It was 2010, midway through one of the worst market crashes in history. People were cringing at the mention of Real Estate while Will Heaton and James Dainard were just getting their feet wet. Today we have a solid business model that James and Will credit to their humble beginnings. Any company that thrives in a hostile market, has the makings of a success. Eight years later Heaton Dainard has been named one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s fastest growing companies and shows no signs of slowing down. However, we haven’t forgotten those tough times in 2010 and how they shaped our company into what we are today. Our newest blog series is pulling back the curtain on who Heaton Dainard is and how we got started.
“At the time, the market was starting to decline, and the banks were not lending to any real estate companies due to the volatility of the market. In hindsight we were entering into the worst real estate recession in the history of the financial markets.” – James Dainard
Starting any new business is an uphill battle, but a real estate business during a huge market crash was like summiting Mount Everest in the winter. Will and James were quite literally walking into buildings that industries with 20 years of experience were walking out on.
They were met with doubt and opposition on all sides. Without banks as an option, Will and James used their own funds and personal capital to fund their projects, immediately reinvesting every penny of profit back into the business. For the first couple years of business, neither of them took home a paycheck. Without credit lines or a bank loan to fall back on, their financial backing came from one place- and once that line was tapped, there wasn’t any backup.
It was a major risk, but it laid the foundation for their current business model. To this day, our company funds all office overhead and we do not have any business banking lines.
“I knew that the company would stick soon as we got our first listing. Investors were struggling to design their properties in a buyers’ market. Inventory was heavy, and we had to coach our clients how to design their homes with specialized flavor on a very small budget. Our first design was sold in the first few weeks.” – James Dainard
After the first property sold so quickly, they went from one listing to 20 by the end of the year all from word of mouth.
Today, our business model that weathered the toughest economic storm, is now flourishing in a favorable market. Even though the days of scraping by are long over, Will and James haven’t forgotten the roots of what makes their approach unique.
“We understand real estate because we not only represent investment opportunities to our clients, we also take those risks ourselves as buyers and sellers, and we know how valuable their money is because we’ve been in the same position.” – James Dainard