Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Drew Uher, Founder and CEO at HomeLight:
What does your company do?
HomeLight is the world's leading marketplace for finding real estate agents. HomeLight uses proprietary algorithms and data science to crunch through home sale data to match home sellers with the agent best poised to meet their needs (neighborhood, price point, type of home, etc.) based on past performance. HomeLight's primary focus is on home sellers, who have typically been underserved by real estate technology platforms, by tailoring the agent selection process to selling homes faster and for more money. HomeLight is headquartered in San Francisco, with a second office in Phoenix. The company started in 2012.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I'm the founder and CEO of HomeLight. I love that HomeLight helps home buyers and sellers better navigate an important financial and emotional decision by pairing buyers and sellers with the best possible real estate agent. When my wife and I bought our first home, we realized how easy it is to find agents, but how hard it is to find a good one, which I've realized can be even more difficult for sellers. Noticing this pain point inspired the business and fueled our desire to improve the real estate industry.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
The real estate industry was antiquated in its processes. The biggest challenge has been striking the balance, and distinction, between leveraging technology to improve the industry rather than change the industry. HomeLight's technology fosters the best relationships between home sellers and real estate agents - improving this human interaction - rather than replacing it. We strive to create a win-win solution for both consumers and the incumbents. From an internal perspective, one important challenge is maintaining the culture we've created as we rapidly grow (for reference, we grew 500 percent in the 16 months between our Series A and B funding rounds).
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
From a young age, I had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to start my own business, but wasn't sure what that would entail. At business school, it was incredibly unnerving to me that all my classmates were going through recruiting while I was not. I would tell my younger self to be confident in my desire to start my own business, follow my ambition wholeheartedly and know my passion would come to me. It wasn't until my own homebuying experience that everything came together. Keeping the fire though, even when there were bumps in the road, was critical to succeeding.