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Founder Friday: Patrick O'Brien, LenderLogix

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For a house to be sold and purchased successfully, the mortgage lender and realtor must work in harmony with one another. However, the process of writing up a mortgage has traditionally been a time-consuming one, with the lender having to search for the information they need across different databases and websites.

This obvious inefficiency in the industry led Patrick O’Brien to leave the corporate finance world and start LenderLogix, a data and analytics platform that allows mortgage lenders to search for local realtors, find the data they need to complete a loan write-up, and keep track of upcoming closing dates – all in one place.

Learn how LenderLogix is helping lenders and realtors work better together in today’s Founder Friday!

How did your startup, well, start up?

I had been working at a large regional bank for about 15 years, and developed an interest in trying to use technology to solve some of the problems that my coworkers and I were experiencing on a daily basis. Looking around the industry, there were plenty of niche problems that the incumbent software providers weren’t addressing, so in the fall of 2015, I started doing some homework on nights and weekends to try and create a system that could have a meaningful impact. My technical co-founders created an elegant cloud platform from the crude Excel file I had started, and as we got feedback from mortgage professionals around the industry, we realized we had created something of real value. I left my job at the bank at the beginning of 2016 and it’s been a full-time pursuit ever since.

What do you do? Your startup?

Our mission is to develop technology that makes originating mortgages more efficient, profitable, rewarding, and fun. While most of the industry has focused on creating compliance software in the highly-regulated mortgage world, we build tools that allow mortgage bankers to operate more efficiently while delivering a superior customer experience for borrowers and real estate agents.

When was the ‘aha’ moment for your startup when you realized this could actually work?

Once we had developed a Minimum Viable Product, we put it in front of as many potential users as possible to get their thoughts. Looking at their reactions as we pulled out our phones and demoed our app or turned the laptop screen around in a coffee shop, we knew that we were onto something.

What has been the biggest accomplishment for your startup to-date?

The biggest accomplishment for us was when we received our first check from a customer. When developing our product, we talked to as many customers as possible to make sure we were creating something they would buy. However, there’s a big difference between someone telling you they will buy your product in the future and them actually parting with the money. When we saw people actually spending their money for our solution, we knew we had created real value.

Goals for the next year? Three years?

Our ultimate goal is to help the lenders we partner with dominate in the markets in which they compete. As long as we focus on their success, we too will be successful. Longer term, we’ll continue to pursue customer opportunities across the country where we know we can add value and we’ll continue use our expertise to build innovative products around the feedback we hear from our users.

Why Buffalo?

Since we build products for the financial services industry, we’re fortunate to be in a community with an abundance of really smart banking professionals who are also willing to lend their expertise. When we reach out to someone to ask for help or advice, the response is almost always “Absolutely!” People in Western New York are eager to “help the next person up” without asking “What’s in it for me?”

How do you do it? What drives you?

I have amazing partners and we have an aligned vision for what we want to accomplish. We can talk openly, debate options, and collectively decide what is best for the company and our stakeholders. I can’t imagine trying to do this alone or with contractors. We’re also surrounded by amazing families who understand the mission and who sacrifice and support us.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Just start. Do something. Anything. Start writing a business plan, start drawing wireframes on a piece of paper, start an Excel file. Ideas are a dime a dozen. When you create something tangible, you’ve taken the first step toward making your idea into something real.


Tags: Founder Friday, Z80 Labs

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