Life After Acquisition
I founded the ClientLook commercial real estate CRM software in 2009. ClientLook was acquired by LightBox in early 2020. Growing from 25 people to a company with more than 500 people overnight was a big change. Now that the dust has settled I’ve come to realize some amazing benefits of my new life after acquisition.
So whether you’re a ClientLook subscriber, a CRE tech enthusiast, or an entrepreneur like me, here’s a list of the 3 most impactful revelations that I discovered after selling my CRE tech company.
I Think Much Bigger Now
Prior to our acquisition the common strategy at ClientLook was finding ways to do more with less. We got really good at it, but we were always resource constrained. Deciding how to invest our limited capacity was the trick to prospering. We could afford to fail, but not often and not in a very big way. Fortunately we made the right choices overall, but we definitely took fewer risks. This hampered innovation and ultimately growth.
The mantra at LightBox is finding ways to do more with more. That’s incredibly empowering. Sure we still have to be prudent and commit wisely, but my old limitations are largely gone. This allows me to think much bigger and shoot for goals that have exponentially higher payoff. It’s very exciting and one of the great benefits of joining an organization with leaders who get it.
I Get To Make The Rules
My burning mission has always been to build the ultimate CRE tech platform that fuels brokerage success like nothing else. I’ve always believed that CRM was the solution, but recently I realized that CRM alone would not be enough. The technology landscape had broadened over the years, and the industry had come to demand more capabilities than ClientLook alone had to offer. It was tough to envision how we’d overcome this obstacle.
The solution was LightBox since their holdings included the missing pieces of the puzzle. Combining the marketing power of Real Capital Markets (RCM) and the location intelligence capabilities of Digital Map Products with ClientLook would allow us to create the most capable CRM solution the industry has ever seen. We would get to make up the rules for the next phase of CRE technology implementation, and any competitor would have a really tough time keeping up.
I Sleep Better At Night
As a company founder I wore a lot of hats. I had many restless nights worrying about an endless list of challenges. As other company founders well know, you can’t decide one day that you don’t want to do your job. You’ve got customers and employees that rely on your leadership. Fortunately I love what I do and always felt extremely grateful to be in my position. Either way, I knew that ultimately I was responsible for every facet of the business. It’s a tough burden to shake.
Now I’m surrounded by brilliant people who are the best software engineers, user experience designers, marketers and more. I can rely on these experts to turn all my lofty goals into reality. I used to wake up and stare at the ceiling worrying about how we’d accomplish objectives that weren’t core competencies. Now I rest easy with the confidence that our team will find a way. Creating an exciting future for ClientLook subscribers is so much easier. And I haven’t slept this well in a decade.