wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Mortgage Startup Tomo Streamlines the Way We Buy Homes (Episode 138)

There’s a new FinTech startup in the real estate industry, and it’s just secured $40 million in seed funding. Tomo, founded by former Zillow executives, Carrie Armstrong and Greg Schwartz, aims to change the way that Americans buy homes.

“Mortgage is a massive distributed, important market, and we’re going to delete it. We plan to address the messy and cumbersome process of buying a home all the way from when an offer is made and submitted to the process of moving into the new home,” Schwartz said.

Tomo’s investors include Trulia co-founder, Pete Flint and ex Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff.

Tune in to today’s WJR Business Beat to hear more from Jeff:

“So, if you’re an entrepreneur struggling to figure out what business to start, think about ways you can achieve this by streamlining processes in the customer journey, in an industry you’re familiar with. If you can do that, and in fact, if the customer journey is simplified and streamlined, you may have a winner of your own on your hands.”

– Jeff Sloan


StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Well, you know, I love to keep my finger on the pulse of the startup scene and follow hot new startups. Always interesting to learn from the trends, what sectors are getting the most attention, what new business models are being formed and utilized and how the entrepreneurs behind the startups are making it happen.

And this morning, I’d like to tell you about a new FinTech startup in the real estate industry based in both Seattle and Stanford, Connecticut. Now Tomo was founded just a few months ago by former Zillow executives, Carrie Armstrong and Greg Schwartz on the promise that it aims to change the way that Americans buy homes.

Zillow, as most of us know, is a real estate database behemoth, and both Armstrong and Schwartz were instrumental in its growth, so they know a thing or two about startups in the real estate space. The founders described Tomo as a tech-fueled mortgage and transaction platform targeted at both real estate agents and consumers.

And while it is staying quiet about the exact business model, the founders certainly have big ambitions. Greg Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of Tomo, says this: “Mortgage is a massive distributed, important market, and we’re going to delete it. We plan to address the messy and cumbersome process of buying a home all the way from when an offer is made and submitted to the process of moving into the new home.”

Simply put, they intend to make the entire process much less intimidating.  “People shouldn’t dread the transaction,” says Schwartz. “They should dream about the home and it’s our job to make them feel that way.”

Now, what really makes me take notice of this one is the $40 million in seed funding they received. That’s right, 40 million in seed funding. That’s the first-round funding to get the idea off the ground.

Whenever I learn of a startup getting this kind of funding, I always like to take a close look at who’s backing the company, and what has me taking notice of this startup as one to watch seriously, is that pedigrees behind the seed investors. These guys just aren’t throwing money on a song and a prayer into this one. They have deep industry knowledge and experience in the space, which really validates the model.

For example, Tomo’s investors include Trulia co-founder, Pete Flint and ex Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff.

So, what’s the bottom line takeaway for us in this story?

Well, it’s this: While one would reasonably think that there is no room at all in the real estate business for another upstart taking on the home buying and mortgage process, in fact, there is. And in this case, it’s being tackled by the founders of Tomo, not to create some revolutionary new business model, but rather by focusing on streamlining and simplifying the customer experience associated with home buying.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur struggling to figure out what business to start, think about ways you can achieve this by streamlining processes in the customer journey, in an industry you’re familiar with. If you can do that, and in fact, if the customer journey is simplified and streamlined, you may have a winner of your own on your hands.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article
Google My Business

A Step-by-Step Guide to Generating Local Leads with Google My Business

Next Article
LinkedIn

5 Pro LinkedIn Tips for Entrepreneurs

Related Posts
Read More

Ned Staebler of TechTown and Wayne State University on Challenges to Equitable Economic Growth

The president and CEO of TechTown Detroit and vice president for economic development at Wayne State University, Ned Staebler, talks with Jeff Sloan about the group’s pursuit of equitable growth, funding and access to opportunity for entrepreneurs. He shares success stories, but also explains the significant changes to communities that have to occur to draw...
Read More

Howard Handler of 313 Presents on the Business of Entertainment

Howard Handler, president of 313 Presents, talks with Jeff Sloan about live events in Detroit and how the pandemic forced venues to get creative. Learn why artists consider Detroit a go-to destination and how the area is poised for growth. And just wait until you hear where Howard’s career has taken him. Tune in below:...
Read More

WJR Business Beat: The Great Story Behind Better Made (Episode 407)

On today's Business Beat, Jeff Sloan and Paul W. Smith preview a new episode of Business Biography on Better Made Snack Foods, an example of the business diversity and entrepreneurial spirit in Detroit. Tune in to today’s Business Beat to learn what set Better Made apart from its competitors:     Tune in to News/Talk...