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Driven & Co. Ep: 19 – Entrepreneurship, Tech & Real Estate Collide

Marc Chesley, President of OfferPad, talks with host Justin Gray about practicing law, flipping homes and helping grow Infusionsoft into a $100M company—all on the the latest episode of Driven: How Did I Get Here?

leadMD-podcast-blog-ep19

What are you working on these days?

At OfferPad, our purpose is to revolutionize the way homes are sold. We have the technology platform where you can go to OfferPad.com, put in the address of your home and within 24 hours you will get a very strong, very fair, purchase offer, where OfferPad is the buyer. We’re solving the pain, uncertainty and worry that usually comes with the traditional model of selling and buying residential real estate.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My grandparents were great entrepreneurs. My grandpa Tilby started up JT Aviation and built one of the largest private hangars in the Northwest. My other grandpa, Earl Chesley, owned Chesley Well Drilling. It inspired me, as a young boy, to watch my family, so I think that’s where the foundations of my entrepreneurship journey may have started.

What was your first job after earning a law degree?

I wanted to have some trial time, so I volunteered for a bunch of unsexy cases. I did a bunch of M&A, veteran capital, and private equity financing, but the court room stuff I did was mostly real estate-based. Then I got recruited out of the firm by a tech company called Wind Force Technologies, which was a great startup tech company that rebuilt case management software for big legal cases. It was a great blend of my legal training and my technology passion. That’s really where I cut my teeth in software development, product development, user experience and design, solving problems for customers.

How did your path to entrepreneurship and technology converge?

From Wind Force Technologies I helped start up another company called IP Partners. While I was helping those guys, I started flipping houses on the side. In 2004, I flipped about 56 houses. Later, I could tell that the rate of appreciation was unsustainable and I wanted to get back into tech so I liquidated everything.

Looking back, it was perfect timing in 2005 because it helped me be one of the first investors and get Infusionsoft up on its feet. I did my part and had some fingerprints on Infusionsoft through the next decade until I left the company at the end of 2015. So over 10 years I helped grow it from startup to over a hundred million a year.

Have any mentors played an important role in shaping who you are?

There’s a great book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, and in the early days that was one of our manuals. One of the co-founders at Infusionsoft, Scott Martino, and I went to a seminar that Michael was holding that was a hot seat format. He got us up there on the stage and was really was grilling us: What is the meaning? What’s the purpose? Why are you doing this?

The world needs somebody to really carry the torch for small business. He started talking to us in terms of, “Hey, the world needs this” rather than “this is a good opportunity and you’re going to have a good exit one day.” He emphasized this was our responsibility and we had a duty to help small businesses succeed. That really touched us in a profound way.

What are the traits you look for when hiring?

I look for five things in an A-player candidate. They have to be a solid core values fit. They have to have a high “give a damn” for the target customer. They have to be smart, hardworking and be a good team player.

To find out more about the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) Marc has planned for OfferPad in 2017, click here to listen. Plus, visit Offerpad.com and find Marc on LinkedIn.

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