Godwin Pavamani October 12, 2020
Autumn 2019 was both memorable and life changing. I left beautiful Vancouver B.C, an exciting company and a team I loved, in order to extend the runway for the company to turn itself around. My family endured our second move in 18 months, and on returning to Seattle we decided to sell our house and downsize to buffer against near term uncertainty. Emotionally, I felt drained and a little defeated during a period where I expected to be entering the peak window of my professional career. In short, it was tough.
This forced break, however, turned into a blessing. It gave me time to decompress, re-invest in relationships, meet new people, and expand my knowledge in disparate areas like radiology imaging, digital signatures, real estate, and people tech. Random? Maybe. I chose to intellectually wander; guided by intuition, a drive to explore, genuine curiosity, and humility to introspect and better myself. This created conditions that led to tremendous personal learning and lasting change, and sprouting the seed for Vive.
Selling our home reminded me of how stressful a real estate transaction can be for homeowners, buyers, and real estate agents. Given my “in-between jobs” state, I had time to dive deep into the planning and preparation processes for listing our home. In doing so, I got drawn further in and conducted 30+ real estate agent interviews, consumed industry and expert opinion data, and studied the tools and processes used in the real estate profession, transaction, and brokerage business. I learned a lot. Busy agents work hard to maintain “control” when coordinating concurrent transactions and a multitude of factors beyond their control… through fragmented communication and cobbled together digital and analog tools. Today’s home buyers and sellers, on the other hand, expect real-time transparency and seamless communication at key moments in the process through use of digital tools to ensure smooth transaction flow from start to finish. I definitely felt this way during our real estate transaction.
There were clear gaps and pain points in the real estate transaction process, and I saw an opportunity to re-imagine and build a better experience. In early 2020, I met Corrina Black and immediately realized we had a mutual desire to build technology to improve how people live and work, as well as a passion to tackle this problem space. Excited about our shared vision, we decided to collaborate on a purpose-built platform to solve these problems once and for all. This pain is not just acute at the individual level, it’s massive in scale. There are over 2 million realtors in the US alone, and they help sell ~6 million homes every year. Discovering a pain worth solving and knowing many people have that pain, tends to be some of the key early signals for a potential business to be built.
Through Vive, we want to eliminate the fragmented nature of planning and executing a real estate transaction and make it stress-free. We will help busy realtors close more deals every year by making them unbelievably productive. Homeowners will enjoy better communication, visibility and confidence in the process with digital experiences that feel delightful and familiar, and lastly, we will bring more qualified jobs to service providers so they can focus on what they do best.
Ok, so what is Vive? – Vive is a gorgeous, simple and powerful digital assistant that helps agents close more deals, become more productive and delight their clients. For our techie friends – Vive is a purpose-built productivity and collaboration tool for agents and clients. It’s like having superpowers at your fingertips, but for real estate.
Our mission is to bring joy to homeownership and help people do their best work. I am inspired by this mission for our product because it centers around work impacting the most basic human need of all – a shelter we call home. We are starting with the real estate agent at the center of our mission, but our impact will soon be felt across all parties involved and as a result, millions of families. This is not a launch announcement. Instead, view it more as the first diary entry on our path to building something that matters. Stay updated on our progress by following our LinkedIn page and say hello or learn more by requesting access on our website.
I sign off with this encouragement – whether in life or work, it’s great to be efficient and see a clear path forward, but don’t forget to mix in a healthy dose of wandering to discover exciting new adventures and push yourself to unexpected and fruitful places.
Your mileage may vary.