Meet Hanan Kamal-Eldahry, founder of HotHoods. Like most startups, hers was borne of necessity; emerging at the nexus of innovation and need. A few years ago, when moving her family out-of-state, she had an experience that was anything but personal or enjoyable.
Is there a market for this? Absolutely! Reports indicate that 65% of people in the US own a home, more than 2 million people have active real estate licenses, and 2020 ended as one of the most active real estate years with more than 5.5 million homes sold.
Hanan quipped, “How do you find out about the neighborhood unless you walk around, experience it and talk to locals?” For many people on the move, taking time away from work and the expense to fly the family to see the potential new neighborhood in person may not be an option. In this era of COVID, it’s generally not an option at all.
People buy neighborhoods, not houses. We needed a tool that enabled us to take a virtual tour.Hanan Kamal Eldahry
Enter HotHoods. While existing software platforms offer functional maps, street views, property tax, crime rate and other useful data, there’s nothing personal about what or how the information is shared. Hanan and her team have created a patent-pending “sound pin” which is like the pin that accompanies digital maps, but it is augmented with clips from locals about their personal experiences at that location. She’s added a whole new layer to maps, one that offers a unique and deeply personal experience.
I wish I had known that you are going to doubt yourself over and over again but that’s part of the process.Hanan Kamal Eldahry
When Hanan was pressed to answer the question around her experience as a female founder, she opened up and said that she gets treated differently. “When you’re a woman building a tech product that is not female-centric and beyond the expected hair or nail salon, you need to be prepared for opposition,” said Hanan.
Like most founders, she’s faced her share of opposition, ups and downs, doubts about quitting her day job and going full-on with HotHoods. It’s those collective experiences that have both fueled her passion to continue and spurred her to offer others a cautionary tale. “Develop some thick skin,” she said, “And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people are generous with their insights and information.”
Catch Hanan Kamal Eldahry on this week’s Like a Boss podcast (S2: E2) where you’ll hear snappy insights on Grit Daily’s short and insightful programs. Find it everywhere that content is streamed. If you like what you hear, keep listening! Season 1 has 50 additional podcasts to entertain and educate you.