In 2000, I founded Flux.ly, which provides file workflow orchestration software to banks, financial institutions, media companies and the software companies that serve them. Flux.ly targets Java software developers building applications. Flux.ly is still going strong and I remain the owner of the company, although I’m not involved day to day anymore.
What are you working on right now? What are the challenges?
We’re adding the capability to see the complete status of a loan pipeline for loan originators and their branch managers. The challenge is to build just the right system that a) successfully provides the information they need to spot trouble mortgages before closing occurs and b) at the same time, make the system intuitive and easy for an incredibly busy group of people.
It often takes me months for just the right user experience to gel in my mind before we’ll start building something new.
Favorite Twitter account?
Of course, there’s @pmarca (Marc Andreessen). His stuff is pretty great.
Don’t really have one. Is mocha a food? :)
Favorite video game?
Play Magnus (a chess game for iOS).
Favorite band or singer?
What do you hate about technology?
Nothing, really. It’s all I’ve known as an adult.
What is one thing you would like to fix about the real estate industry?
The manual processes and nonintegrated software experience that borrowers, originators, processors and underwriters all suffer through.
Do you think technology can change the industry?
Absolutely, yes. It’s been changing it since the MLS was born and will continue to do so.
In or out of real estate, is there one problem, large or small, that you would like to solve?
The biggest problem that I’d like to solve is to coax the industry into using open developer APIs. Lots and lots of other industries use them to create substantial competitive advantages. The only real estate and mortgage-specific cloud services that offer open developer APIs are Zillow and Floify.
What motivates you?
When the code that I write finally starts working, I get a feeling of sheer joy. I’m sure most software developers get the same feeling. If I can write software that makes peoples’ lives more productive and I can get a “sheer joy” thrill out of it, too, then that is all I need to motivate myself to get to work every day.
I also like to start companies because if one is successful, that gives me the freedom to work from wherever I like, as long as the Internet connection is strong. That is a highly motivating factor for me as well. I feel fortunate that two of my companies are profitable and provide that sense of freedom that motivates me so much.
Read Dave Sims’s article, “How to deal with Luddite mortgage borrowers.”
Are you a real estate hacker who’d like to participate in our profile series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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