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Buying homes online is the future: Welcome Homes Co-founder

Mitch Wainer, Welcome Homes Co-founder and CMO joins Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman to discuss how his company is moving the home buying process online.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: I want to welcome Welcome Homes' co-founder and CMO Mitch Wainer to the show here. Mitch, I mean, you and I got our chance to play around with the tool. It's very interesting stuff here. So talk to me about the mission and why this customization tool is so needed here in 2020.

MITCH WAINER: Well, first, Zack, thanks for inviting me to the show. So the mission for Welcome Homes is to convert homebuyers into home builders. And, you know, many people shy away from building a home from scratch because of the complexities of dealing with all the different parties, general contractors, to get a home up and running off the ground.

And so-- and also pricing is unpredictable and not transparent. So we want to make that entire process from end to end seamless, frictionless, and easy for home buyers. So Welcome Homes is a revolutionary homebuilding platform.

Literally within 30 minutes, you can select the land you want to build on. You can fully customize your home and place a deposit to start the financing process. Once permits are approved, we close on your new home, and it takes six months to build. The beauty of the online builder is that it's like customizing a car online. Or I think someone put it before, you know, customizing a shoe online.

We make it really simple and intuitive. And, you know, I had the pleasure of walking Zack through the online builder. And Zack, you know, customized his dream home.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, I know. It was a cool process to see play out. And I think, you know, it's not to overlook the idea of seeing this all play out in real-time, because a home, I guess much like shoes, is a very personal thing, going to be living in it. You're going to be spending your time there.

But the interesting thing, too, is you guys pair general contractors with the homes, too. So talk to me about that and how you look to kind of use that as a tool here to maybe pair the customization piece of this that people don't really want to risk in dealing with a general contractor themselves.

MITCH WAINER: So we've actually built a home already in Cold Spring, New York, using a general contractor. And our CEO, Alec Hartman, picked up a hammer and nails and actually went through the entire process of building a home himself to get deep into it. And so through that process, we actually switched general contractors and ended up using a general contractor that we are now partnered with to build homes in Westchester County.

So, you know, the reality is, like, we're going to be partnering with the best general contractors in the market. And over time, we'll begin to in-house a lot of those responsibilities in-house.

ZACK GUZMAN: And you're starting out here in the tri-state area. You guys have raised more than $5 million to start growing this year. So what do you think right now, in terms of where you want to start, where you see this going in the next year or so? What are the goals here, since we know right now, there is such an insane demand around housing?

MITCH WAINER: So the goal here is, first and foremost, to provide people with an option to buy a house online. And especially during this time, during a pandemic, when bouncing around different homes with a broker, you know, sometimes doesn't feel super safe, you know, we want to provide that flexibility and making it really, really easy and simple for people just to go online, click, and build, right?

And ultimately, you know, we're placing a massive bet. We believe in the future. People are going to be buying homes online without even seeing it in person. You know, people are afraid of jumping on a phone call these days. Like, the next generation of buyers are not going to be, you know, calling up people and going to see places. You know, they're very much in tune with technology. And that's where the future is headed, and that's the bet that we're placing.

ZACK GUZMAN: [INAUDIBLE] I mean, when we think about this pandemic as well, very tough to even get out there. We saw those issues earlier in the year as well. But Welcome Homes co-founder and CMO, Mitch Wainer, appreciate you coming on. And again, thanks for letting me walk through my custom home. Maybe one day I'll be able to pull the trigger on it. But thanks again for coming on.

MITCH WAINER: Thanks, Zack.