Interview with Henry Moore of RESimplifi, Inc.

Interview with Henry Moore of RESimplifi, Inc.

Henry is the founder of REsimplifi, a commercial real estate SaaS. 

To read the full interview with Henry, check out page 227 of Kicking SaaS: 101 Founders on What it Takes to Launch a Software as a Service.


What is REsimplifi?

We discover, maintain, and distribute web-based commercial real estate data for economic development site selection tools. All over the United States, there are economic development offices that pro- mote industry within their local markets. We collect and maintain relevant property data and syndicate it to our clients so that they can effectively recruit business to their target markets.

It’s expensive and time-consuming for our clients to collect the data. Our IP enables us to do it at scale. Think about market sites like Zillow and then apply that to commercial real estate. If a commercial real estate broker has a property listed that’s available for sale and it was removed from the website, we have the ability to track that. Was there a transaction, or was it simply taken offline? We then communicate that back to our clients so they have an idea of what’s happening within their market to help others make informed real estate decisions.

How did you identify this as a problem to be solved?

I started out in technology sales. In the mid-90’s, I was exposed to CRM technology. Ultimately, I went to work for an early-stage company that went public in 2006. I was very fortunate to be one of the earlier hires. I enjoyed being a part of a team that was building some- thing that was largely not yet defined.

Ultimately, I left that company to spend more time with my family. I was covering the Mid-Atlantic region at the time, covering nine states and living on an airplane, with three kids under the age of two. I interviewed with a commercial real estate company in 2008, and quickly realized that the industry lagged in technology adoption. They didn’t have the tools to which I had grown accustomed. The ones that did exist were not very good. CRM specifically was not built for commercial real estate.

I decided to initially build a CRM specific to the commercial real estate industry. I thought I could do it passively, and just contract out the work. I quickly discovered that in order to make this work, I had to go full time. In February of 2015, I went all in.

What has your journey been like as a non-technical founder?

As I said, I initially thought I could contract all the work out. Ultimately, that was very expensive for us. If I had been fortunate enough to know someone in the space, having a technical co-founder would have been the best way to go. But having a traditional business back- ground, I didn’t have those connections.

So we partnered with different people along the way for equity, and that enabled us to bridge the gap in an efficient way. We didn’t have to raise too much money. We worked with a great company out of Seattle and they built the beginnings of our current application for equity. That’s a great way for people to kind of bridge the gap until they find the right person.

I’m very fortunate that our current CTO and lead developer has made all the difference in the world. We started to take off when I got a technical partner. In the long run, if you’re a SaaS company, you need someone on your team that has a technical background.

What do you know now that you wish you had known before?

I wish I had realistically understood how much it would take to get the company to a stable position. You hear people say, “It will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you think.” In my experience, it takes much more than that. I am sure that the multiplier for each successful company is different but for us the number was certainly greater than x2. Ultimately, if people aren’t willing to pay for it, your idea is likely not there yet. Pivoting is normal and defining “aftermarket fit” may take more than one iteration for your company. It takes a lot of time and resources to really define what it is that people want.

What has it looked like for you to start a SaaS company in the South – a region not as known for tech?

Venture capital at early stage companies looks different here than perhaps West Coast VC does. That’s not to say that you can’t raise money here; you can, but it might be a lesser amount, or you might have to approach it differently.

The investors here take more of a conservative approach. We were fortunate enough to raise money through Friends and Family, and then partner with the South Carolina Research Authority – a qua- si government entity that is tasked with promoting the knowledge based economy in the state of South Carolina. Most of the jobs in this state are in manufacturing, and they are interested in recruiting and growing home-grown technology companies like ours.

Especially in this region of the country, you need to start small and raise enough money to prove your concept out. Keep your operating expenses low so that you can generate enough revenue to show your investors that this can be sustainable. But the speculative dollars are not what they’re really looking for.


To read the full interview with Henry, check out page 227 of Kicking SaaS: 101 Founders on What it Takes to Launch a Software as a Service.


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