Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

49 responses to “A Change of Venue”

  1. Mike

    Good luck! Sounds like a useful company. Posted on here when we bought our place recently trying to get any ideas on the cost of work that we expected would be needed and sort of went with the rough average of the crowd which wasn’t too bad but certainly not precise. We found a complete lack of good answers online since search results for costs in Texas or Virginia don’t really tell me what things will actually cost in overpriced Seattle and there is dearth of good information on most contractor/electrician/plumber sites. Sounds like something useful might be in the works finally.

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  2. Ryan

    Our time together was too short! I’ll let you know if I end up making it to PAX this year. Enjoy your ‘new home’.

    Ryan

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  3. Blurtman

    Tim,

    Congrats on the move. I look forward to your data on bathroom remodeling companies.

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  4. 3rd Generation

    Congrats and Good Luck !

    and Thanks !

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  5. John

    Congrats Tim!

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  6. Erik

    Will we no longer have data to help us buy low and sell high based on market timing such as CSI, Inventory, etc?

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  7. Bryan

    Looks like Houzz with a bit of Angie’s List.

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  8. mike

    By Bryan @ 7:

    Looks like Houzz with a bit of Angie’s List.

    I’d throw Knoq in there as well.

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  9. Marc

    Congrats Tim and Happy B-Day to the Bubble. Glad we’ve been able to play a small role in your purchase and the blog. Hopefully Porch will take off and we can send clients their way.

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  10. Erik

    RE: The Tim @ 8
    Awesome. Thanks. Congratulations on the new job.

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  11. Erik

    One really cool benefit of working there is that you will get ideas on how to make your house nicer. You will also get to work with contractors and designers. That will make it easy for you to go out and remodel a house yourself if you wanted to. I’m a little envious.

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  12. murrcat

    It would be interesting to know where the data at Porch will come from since I assume most of it will be self-reported. (?)

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  13. Daryn

    Congrats Tim, looking forward to seeing what you guys do with Porch!

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  14. m-s

    Cool! I always liked their cars

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  15. ray pepper

    Porch?????? What the???????? Much rather see you at Zillow…THEY R ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=Z

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  16. David Losh

    RE: The Tim @ 16

    Is that the company car that was a part of your signing bonus?

    You’ll probably make Porch as much of a success as you made redfin.

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  17. ARDELL

    Best of luck to you! I just signed up for Porch. Have been collecting data from some clients recently, the most interesting of which at the moment is putting skylights into a house they just bought that had none before. Having a place to upload the costs with date completed and name of contractor is definitely a long overdue idea.

    Look forward to seeing it unfold. Sounds like a fun gig!

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  18. joe dirt

    Jaron Lanier says people should get paid by internet companies for their information.

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  19. ray pepper

    I don’t like the way at Porch.com it just asks you for your email address right away. You have to dig on the bottom to find out about the company.

    Good luck with Porch. I think your gonna blow outta that outfit quicker then Howard Bono attempts to suck up dough from defaulting homeowners while patting them on the back saying your doing the right thing…

    Let me know if I should pitch my RedFin shirt. Like if they canned you or did something unscrupulous.. They continue to be sucking up the fart fumes that Zillow is leaving in their face!

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  20. David Losh

    RE: ray pepper @ 21

    Thanks Ray, I didn’t see the bottom of the page before, but this is a great concept, idea, and innovation.

    The website says it all, this is a huge niche market place for design, remodel, and construction.

    We have our own people who work with us, but I see home owners all the time who are hosed by contractors. After buying the home for hundreds of thousands of dollars, yes, you have to maintain it, and in many cases improve it so it isn’t obsolete while you live there, or if you want to sell it.

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  21. Ira Sacharoff

    Does this mean that Seattle Bubble commenters can no longer accuse you of having sold out to the man?

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  22. Blurtman

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 23 – You realize that anyone under 40 has no idea what “selling out to the man” means?

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  23. Ira Sacharoff

    By Blurtman @ 24:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 23 – You realize that anyone under 40 has no idea what “selling out to the man” means?

    Right on!

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  24. Azucar

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 23

    They can still accuse him of having sold out to a different man.

    Fight the power!

    Good luck in your new endeavor, The Tim.

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  25. Rumpole

    Tim, congratulations and good luck, wishing you the very best. Also, happy birthday to Seattle Bubble, always insightful and patient.

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  26. Macro Investor

    Dog pictures seems to be the popular avatar. Ira, your dog is the ugliest I’ve ever seen. Hope it has a good personality, at least.

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  27. Erik

    RE: Blurtman @ 24
    We know who what selling out to the man is. You dinosaurs have nothing on us.

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  28. One Eyed Man

    RE: Azucar @ 26RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 25RE: Blurtman @ 24

    You sexist pigs, should check out the link. It looks to me like The Tim may well have had the enlightened ambition to barter his professional allegiance to The Woman!

    Congratulations Tim. The many talents you demonstrate here should serve any new venture well.

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  29. ricklind

    By ray pepper @ 21:

    I don’t like the way at Porch.com it just asks you for your email address right away. You have to dig on the bottom to find out about the company.

    Good luck with Porch. I think your gonna blow outta that outfit quicker then Howard Bono attempts to suck up dough from defaulting homeowners while patting them on the back saying your doing the right thing…

    Let me know if I should pitch my RedFin shirt. Like if they canned you or did something unscrupulous.. They continue to be sucking up the fart fumes that Zillow is leaving in their face!

    Ray, always the man of words!

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  30. ricklind

    Congrats, Tim!

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  31. Saulac

    By David Losh @ 18:

    RE: The Tim @ 16

    Is that the company car that was a part of your signing bonus?

    Nope. That is the founder’s wife’s personal car because the company can not affort one…yet
    I hope they give The Tim a nice stock option. I wish you the and the company the best, Tim. But do cash out as soon as you can. I do not think the business model will work. Just me, though.

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  32. ARDELL

    Nice announcement on GeekWire.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2013/tech-moves-tim-ellis-departs-redfin-porch/

    The earlier piece on Porch’s $6.25 Million funding round surprised me for some reason.

    http://www.geekwire.com/2013/startup-porch-raises-625m-seed-aiming-disrupt-home-improvement-massive-amount-data/

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  33. Jonness

    By ray pepper @ 17:

    Porch?????? What the???????? Much rather see you at Zillow…THEY R ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=Z

    Don’t show me that Pepper. It hurts too bad. :)

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  34. whatsmyname

    Tim, Congratulations, and good luck in your new endeavor. If you ever feel the need to fully complete your move from the home purchase to home improvement, you can always rename this site the “Seattle Bauble”.

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  35. Jonness

    Tim:

    You guys need someone to proofread your website:

    “We believe in Beautiful Products, Relentless Customer Focus and Team Before Individual. We practice the lean methodology and believe in data driven decision making. We’re always looking the right people to add to the team and thrive on diversity (of views, experiences, skills, passions, etc.).”

    http://about.porch.com/careers/data-engineer/

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  36. Ira Sacharoff

    By Erik @ 29:

    RE: Blurtman @ 24
    We know who what selling out to the man is. You dinosaurs have nothing on us.

    Us dinosaurs have plenty on you. Besides the wisdom we’ve gained from experience, we could also stare at you and cause you to burst into flames, if we wanted to.

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  37. Ray pepper

    RE: Jonness @ 37 – what should we expect with 6 mill and 20 employees? One other poster nailed it. If this baby ever goes public take the cash ASAP and run like my BFF did at LEDR. In fact this model resembles that of the early days with Housevalues.com. It was a long grind but he took his dough and is a happy man. Just hope the market doesn’t take a 20 percent dive like many speculate. That will crush home remodeling and HD and Lowes will again sink very hard. Really wish you would get with AMZN. The skies the limit with Bezos.

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  38. wreckingbull

    I don’t see enough details about Porch to make any predictions. I assume it is all about advertising revenue. Seems to be working alright for Zillow at the moment. This has an interesting angle in that advertising can be hyper-targeted. Do you see a project where someone installed fir floors – ooh lookie a link to a Lumber Liquidators SKU. Good luck. Startups can be fun.

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  39. Macro Investor

    By wreckingbull @ 40:

    Seems to be working alright for Zillow at the moment. This has an interesting angle in that advertising can be hyper-targeted.

    Yes. Z is a stock market darling right now. But that’s all “dot bomb” nonsense.

    I don’t follow it, but I took a quick look at the numbers. They are LOSING $10 million per quarter, on $150 million in revenue. Market cap is $3 billion.

    All that work, from hundreds of hard working employees… and they lose $40 million a year. Instead, you could sell out, put the 3 billion in risk free bonds and make 100 million a year. No work. Just sitting around improves the bottom line by $140 million.

    Macro does occasionally like the fun of playing with momentum stocks like this. But Warren Buffet would turn up his nose after reading my 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. He’s done alright.

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  40. Jonness

    By Ray pepper @ 39:

    RE: Jonness @ 37 – what should we expect with 6 mill and 20 employees?

    This reminds me of my school days. My friend was putting himself though CS school driving truck. He had this idea that we automate a central brokerage for all truck companies in the U.S. So we developed an eBay model as just one aspect of the software we created. That was probably $100 million/yr business, but the other aspects were perhaps a billion and much harder to extract. At any rate, we demoed this thing in some of the IT classes, and the professors got behind us and offered us the full support of the school.

    Well, we had the software built, and nobody was in the space, so all looked well. At that point we started trying to nail down the VC and finalize the rollout. Then a company called uship.com popped up on the Internet utilizing the $100 million/yr portion of our business model (I.E. the easiest part of our model to implement). It seems the guy had the idea simultaneously to us and had been working on it as part of his business school project down in Texas.

    We were really shell-shocked by this, as we really hadn’t anticipated we were in a race for the space. At that point, there were 4 of us involved, and we had to make the decision of whether to fight it out or just graduate from school and get normal jobs. For whatever reason, I decided to walk away and get a day job. Thus, there will be no “Shipping Wars” for me. :)

    When I look at Porch, I’m unable to tell whether this is just an Angie’s List with a twist trying to battle for a space already filled. I do know there are some free services that are, IMO, a better than Angie’s List, but there is no site (that I could find) that’s actually worth using. No one has ever pitched the Porch business model to me, so I can’t make a judgement on whether it will work or not. I do know there is a need for a well-managed site in this space that can do the job right. But there are also certain parts of the space that I see as really problematic.

    From my experience, the funnest part of the start up business was spending late nights with friends going over and over the business model on the whiteboard brainstorming and tweaking it until the light bulb went off and we realized we could make a ton of money with this thing. I’ll never forget those days or those guys. It was great to be alive in those moments.

    I wish Tim the best!

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  41. Chuck C

    Bummer about the shipping thing Jonness – I’ve used Uship once before and it was AWESOME! 550 bucks to transport a snowmobile door to door over 2000 miles???? What a deal!!!

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  42. Macro Investor

    RE: Jonness @ 42

    Bill Gates, as one example, would have sicked 200 lawyers on them… or sabotaged them in some way. In other words, you guys lost because you didn’t have the killer instinct.

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  43. David Losh

    RE: Jonness @ 42

    I tried a home improvement site as one of my first web adventures. It got killed by a HVAC contractor in Boston who spammed the site mercilessly, because my premise was that home owners can contract out work, or do projects themselves.

    I worked with a interior designer who could guide, consult, or answer questions on line. There were contractors I trusted, but hoped for more interaction from other contractors.

    My Real Estate site was a lease that just kept humming along so I gave up on the contracting portion, concentrated on the cleaning, and limited the service area for the cleaning. It became a smaller more manageable project, that I think has turned out well.

    The vehicle really doesn’t make a difference, the online experience is what is all important.

    I think Porch is a great concept, and the experience needs to be more refined. In terms of monetization though the potential for a site like this is unlimited. There is so much for sale, like Restoration Hardware, and services to recommend.

    I think this is a great move, and look forward to Tim’s start up, when maybe his child is a little older, and there is more seed money in the bank account.

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  44. Jillayne Schlicke

    I could have used Porch a few months ago! Thank you for all your hard work on SB as always!

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  45. Chris

    I bought my house with this dead hot tub that is, serendipitously, hanging out on my back “Porch,” that I need help with, and advice on, what the best price-performance options are.

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  46. Porch Launches Nationally Starting... NOW • Seattle Bubble

    […] you read about my new job last month and head over to Porch to try out the site, only to be disappointed when you were faced with […]

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  47. softwarengineer

    Cool Tim

    Now that my Millenials are gone this week and I’m free man, its time to spruce up my castle.

    I’m starting with a junk truck to fill and I’ve already hired a helper to fill it. Once I’ve thrown out about 2/3′s of the stuff in my house and its pretty empty…..time to hire a painter to paint the walls and ceilings [drip all over the old rugs, no need to spend labor on extra taping]….room by room. Then I need a carpenter to put in the bar/stools, mirror and shelves for the new SWE’s play room; complete with a old fashion full size Galaga video game and sound system….neon lights too. Meanwhile, the rugs are all torn out and new ones installed [except the game room, that already has newer installed linoleum]. After the remaining furniture is put back, the truck arrives with all my new leather furniture throughout…[then install new locks on the doors to keep the Millenials out...just kidding]…LOL

    Sooooooo….can your website help SWE find a good carpenter and painter?

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