In 2013, I took time off to reflect on what I wanted my life’s work to be moving forward. Having spent the previous seven years starting companies in housing, immediately reboarding the startup rollercoaster didn’t seem wise. I wanted to be certain about not just what I wanted to do, but why. During that time, one problem kept resurfacing: buying and selling a home, an act central to the U.S. economy and ingrained in the American Dream, was entirely too stressful, expensive, and manual – and inaccessible for millions of people. I believed we all deserved better.
So in 2014, a small group of us dreamt of a future where you could buy and sell a home at the tap of a button, and moving between neighborhoods and homes was seamless, on-demand, and stress-free. We started with the customer end state and made building each component path dependent. We built a valuation model, built the product to allow for the transaction to be online, raised the capital to buy real estate, and built the operational pieces to repair and own a home. It felt like building four startups at the same time.
Today, we celebrate the milestone of becoming a publicly-traded company and this moment is more rewarding due to the challenges we overcame. Like most startups, we’ve faced our fair share of hard problems, but we believed in the potential impact of what we were building and put in the hard work to tackle obstacle after obstacle. While our path wasn’t a straight-line, I’m proud that we have and continue to remain focused on the customer, act from ownership, and build a community of friends and colleagues grounded in care and respect.
To my teammates, thank you for all that you do for our customers and for making what was an ambitious dream a reality. Please take a moment today to celebrate the fact that you’ve helped over 80,000 customers across the U.S. make the start of a new family, a new job, or a new chapter in life a lot less stressful.
To our customers, thank you for trusting Opendoor with the largest and most important financial decision of your life and giving us the opportunity to make your life transition seamless, certain and on your terms.
So after seven years into our journey and as we enter the public markets, Opendoor continues to be the most challenging and fulfilling adventure of my life. I feel humbled to be now alongside a larger group of missionaries still dreaming and building what the future of real estate can be.
As we look to this next chapter, we will continue to work hard when no one is looking to build a better customer experience and empower millions of Americans with the freedom to move. We are just getting started.
Eric Wu is co-founder and CEO of Opendoor.