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What puzzles you most about the real estate industry?
I am puzzled by the amount of value the industry places on generating leads through the search experience and how little time people in the industry seem to spend wondering how to be of value for their clients during the entire length of time those clients own their homes.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about building a business?
Get the minimal product to market and let your customer dictate the enhancements.
Describe what you do in one sentence: We are developing the most comprehensive home management concierge services intended to be gifted by agents to their clients, improving their relationship with their clients by improving their clients’ relationships with their homes.
Degree, school (if applicable): BSBA, University of Southern California
Location: Newport Beach, California
This photo is of me and my wife in a photo booth at my birthday party. I chose this because it represents us celebrating life, which is a bit of a lost art these days.
What’s your favorite activity outside of work and why?
Golfing — not specifically the sport, but I look at it as a four-hour vacation from the normal stresses of life. I have a killer instinct to win, but I like the social aspect as much.
What’s your favorite classic piece of literature and why?
Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast,” because sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era. My skill set and lifestyle lend themselves to an easier, slower time when people communicated in person and relationships were more important.
Are you the first entrepreneur in your family?
No, we have generations of entrepreneurs on my father’s side.
Why’d you decide to join your company?
I founded HomDNA when I realized that every homeowner needed a better and easier way to manage their home, their biggest asset.
Describe a time when you felt particularly insecure about the future of your company.
When we hired the perfect CEO to run the company and then he developed a medical condition that required him to step down after five months.
How did you bounce back?
By strapping on my boots and jumping in myself.
What would you describe as your company’s biggest victory since you joined it?
Partnering with a superstar tech entrepreneur and being way oversubscribed in our first round of fundraising.
What’s been the biggest obstacle your business has encountered, and how have you dealt with it?
Understanding that we are not an app that provides a service, but a service that is delivered through an app.
What’s the most overrated real estate technology?
Automated valuation models (AVMs). They are never right.
This photo is what I call “Command Center.” No one in my house can come or go anywhere without passing by me, so it forces everyone to engage in conversation and stay connected. You can see my daughter on her way down in the morning. No breakfast without a conversation with her dad!
How will the role of the real estate agent change over the next five years?
It’s my belief that the role of the agent will be required to evolve due to the ongoing emergence and use of services, technologies and do-it-yourself applications designed to help consumers buy and sell homes, which already have reduced the amount of time agents interact with their clients.
Savvy agents will recognize the need to seek out new roles and develop other opportunities to provide services for their clients beyond the buy and sell period to remain vital, important and memorable.
We believe this area includes post-close and during the length of time their clients own their homes.
What motivates you more: power or money?
Money. I am very comfortable in my place in life with my family and relationships. I just want to be able to check the box that money is not a part of any big decisions. I had a life-changing health event recently and I want to give back to the people who helped me — and power won’t help.
What is your biggest professional fear?
Waking up one day and realizing that I didn’t “take the chance.”
What is your biggest personal fear?
Waking up one day and realizing I spent so much time “taking the chance” that I didn’t see my family grow up.
Whom do you respect most in the industry?
Residential land entitlement developers. I love the discovery process of finding an undervalued piece of land and creating something meaningful with it.
Are you a real estate leader who’d like to participate in our profile series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.