Austin Allison of dotloop
How did you start your business?
I purchased my first house at age 17, became a licensed real estate agent at 18 and bought and sold real estate in the Cincinnati area during college. I started dotloop
in 2009 after experiencing the frustrations and inefficiencies of the seemingly endless paperwork process in real estate. I knew there had to be a better way.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
When it comes to real estate, time kills deals, and paperwork is one of the biggest time drains. I experienced firsthand the industry’s frustrating reliance on endless piles of paperwork when I purchased my first house at age 17, and later as a licensed real estate agent throughout college.
Agents, buyers and sellers everywhere now expect everything to be digital and accessible via mobile devices. But when it came to closing real estate transactions, they were caught in a convoluted process filled with a lot of time-sensitive moving parts that were mostly handled through paper, whether email attachments, courier visits, faxes or electronically signed documents. I founded dotloop to eliminate paperwork in real estate transactions and to provide a more efficient digital experience for all parties involved (agents, buyers, sellers, etc.).
Today, more than 25 percent of real estate agents, who serve more than seven million buyers and sellers across 700 U.S. cities, are subscribed to dotloop.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
We initially raised about $2.7 million from local angel investors to launch dotloop. The investment allowed me and my co-founder, Matt Vorst, to open an office in Cincinnati and to expand our team. The Cincinnati community has supported dotloop since the beginning, allowing us to grow like crazy and expand our business. We closed a $7 million Series A funding round from Trinity Ventures
in May 2012, and we recently opened a San Francisco office.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
I try to spend about 30 percent of my time on people, 30 percent on product and 30 percent on users. The remaining 10 percent is consumed by administrative matters and investor relations. It starts with people because at the end of the day, we are all in the “people” business. Attracting great people and maintaining a world-class culture is not easy, but it is important because great people build amazing products. With amazing products, we can attract millions of users, which results in revenue over time. It is this chain of events that makes our business work, so I allocate my time accordingly.
What’s next for you and your company?
We’re focused on continued expansion within the residential real estate space.
Interview by Robin Donovan