Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
Our story started when our CEO, Sasha Hryciuk, entered the real estate world in 2010. She was completely new to real estate accounting but felt a connection to her place in the industry. Sasha describes herself as, “a little boring. I’m a back-office kind of person.” She focused on operations management and workflow analysis initially. After being hired by a big franchise, Sasha was immediately surprised by the lack of options in technology. “I was hired to roll-out a proprietary backend system, but it wasn’t a success,” Sasha recalls. Despite this, she started digging down to the root of the problem and attempted to find products that could be used instead of rebuilding their own proprietary software. “I saw an opportunity, there was nothing modern in the market,” Sasha shares. The seed for Loft47 was planted then and there.
Finding the Solution & Building the Team
Sasha started her journey by exploring how other products used automation, implemented machine learning, and integrated applications through APIs. “My next question was what is the most value-adding thing I can bring to accounting platforms today.” After Sasha had narrowed in on her focus, she started asking questions to potential customers. There was immediate reception, “I got over a million dollars in annual revenue under letters of intent, which allowed me to get funding for my idea.”
From there, Sasha needed a team to help bring the vision of Loft47 to life. “As I was looking at the looming sales cycle, I needed that special person who could reach our customers. I thought of Tracy Simmons,” Sasha recalls. Tracy knew the backroads of the industry and how to speak the language of this niche market. Sasha was ultimately able to convince Tracy to leave her job at one of Loft47’s biggest competitors and join the Loft47 team as Partner and Chief Revenue Officer. Through connections, Sasha was introduced to Shane Davis, who would become Loft47’s Chief Technology Officer. Like many first-time business owners, Sasha was overwhelmed by her first venture. “It’s super daunting, but I was really grateful for the structure of the business early on. I had the support of people I really trusted to bring together a strong team and process.”
Refining the Concept
The initial concept for Loft47 wasn’t a software company, but a service based company. Administrative staff would complete deals for brokerages. “When the rubber met the road, we found that the industry wasn’t really ready for a full-service product, so we offered a mix,” Tracy recalls. This mix included The Loft47 software and the on-demand deal processing service, Let Loft Do It.
This hybrid offering allowed customers to use the software within their own organization, but also have the flexibility to outsource deal management and processing to Loft47’s dedicated Let Loft Do It staff when short-staffed or in a pinch. “This is definitely a different model than what’s being offered in the marketplace,” says Tracy. This model addresses a lot of the pain points in modern brokerages and gives them the freedom to focus on other areas of their business by offloading deal management-related tasks.
The Loft47 team had to acknowledge one stark reality of the space that they were building their platform in, things changed rapidly and standards of practice for deal processing were not the same from place to place. “I’ve worked in the back office space for 17 years, and I have seen how incredibly varied things really are,” Tracy remarks. The functionality of Loft47 absolutely needed to account for all these differing processes. “We built it to be flexible. We hit the ground running. We didn’t have a huge rewrite because the product was initially built with flexibility at the forefront.”
Loft47 was also built to be tacked on top of the most common tech stack in real estate brokerages. Sasha was committed to having smart integrations from the very beginning, starting with the foundational integration with XERO. This continued with the addition of QuickBooks, dotloop, SkySlope, Docusign Rooms, and much more. The finished product was a robust commission management and accounting platform for teams or real estate brokerages. With a focus on flexibility and adaptability, Loft47 was built to accommodate complex and scaling commission plans.
Connecting to Loft47’s Audience
Loft47’s target is tech-forward brokerages that are looking for automation and efficiencies. “They need to understand that a strong tech stack is better than an enterprise solution,” Tracy says. Sasha and Tracy found that many brokerages were pushed to make the leap after suffering for too long. “A lot of Brokerages lose a lot of time or struggle to really know how their financials are doing,” Tracy says.
Beyond the software, Sasha and Tracy wanted to focus on making the transition to Loft47 easy. “We wanted to remove the fear and make it simple. Loft47 can consume data, you don’t need a staff member importing agent data, we migrate it over. We can import data and assign information electronically to get things up and running quickly.”
Loft47’s pricing model was also built to reflect ease and flexibility. With a scaling fee model and no fixed term subscription, “we earn your money every month,” Tracy says. Switching commission management software is daunting, but Tracy believes nurturing relationships makes the best converts, “we often find ourselves in an advisory role with our current clients.” The team continues to find ways to introduce automation into the lives of their clients. In 2021, Loft47 Pro was rolled out for high-performing brokerages and teams. This new feature set allows Loft47 clients to access their up-to-date real estate financial data in one clean interface. Sasha and Tracy specifically wanted each client to be able to define their own goals and KPIs. With visualized data and an interactive dashboard, clients can stay on top of their yearly goals and make informed decisions with Loft47 Pro. “We really listen to what clients want, they help guild the development of new features and products” says Sasha.