Interview with Storm Duncan, Founder of DwellAware

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    What Industry is your company a part of?

    DwellAware operates in the online residential real estate sector

    What void does your company aim to fill in the industry? What gap in the market are you serving?

    No one is fighting for the people buying homes. We are changing that.

    Buying a home exposes six of the 20 greatest anxieties in life all at the exact same moment in time. Many of these anxieties exist because buyers have important questions that are not being answered: is this the best neighborhood for my family, what are the neighbors like, what are the hidden costs and monthly bills, can I afford all of the bills, how much upfront cash do I need, how comfortable is this home throughout the year, etc.

    All of these questions eventually would have been answered for the buyer after they moved in to their new home, but we think that is too late. DwellAware provides this transparency to homebuyers before they even visit a home for the first time let alone make an offer.

    DwellAware’s search application lets homebuyers to search for and compare neighborhoods and homes based on previously non-existent information, exposing these critical insights from the beginning of the search process.

    This helps reduces their fears, making the entire process more enjoyable and successful.

    How does your company stand out from competitors in the industry?

    Existing competitors are merely online directories of properties listed for sale. You can search these sites based on simple features such as geography, price and size – but that is the limit of their capability. While those are important features, they merely provide a list of homes and don’t take into consideration the human element of what each buyer actually wants.

    On DwellAware, homebuyers can find both neighborhoods and homes based on what is most important to them. In addition to the capabilities offered by other sites, we allow homebuyers to tailor their search based on their personal needs. A typical search on DwellAware might be something like: find me all homes and/or condos that I can afford, that have excellent schools, low crime and great walkability, and that are within 30 minutes commute to work, one hour from my parents house and a five minute walk from a grocery store and a coffee shop. I’m less concerned with the dining and nightlife, but want a big back yard that is fenced in for my kids and dog. I don’t want any surprises on my monthly bills, and want a home that is comfortable during both the hot and cool months.

    What have been the most prolific innovations or advances in the industry in the last few years?

    There have been very few innovations in the last few years, which is one of the frustrations that led us to try to innovate on behalf of all homebuyers. The most impressive innovation in recent years has been the ability for your phone to notify you when you are driving by a property for sale. This still lacks the context, however, of whether that neighborhood and home are a good fit for the buyer.

    How do you think your company will change and influence your industry over the coming year?

    Our innovations will become the standard for homebuyers, driving them to expect more information and transparency around their most important lifetime purchase.

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