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I believe that. In fact, I know that. Starting my start-up career at Zillow (see this for some perspective) was a very good and very bad pre-cursor for my entrepreneurial journey over the past few years.

It was great in the fact that I now KNOW building a technology business at massive scale is possible; I’ve seen it done from the inside. Most people seriously question whether building something that reaches millions of consumers is possible, because they haven’t seen it with their own eyes

It was bad in the fact that, prior to starting my own company

I thought start-ups were easy. As an employee at Zillow, sure there were challenges, but from my perspective there was never any real risk the company wouldn’t succeed. That’s why I took a personal loan when I left in 2010 to buy my options; I knew there was basically zero chance I’d end up on the short end of the stick (and I didn’t). Of course, Zillow’s not the average start-up. Most start-ups don’t have $6 million in funding pre-launch, a team of 50+ without having shipped a product, or a founder with a multi billion dollar company that transformed an entire industry under his belt.

They seek product feedback and strategy. They want to know about problems and incentives for agents as well as consumers. They are looking to get a handle at how to gain adoption, traction, and partnerships in this massively complex and wide-reaching industry we operate in.

Many have no prior history in the industry. Others were agents at one time or another. Still others grew up in a real estate family.

I’ve seen 10 years of what has worked, and what hasn’t. When I hear a pitch or play with a product, I tell it how I see it, regardless of whether that’s what the founder wants to hear. Sometimes, it doesn’t validate their strategy.

About the Author

Kent Martin is one of Newport Beach’s top brokers, personally representing more buyers and sellers in 2016, 2017, 2018 and top 10 in 2019. Kent prides himself on providing cutting-edge marketing technology while maintaining an old-fashioned business ethic – building lasting relationships founded on commitment and trust. He attributes much of his success to the team of professionals who assist him in providing his clients with a truly outstanding experience. Kent’s innovative in-house team includes professional writers, photographers, designers/stagers, and open house specialists to ensure every listing is a success. Kent has extensive experience in residential, corporate and investment real estate. He has executed hundreds of residential transactions and millions of square feet of industrial, office and retail transactions nationwide. Kent is an expert specializing in trusts, probates, and complex ownership and investment structures. He has experienced all areas of real estate first-hand as a property owner, manager and broker. This, in addition to his B.S. degree in Real Estate, Finance and Law, allows him to advise and consult with his clients on all aspects of the market and transactions. Kent is a Southern California native and is an active member of the Orange County community. He is a member of several volunteer groups, including the Rotary Club of Newport Beach and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County. Kent and his wife, Morghen, live in Lido Resort with their goldador, Denver and Remington. 

BRE Brokers License: 01873148 

HCD License: SP1290397 

OR Principal Broker License: 201219038 

UT Principal Broker License: 10796033-PB00