Walkthrough Monthly Update #21 (March 2018) – Launched “VR in a Box” to home buyers!

Hey team,

Here’s our quick monthly update from the Walkthrough hustle house!

We made $40k this month (new personal record). We launched “VR in a box” which means we are working with home buyers touring homes remotely in VR. We’re looking to bring on a new VP of Engineering. Techstars Demo Day is May 8th (6 weeks away!) which is when we’ll be kicking off our seed round fundraising. I’ve also been writing weekly updates while we’re working throughout Techstars, let me know if you’d like to be apart of that list.

// Asks //

  • We’re looking for more beta users (AKA – People looking to buy a home). Are you looking to buy a home in the next 6 months? I’d love to ship you a VR headset! It’s 100% free to you. Reply here or check out our website here.
  • We’re hiring a VP of Engineering – please forward this role to any engineer who may have an interest in VR or might be looking to move into a leadership role at a smaller team.

// Highlights //

  • We hit $40k in Revenue! – a new company monthly record! This is great as we’re still in the ‘slow’ season of the year.
  • Shipped our first VR headsets to consumers – shipped to buyers in Utah, Telluride & Boulder. We’re hoping to have offers in on at least one home by Techstars Demo Day on May 8th. (Check out photos at the bottom of the email)
  • Buyers who received headsets are sharing the experience with their co-workers – One of our buyers was so excited about receiving their VR box that they started sharing the experience with everyone in their office.
  • Photographers are going through v1 of our 100% remote training – For context, when we hired a photographer anywhere around the country we’d need to pay for their flights and hotel and bring them to Denver to train them for 5 days. Over the last few months we’ve brought training from 5 days to 3 hours. This week a new photographer is going through our first version of a 100% completely remote self training experience that doesn’t take any of our own time or cost us anything.
  • Hired an advertising agency – We’ve hired Disruptive Advertising to help with getting our adwords campaigns squared away. They’ll be working with us over the next 3 months to dial in our target customer and build our cold lead funnel.

// Lowlights //

  • Our photo processing has been more expensive than expected over the last few months – We realized our spending on the post processing of photos is 4x of what it should be. We’re now implementing a new system on Monday which should cut this cost at least by half ($4k/mo to $2k/mo) and am looking into what an investment looks like to have more of this automated with machine learning.
  • Ordering equipment has been an issue – We hired 6 photographers over the last 2 weeks but we didn’t order equipment until after hiring the photographers. Because of that, our equipment is coming over the next week or two which will delay our photographer start time.
  • Transitioning email software for weekly reports is causing additional time & issues – I’ve transitioned our weekly & monthly reports over to Mailshake from Mailchimp & Sendgrid which has increased our deliverability & open rate from ~55% to 80%+. Although great, this has increased the amount of time it takes to put together the report and a few mentors have received emails with the wrong name attached in the email due to import issues (sorry John!).
  • Missed out on $8k-$12k in revenue this month.  We were not able to hire & train photographers fast enough to meet demand. This issue should be solved over the next week with training our 6 new hires but here is an example of texts I personally receive from customers:

// Product Improvement //


// Vision & Learnings //

Here is a link to our most up to date strategy & gameplan.

  • Consumers are far more interested in using VR to tour homes than real estate agents. We’ve shifted towards working directly with buyers and then partnering with real estate agents to close the transaction.
  • We realy think the photography & 3D/VR scanning of properties all across the world will be the crux of building a barrier to entry and being the dominant player in VR. This will definitely be the case when the general consumer can view VR from their phone in ~1-2 years.

// Key Performance Indicators //

// Shoutouts & Thank You’s //

  • John Funk & Barry Gafner for sitting down and talking through overall long term company strategy and getting more clear how to box out competitors.
  • Eric Marcoullier for testing out and giving us feedback on our VR experience and what to prioritize over the next few weeks before we hit Demo Day on May 8th.
  • Mindy Nies for helping us put together a better v1 of our VR unboxing experience and helping us make iterations on our buyer funnel to get higher quality leads!
  • Diego Corzo for helping us understand how he works with his buyers in Austin.
  • Elijah Salberg for helping us implement some of the design interations on our photography product.
  • Eric Marcoullier for giving us direction on how to best position the company for demo day and the research we need to do to get there!
  • Kelly Coyne for walking me through options around an engineering transition, creating a monthly PR strategy, and for putting us in touch with the VP of Operations at Zumper to learn about the apartment rental market.
  • Jake Hurwitz for putting us in touch with the student team to create a video for us.
  • Zach Nies for sitting down with us to work through how to integrate experiments into our weekly sprint planning workflow.
  • Julie Penner, Natty Zola, & Chris Saxman for introducing us to buyers to test our product with!
  • Nicole Glaros for helping us craft a better pitch that speaks to investors on Demo Day.

Best,
Pascal

Walkthrough replaces the time-consuming process of touring multiple properties with a simple and affordable virtual reality experience.

I asked John, one of our mentors, what his favorite foods were and he replied “Raw & Cooked”. Raw & Cooked chicken is what he received

😉
A few of us from Techstars went out to the opening match to watch the Colorado Rapids play!

A few of us from the Techstars class went to go watch the Colorado Rapids opening match this weekend!

I may have pranked Nicole Glaros, the Venture Fund manager at Techstars, to get a meeting. Here’s her write up about it!