Knock CEO Sean Black said ‘We’re building the next Amazon’ and plans to go public. They recently entered Texas, opening in Dallas and Fort Worth, with a goal of being in 20+ markets by 2020. Their vision is an end-to-end transaction platform, the railroad of real estate that every party partaking in the deal utilizes. As previously mentioned, I’m bullish on Knock’s future and have touched on the company several times in recent newsletters (which are written exclusively for Mastermind members). They are delivering a huge consumer win, and taking on a lot of complexity that is clearly valuable to buyers and sellers. Speaking of who will keep going, it wouldn’t surprise me if a real estate and home services company ends up in the largest 10 tech companies in the world. If that does happen, will it be Knock? There’s no way to know, but I believe they are one of the real estate tech companies with the potential.
Without further ado, let’s get to it…
1. What do you do?
I am the Co-Founder and CEO of Knock, the first-ever home trade-in platform. I was also on the founding team at Trulia.
2. What problem does your product/service solve?
Knock brings certainty, convenience and cost-effectiveness to home buyers and sellers. Over three quarters of homebuyers are also selling a home at the same time, and they need the equity from that home to afford the new one. Furthermore, in today’s market, that contingency makes them less competitive. By making an all cash offer on the new home on their behalf, we not only help our customers win bidding wars, but we also often get them a discount off the list price, on average between 3% and 5%.
Additionally, we manage the entire process and its complexities for them so it’s one seamless experience, from getting them underwritten for their new mortgage to advancing them up to $10,000 for repairs on the old home to optimize its sale price, and managing those repairs and the entire listing process after they’ve moved out.
All of this is driven by our high-tech, high-touch approach. We use data science to price homes accurately, technology to sell them quickly and a dedicated team of Licensed Local Experts (aka full-time, salaried Knock agents) to guide consumers through every step of the process.
3. What are you most excited about right now?
I’m super excited about our growth. We’ve gone from 35 employees to nearly 100 since January as we’ve expanded from our first market to five total markets: Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Dallas and Fort Worth. And I’m incredibly excited about all the tech we’re building from scratch to support our employees in delivering the most efficient, transparent and convenient experience possible for our customers.
4. What’s next for you?
In January I announced that Knock plans to file for an IPO by 2020, going so far as to reserve the ticker symbol KNOC with the New York Stock Exchange. I’m excited about all the steps we’re taking between now and then to achieve that goal, including our expansion to 20 markets, and even more so about the incredible talent we’re hiring to make that happen and deliver a better experience for home buyers and sellers across the U.S. Most immediately, I’m excited about our all company offsite taking place next month. It will be an incredible chance to connect with all the new employees and brainstorm together. Some of our best ideas have come from these offsites, and I can only imagine what we’ll come up with with nearly three times as many minds at work.
5. What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I recently joined the Board of Trustees of the French International School of Philadelphia, where both my sons are enrolled. I fell in love with the French language, art, culture, food, fashion, architecture and way of life when I visited Paris for the first time over 20 years ago, and I’ve been back over 60 times since. My wife Heidi grew up speaking multiple languages, and she and I both highly value instilling that same knowledge, culture and diversity in our children. I’m looking forward to leveraging my experiences to help EFIP fulfill its mission of “Beyond Bilingual, Beyond Borders,” in whatever way I can, especially in today’s environment.
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