How 2 Midwest tech entrepreneurs built a brokerage on internet leads

  • Lifelong friends and northern Minnesotans Dave Gooden and Cameron Henkel started in 2003 after witnessing inefficiencies in the waterfront home search process.
  • In 2006, the website, which started as a classified ads model, became a referral brokerage at which 100 agents currently work.
  • Agent training at the company heavily involves how to handle and convert internet leads, as over 50 percent of sales started as internet leads from the founders’ websites.
  • The business partners' latest startup venture is the launch of another property website,, which features all the MLS listings from Minnesota and Wisconsin displayed in a simple layout modeled after Craigslist and the like.
  • The early-internet entrepreneurs originally came at solving a problem in real estate from a consumer's perspective, and their business model now leverages the benefits of technology with the service of professionals.

Want to see the future of Real Estate tech?
Limited seating available for ICSF Hacker Connect, July 17

Mrs. Braski’s 1976 kindergarten class was the beginning of a beautiful friendship for Dave Gooden and Cameron Henkel, their joint entrepreneurial ventures just a gleam. The boys’ northern Minnesota upbringing gave them a competitive edge — as teammates in the heart of hockey country, they learned the definition of hard work firsthand.