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Female Disruptors: Hannah Bomze of Casa Blanca On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hannah Bomze, Co-Founder and CEO of Casa Blanca.

Hannah built Casa Blanca to bring real estate into the future in a more personalized, approachable and transparent way, combining thoughtful design, a human touch and trimming the unnecessary trappings of a traditional brokerage. By providing a better experience for everyone involved in the process, Hannah’s mission is for Casa Blanca to create a new reality for real estate.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I’ve been working in real estate since I was 18 years old. I’ve worked for some of the best-known brokerages in New York. I grew frustrated with the industry’s antiquated operating model and competitive, toxic culture. Real estate is one of the last fields to catch up with modern, transparent customer service- Casa Blanca was built to fix that.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

In a traditional brokerage, hyper-competitive agents control everything with no management oversight. Agents become overwhelmed and aren’t able to provide consistent service to their existing clients. Their business depends on continuously bringing in new customers. Buyers and sellers end up feeling extraordinarily confused and discouraged — studies have shown that 40% of Americans rank buying a home as the most stressful event of modern life.

What we’ve done with Casa Blanca is created a seamless, branded experience for both customers and agents. The brokerage takes care of all backend work so that our agents (trained in house within our values system) can focus on providing hospitality level service to our clients.

Our app puts clients in the driver’s seat. Once a user has completed the lifestyle quiz, our AI algorithm works to provide them with the best property matches for their search. From there, it’s easy to connect with an agent through direct chat and in-app scheduling. Agents can even highlight their recommendations to clients with our “Agent’s Pick” feature. We’ve established the end to end technological solution for buyers and renters to enable and organize their home search.

Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’m lucky to count my mom, a veteran NYC real estate agent, as my first mentor. She helped me learn the ropes of the business and has always been a remarkable support. Samuel Ben-Avraham, an early investor in Kith and WeWork, is another mentor whose guidance I am deeply grateful for.

The expertise and counsel from my mentors has been invaluable in so many ways. They’ve helped me immeasurably.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

In my mind, disruption is a positive thing when it has a favorable effect for the customer. Casa Blanca is a disruptive brand in the real estate space because it’s built in service of our audience, which is contrary to the traditional model.

If a company’s aim to disrupt an industry results in higher price points, lower quality, and/or inconsistent service, I would see that as a “not so positive” example.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey?

Stack your support system: Build a team that you trust and respect, and don’t be afraid to lean on them.

Stay true to yourself: Define your core values and do your best to live them day to day.

Keep the faith: In times of uncertainty, remember why you started.

How are you going to shake things up next?

We recently launched in Denver, CO and have a roadmap to expand into additional US cities later this year. Our number of agents has also doubled, and we’re actively recruiting to continue growing the Casa Blanca team.

Excitingly, our app has seen exponential growth and we’re continuing to release updates to our users!

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

The challenges that “women disruptors” face are the same challenges all professional women face, but played out on a global press stage. Thankfully I never feel underestimated or overlooked because of my gender. I strive to make Casa Blanca a welcoming environment where everyone feels supported, encouraged, and free to be themselves.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

I often listen to the How I Built This podcast. It’s full of tangible, relatable stories about what it takes to build a business. Guy Raz is remarkably adept at facilitating honest and insightful conversations with his guests about the entire process of starting a business: the creation, where things went wrong and how they were fixed, growth and expansion, etc.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Launching Casa Blanca is exactly that movement. We’re motivated by our users to create the most supportive and comfortable home buying experience possible. Making it through closing on a home has previously been a notoriously stressful experience, but that isn’t acceptable to us. We create real estate as it should be: an exciting and rewarding milestone for our clients.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I love this Theodore Roosevelt quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I think it pretty much speaks for itself!

How can our readers follow you online?

Website: https://www.casa-blanca.com

Instagram: @Casablancaliving

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.