It is always interesting to me when I hear about a company I have never heard of raises a pile of cash. Qualia, a real estate technology company that aims to make the closing process better for consumers just closed a series B round, led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from 8VC and Bienville Capital.

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DotLoop and Zillow

by Victor Lund on August 19, 2015

As far as I know, DotLoop customers were happy enough with the product and service until the announcement that the company was being purchased by Zillow. That news, along with the $108M price tag of the acquisition was the fundamental buzz at Inman Connect conference last week. About the price of $108 Million. Typically companies’ sell for a multiple of profit – 6x to 10x profit is not bad. The last acquisition of this type was the Real Estate Digital deal, which sold for a much lower multiple than DotLoop. In the case of DotLoop, it looks like Zillow paid a multiple of revenue. As best we can tell, DotLoop would be running at a rate of $15 million in annual revenue. Its privately held, so that number is a guess. They hold a distant third position in the market share behind ZipLogix and Instanet. With the calculus on this valuation, Instanet would be worth about $300 to $500 Million. ZipLogix would be worth about $750 Million or more. The multiple that Zillow paid on this deal is irrational unless they see an opportunity to modify the business to reap profits in entirely new ways. Rather than spend hours on the phone with the investor community discussing the deal, here is a summary outlook on why the $108 could be justified from Zillow’s point of view. I get the strategy. Today, consumers shop for property on Zillow. They then bump into a real estate agent who handles everything from there, and Z is long gone from the picture. With transaction management, they can stick their brand inside the transaction. This strategy not only allows them to measure ROI on Zillow lead conversions to measure “share of wallet,” but it also provides them with a lead to close solution that supports the consumer to think that they purchased a home on Zillow. Zillow connects with consumer mindshare first. If they continue to expand the consumer’s understanding of services from Zillow, the consumer will stick with them through more of the transaction steps. The long-term goal object seems to be to develop a Zillow customer for life. DotLoop fits with this. The homeowner will be able to log into Zillow and grab their transaction documents forever. The implications for the relationship with the broker and the agent in the loop would also seemingly be solidified. Far out strategy. Sometimes you need to […]


Peoplework Book Review

by Victor Lund on January 28, 2014

I participated in my first Kickstarter project this year. If you do not know about Kickstarter, it is an online company that helps creative people fund their projects. In this case, the Kickstarter project funded a book called Peoplework, rather than a piece of art or a music album or such. The authors of Peoplework are Austin Allison and Chris Smith, with a byline to Austin’s company dotloop and mentions of support from LaunchSquad, 1000Watt, Nathan Scherotter and 260 people who contributed $73,000 to get the book to press. I mention this because the story about how the book was published is as much a part of its text as anything. The authors both run companies in real estate technology. Chris Smith’s business is focused around helping REALTORS® onboard customers using modern tactics like marketing on social networks and AdWords, driving prospects to websites, and using customer relationship management tools to drive conversion. Austin Allison’s company is all about managing the real estate transaction. Both authors are in the spring of their business lives, and they share 10 principles of running a people to people business. Principle one is that P2P replaces B2B and B2C. There are many books that tell the story of how great companies have been successful by attaching themselves to new methods of operating a business. In contrast, this book tells the story of how new companies should operate. There is little mention of how you turn your ship, although they do mention that the world moves fast and that a key ingredient to success is change management. “Just remember–it is sand, not concrete.” When I read books, I highlight text that I find particularly attractive. For me, the money quote for the book that crafts the entire thesis is on pages 16 and 17, where they write: “Put people first in a technology driven world … You can’t ignore technology in business, in the same way that you can’t ignore people in business.” And, later, in the book: “We have gone from a web full of pages to a web full of people.” I do not have any critiques of the book. There was nothing objectionable. It is a good, quick read to sharpen the saw of business strategy. They reinforce a point that everyone in real estate should always remember–namely, that technology does not sell anything. People do, and that is an important lesson. […]


dotLoop and Trulia partner up

by Victor Lund on August 2, 2012

Press Release: SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Aug 01, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — INMAN CONNECT — dotloop, the first real estate software company that eliminates paperwork and Trulia, a leading online marketplace for homebuyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals, today announced a partnership to simplify the real estate process from search to close. As part of the partnership program, Trulia and dotloop will jointly promote their online real estate services to agents and homebuyers. Under the partnership, Trulia and dotloop will jointly promote both services to member agents, and help simplify real estate transactions by bringing the process online. More than 20 percent of real estate agents in the US and Canada currently use dotloop to eliminate paperwork in their real estate transactions, and approximately 40 percent of active real estate agents use Trulia. “Real estate is rapidly moving online as consumers at every stage of the process expect a more digital experience,” said dotloop CEO Austin Allison. “We’re proud to partner with Trulia to help agents satisfy that demand and to simplify the entire process around real estate transactions, from marketing to consumers on Trulia to easily closing deals on dotloop.” “Every day, Trulia connects agents to our engaged audience of consumers, a large number of whom are planning to move,” said Trulia CEO Pete Flint. “This partnership is a natural extension for agents meeting buyers and sellers on Trulia to sign and close on a transaction with dotloop.” Both Trulia and dotloop offer free products for agents and their clients to use. To find out more, visit and today. About dotloop Dotloop is transforming the real estate industry by providing a secure online platform where any real estate agent can share and electronically sign transaction documents in real-time. As the leading provider of collaborative negotiation services, dotloop is available to service all real estate professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The innovative dotloop platform is a collaborative, wholly web-based negotiation platform that lets users add, adjust, approve and sign documents digitally — addressing the challenges of security, efficiency and overhead costs in today’s real estate industry. For more information, please visit . ABOUT TRULIA, INC. Trulia gives home buyers, sellers, owners and renters the inside scoop on properties, places and real estate professionals. Trulia has unique info on the areas people want to live that can’t be found anywhere else: users can learn about […]


Real estate technology is changing in dramatic ways today at both the MLS and broker levels as we have detailed in recent white papers, “The Shift in Real Estate Technology” and “Real Estate Technology – Keys to Adoption”.   MLSs and Associations now have more opportunities than ever to offer their members technologies that make their business lives easier and more efficient.   A number of these new models for introducing the right software today are a win/win for both the vendors and the customers as they rely on “value selling” and often allow revenue to be realized on both the vendor and client side with minimum cost barriers for product introduction. REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR