An entrepreneur I spoke to in Colombia a few weeks ago asked me a question I’ve heard a few other times over the years.
Given your experience and connections in real estate, why haven’t you done a real estate startup?
Valid question for sure.
If I had to boil it down, I’d say there’s only so much time in the day — and startups are a hugely time consuming endeavor.
I’ve had my hands full the last few years with Oh Hey World and Horizon. On the surface Horizon is all about travel and community — technically, it has a real estate angle given we facilitate sublets and roommates. Readers here can join the Geek Estate hospitality network here (unlock code “geekestate2015”).
So, I actually already have a “real estate startup“. Keep in mind, AirBnB is multi-billion dollar “travel” company that (not so) secretly has a massive “real estate” business.
In all seriousness, I don’t consider Horizon a real estate product. At its core, it’s a community product.
In terms of straight real estate plays, there are three ideas I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. Were I to undertake a real estate startup, I’d likely work on one of them:
- A social network for the real estate industry (see this post from many years ago). Geek Estate is very well suited for this opportunity. Love the concept and want to fund it, or are you an engineer and want to build it for equity? Send me a note.
- Help home owners understand all their options to monetizing their property. The product would have components of Zillow’s instant offers, and blend into the history of a home opportunity I’ve been tracking for years. Slice in components of Acasa.
- A socially conscious real estate brokerage is another idea I wrote about way back in 2013. Maybe “socially conscious” isn’t the right branding; maybe “community orientated” is. What if the brokerage invested a percentage of commissions earned back into local businesses? Think Community Sourced Capital, Kiva US, and Kickstarter — blended with a real estate brokerage.
Want to hear more specifics on any of the ideas listed? If so, consider applying to join our community of real estate innovators (more details here). There are 15 founding memberships left that will receive discounted pricing for life.