15 Questions with Hometap’s VP of Sales
As Vice President of Sales, Dan oversees Hometap’s team of Investment Managers and makes sure they have all the skills, tools, and motivation they need to guide our homeowners through the Investment process.
Q1: You have a degree in Sports Entertainment and Event Management, and worked in events before moving into sales. Are there any skills that you developed during that time that have translated across industries?
Events are all about creating an experience and being willing to do whatever it takes to deliver for your attendees. I learned the importance of providing great customer service — and built up a strong tolerance to working long hours on my feet.
Q2: What’s the biggest challenge you face as VP of Sales?
The biggest challenge as VP of Sales is ensuring clear alignment across the organization. It’s even more of a challenge with everyone working remotely, so many team members coming onboard each month, and new initiatives surfacing each week.
Prioritizing follow-up meetings, continuously setting clear goals and expectations, and making sure the team is meeting frequently to share feedback on what’s working and the challenges we’re facing is key to overcoming these challenges.
Q3: What’s the most rewarding part of the role?
The most rewarding part of the role is reading homeowner reviews that highlight our easy and efficient process, our world-class customer experience, and the positive impact we are making in homeowners’ lives.
Q4: How do you stay apprised of the most current practices in sales and/or fintech? What are you reading to, listening to, or watching?
I have a strong network of sales leaders that I stay really connected to. We are always sharing challenges we’re facing and best practices we use to handle them, along with ideas, feedback on new product implementations, and effective leadership strategies.
I tend to listen to more podcasts and audiobooks these days. I typically gravitate towards leadership, team building, and sales strategy content. Simon Senik, GaryV, and Jeffery Hoffman are my favorite content creators to listen to.
Q5: Growing up, I wanted to be a _______.
Sports Agent. This always seemed like such a fun and glamorous career. Having a passion for sports and watching sports movies as a kid like Jerry Maguire, the agent was always portrayed as this flashy, confident person who plays a key role in making things happen for professional athletes. As a kid, I was a bit on the smaller side and pretty self aware. So I figured that if I was not going to make it as a professional athlete, this was the next best thing
Q6: You’ve managed to not only maintain, but grow a tight-knit team of wildly passionate Investment Managers that are in constant contact and always rooting for each other. What’s your secret?
It all starts with hiring the right people and setting clear expectations on what success looks like. We have a tremendous team of talented, hardworking, and loyal individuals. Our hiring strategy is focused more on finding strong character and specific attributes versus hiring for any specific set of skills. I believe it is important to consistently communicate a clear vision of where we are going, in order to create the alignment needed to get there.
We empower our team to be resourceful and to create solutions. We all trust each other to deliver on our mission each and every day. Everyone is willing to help out and root for one another because there is a strong belief that if the situation was reversed, they would do the same for them.
Q7: What are the top qualities you look for when hiring an Investment Manager?
Motivated, curious, coachable, and resourceful are the qualities I look for when hiring an Investment Manager. We believe in our sales training and process and we have a very clear and important mission at Hometap. This allows us to focus all our energy on identifying these qualities and setting everyone up for success.
Q8: Do you have a go-to interview question? What is it?
I have two interview questions I always like to ask: (1) What is going to separate you from everyone else? and (2) Who would win in a fight, an alligator or a bear? There are specific attributes we look for when hiring sales talent. These questions are really helpful to identify key attributes that make up a successful sales person at Hometap.
The candidate’s answer to the first question tells me how confident they are and how aware they are of their strengths and weaknesses. Their answer to the second question tells me how curious they are in any given situation. There is no right or wrong answer to who will win in a fight, but what I’m looking for is the curiosity that is displayed as they think critically about their response.
Q9: If you could trade jobs with anyone else at Hometap for a week, what position would it be?
It would have to be with one of our Application Specialists. It’s such a critical role in the Investment process. As an Application Specialist, you get a chance to influence the sales process and customer experience, all from behind the scenes. I believe it would be a great learning experience for me and provide me with greater perspective on how to be a better teammate.
Q10: What’s one quality someone needs to be successful at Hometap?
Empathy. Everyone at Hometap is extremely passionate about our mission to make homeownership less stressful. We all have ambitious goals for ourselves and our teams, and work really hard to accomplish them. Empathy is essential for success at Hometap because it allows you to really listen with the intent to understand the situation and care deeply about the positive or negative impacts from someone else’s perspective.
Q11: How do you stay in tune with the needs of our homeowners when you’re not in a position where you’re speaking with them daily?
I’m always in discovery mode with my team to try and stay in tune with the needs of our homeowners. I am obsessed with listening to homeowner calls, and I’m known to guide a couple homeowners through the Investment process every couple months. This helps me stay sharp on the process and to understand how we can improve firsthand. I believe this makes me a better coach and a better business champion for our Product team as well.
Q12: What qualities do you look for in a company’s office culture?
I like to feel the energy when I walk in the office. If it’s not there, I’ll make it a priority to create it. I enjoy seeing team members collaborating with each other and creating solutions together.
Q13: How has shifting to a remote environment changed the dynamics of your team?
It has completely changed since shifting to remote. We’re all spread out now, so we had to create new ways to share, learn, and work together. We learned how to onboard new team members in a remote environment and we have worked really hard to try and re-create the office culture through Zoom, Slack, and other systems.
Q14: What are the best and worst parts of working from home?
The best part is avoiding the commute and parking downtown. This allows me to spend more time with my family than I would if we were in the office. The worst part of working from home is not being around the team and missing out on all the relationship building and organic learning you get from being in the office.
Q15: What are you most looking forward to about eventually returning to the office?
I’m most looking forward to designing and building out the sales floor. We’ve significantly grown our sales team since we transitioned to being remote in early 2020. It will be exciting to design the layout and theme to foster a world-class customer experience, strong collaboration, and a commitment to our mission.
We’re hiring! Want to learn more about our Investment Managers?
Hometap is made up of a collaborative team of underwriters, investment managers, financial analysts, and—most importantly—homeowners—in the home financing field that understand the challenges that come with owning a home.