Lessons From A Startup
The idea of a service that would help people maximize the returns of their renovations using innovative technologies and machine learning eventually led to the creation of ReDeal in 2017. The idea stems from the sale of my parents home. Back in 2016, they decided to relocate and as a result, they met with numerous real estate agents. Day after day they heard the same spiel about maximizing the value of their home through renovations. They ended up not listening to the agents since like most of us, they kept thinking of them as used car salesmen working in their own interest.
We quickly began questioning how we could help homeowners maximize their returns on renovations while remaining impartial and as accurate as possible. If we could somehow provide homeowners with a detailed report outlining an experts recommendations and expected returns, then the homeowner could use the information and move forward with the work before selling their homes. This is exactly the premise that ReDeal began with and it has quickly evolved into a real estate technology startup.
Everyone seems to always have two questions for us: i) How has your experience been running a startup? and ii) What have you learned since starting? These are both complicated questions. Although it hasn’t yet been a year, running a startup has been a great experience and challenge with great highs and awful lows. It’s true what they say about starting a business being like a rollercoaster. One day you get amazing news and the next you realize that you need more money. And although there are definitely more lows, the highs more than makeup for anything.
We’ve learned a tremendous amount about business, the real estate industry and AI/machine learning. So far, the most important lesson has been that being good or successful in business doesn’t necessarily mean you know everything or even anything. Although you could be a genius, most people aren’t. It is clear that those who have been successful are in those positions because they know how to build a network of smart individuals who are specialized in everything rather than solve complicated math problems. That’s one of the key characteristics about ReDeal. We hire people that have the technical knowledge to complete their jobs but they also have to be able to remain autonomous because we aren’t always able to follow the step by step process they are taking. We have to be able to trust that these individuals are able to complete tasks on their own and have their own networks should they need help. I still cannot stress how important a good network is when starting a company.
Starting a business is also a constant work in progress. The founding team originally believed that the service would be on the market would be launching the service at the end of last summer. We were obviously wrong. Although, we’re working non-stop to launch as soon as possible, there are many factors that we never considered, things that we never thought we would have to, changes to the original idea and major delays. You have to be able to adapt and stick to deadlines but also understand that you probably won’t meet many of them. It is important to realize that the environment changes, problems are inevitable and the unexpected can be expected. It’s impossible to have a solution to everything, which makes adaptability and perseverance crucial.
When people ask, I will continue to say that overall, it has been the experience of a lifetime. It definitely isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s an experience you’ll enjoy and not want to ever give up. I can only imagine how exciting it will be to launch and reflect on our journey in a year’s time.