“There has to be a better way.”
It’s this moment of frustration and obstacles that often gives rise to great innovation. That was certainly the case for Greg Burns as he struggled to find homes for his buyers.
For over a decade, Burns helped sell high-end homes in Hawaii. And he was spending more and more time simply looking for listings for his clients who were ready to buy. Note that this was pre-pandemic, so the inventory shortage hadn’t even hit its now record peaks.
“I saw that there were shortcomings in the effectiveness of my time,” he said. “And I wondered how could I improve that — how can I stay relevant with my clients, while still offering them something that was unique?”
Burns developed a system for himself to identify properties that weren’t being listed but that met the needs and wishes of his buyers. The process was arduous since the existing data on homeowners was very scattered and effectively contacting them was a challenge… but it worked. It worked really well and clients were thrilled to have more buying options. These small wins led to this next evolution of creating a business that can do this just much more efficiently and effectively.”
That business is DropOffer.
“We have devised a way to turn the Off-Market on for real estate agents,” Burns announced recently. “DropOffer is a phenomenal system that allows agents to utilize their time very effectively, and tap into the Off-Market right on their phone.
With a vast network of professionals in his sphere of influence, Burns put the word out. “Who is the best patent attorney out there?” he asked. And the answer was Kimani Clark.
Burns presented his ‘back of the napkin’ idea to Clark. “I’ll never forget—he said, if this can really happen, you’re sitting on a billion-dollar business.”
After due diligence and proof of concept, Clark was such a believer in the idea, he joined Burns as co-founder of this company. He brings deep intellectual property experience to the table, along with a background in technology, “He’s an MIT Computer science grad, as well as a Stanford Law grad, and that has helped us tap into an incredible network of professionals the business has benefited from such as our engineers, investors, and advisors,” Burns shared. “I am very grateful to have Kimani as a Co-founder, he is a great human being!”
No one knew what was coming. And then the pandemic hit.
Again, DropOffer came together pre-pandemic. And at the time, there were about 1.5 million homes on the market.
“And that was considered a crunch. That’s just 1% of the homes that are in the United States. Right. And today, that has shrunk to 660,000 homes, approximately. So, we’ve only seen the crisis get more and more real, but we’ve also realized that even when this market comes back to a more normalized state, we are still well equipped to offer homeowners a larger pool of inventory to select from.”
As the consumer has more and more access to market data and technology unlocks parts of the industry to laypeople, agents are under increased pressure to show their value and demonstrate why they need to be at the center of the transaction.
DropOffer is one way to achieve that.
“You gain relevance with your clients because you’re tapping into inventory they had never known about,” Burns explains. “This platform makes the agents’ time much more efficient so that, at the end of the day, they can provide greater services to their clients and make more money.”