In Conversation Hannah Bomze of Casa Blanca

Hannah Bomze_Blog Header

Describe your Casa Blanca in a few words?

A home matchmaking app that works like a dating app for real estate, combined with a disruptive commission structure and a collaborative culture.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I have been in real estate since I was 18 years old and have worked at some of the best brokerages in New York City, but I realized the way things were being done wasn’t really evolving with the times. Home buyers were paying really high commissions, and looking for a new home was overwhelming because there was no streamlined place to look for or access information. On the other side, agents were arguing over listings and personally paying a lot of fees to brokerages for the privilege of their name. I knew there had to be a better way for everyone involved in the process.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I got my real estate license at 18, and worked alongside my mother at Douglas Elliman, then we brought our team to Compass. When working there I understood the business from the inside out. However, I saw what was happening in the world around me with many other businesses going direct to consumers, and we wanted to combine my industry expertise with the technology and commission innovations the industry was so badly lacking.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Upon learning that 91% of home buying decisions are made by women, I felt nothing had ever been built to cater to them specifically. I have always been someone who looks for the best way of doing things, which I think is at the heart of being an entrepreneur. I think pushing your own limits and finding the ability to excite and inspire those around you is critical to building a momentum.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

We initially planned to launch in April of 2020, which I am sure you can imagine did not go as planned due to the pandemic. We decided to hold off until October of 2020, which was great because it allowed us to hone our product and really nail down our messaging. We started with PR and social media, and we will be launching our first ad campaign soon.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Figuring out our tone of voice and how our brand lives on Instagram, we are evolving and excited to re-launch our instagram with a new sound, and begin our additional advertising campaigns.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

How much we have grown within our first year. To see our team thriving and our business growing so much in just a year is really gratifying. Our employee turnover is so low—we haven’t had any agents leave since we started, and all of our recruiting has been word of mouth. We set out to build a better culture with agents who didn’t feel transactional. It tells me that we are building something right.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

I look for people who have great interpersonal skills and thrive on organization. I also love to hire people who have been out of the traditional workforce ie: moms who took time off. I find they are incredible at time management, have great skill, and are incredibly relatable.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Business has been growing, despite the challenges of the pandemic. If anything, it has made people realize how important their home is, and movement in general is great for us since ultimately we thrive on transactions.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

You can’t control everything, you just have to do your research and ultimately do what you think is best for you and your business. Network and community are the keys to our success.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Everything takes more time than you think, trust the people around you. Every good decision has come from building a carefully curated team.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

I have made it a priority to carve out time for myself and my family. Sometimes that means letting an email go unanswered for a bit while I have dinner with my boys, and sometimes that means having someone take them to the park so I can watch Netflix for an hour. It’s all about balance!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes and no, I don’t think work needs to be in an office 9-5, but I love working and I love my family. I think the most important thing is prioritizing what is most important to you that day and not feeling guilty about it. Your kids won’t mind if they do something else while you take an important call, just like your team shouldn’t mind if you take an hour in the middle of your day to do something with your kids. I was pregnant with my second child when we were building Casa Blanca – balance is overrated.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

See inventor of the ponytail hat!

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

Routine – from morning smoothie and school drop off routine especially with work and kids and a pandemic is key- of course it is much harder now than ever but so necessary

I am old fashioned in that I need a notebook to write out my daily to do list

My business partner has been teaching me this – you are only as productive as those around you- the most important choices you make are your team – be thoughtful and put most of your energy there. Trying to do everything yourself will lead to a quick crash and burn.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

I value nothing more than balance, between work, being a wife and mother and a friend. I think in leading a team and building a company most importantly I am also building a community for our employees and our users, and that is what being an entreprenista means to me.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





The Business of Clean Beauty with Natalie Mackey of Winky Lux

Natalie Mackey was an Entreprenista from a young age. After spending a few years in the finance industry, she decided to pivot to her “industry crush”: the beauty industry, because as she put it, “you get to sell happiness as a product.” Today, we sit down with Natalie Mackey, CEO and founder of Winky Lux,…

Teqnizan Founder Rama Prasad on Creating Functional and Fashionable Earbuds

First, let’s get to know Rama! Rama Prasad is the Founder CEO of Teqnizan located in Minneapolis. Teqnizan has explored, invented, patented, and is selling wireless bluetooth audio earrings. The earrings look and feel like jewelry earrings, and function like an earbud audio device. Rama, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? The…

Harvick Farms Founder Lainey Harvick on Growing Community Awareness Around Homesteading

Hello Lainey! Please tell us a little about yourself. In 2015, I became a nurse and worked in the ER through the pandemic. Gardening was a way to provide an outlet from the high-intensity career. As a mother, nurse, and avid gardener who understands the value of having support and resources I could see there…

Meet Mamaprenista Olivia Dreizen Howell and Learn How She Shifted the Cultural Narrative through Fresh Starts Registry

Hello Olivia! Please share a little bit about your business: Fresh Starts Registry is the first and only platform for everything you need to start again. We are shifting the cultural narrative to celebrate big, bold, and brave life decisions. Whether it’s a divorce, breakup, moving, job change, stepping into your truth, or any big…

Huckleberry Creative’s Jess Coleman on Developing Strategic Insights You Need to Deliver High Quality Work

Before we get started, here is some background information on our fabulous entreprenista Jess: Jess Coleman is the founder of Huckleberry Creative, a full-service website design and development studio with a mission to make it easy and fun for entrepreneurs to share their genius with the world. She’s an experienced marketer, copywriter, and designer who…

Founder of Clairebella, Kathy Story, on Creating and Sharing her Artwork

Hello Kathy! Tell us a little about yourself. I am the founder and artist behind Clairebella. Clairebella is a lifestyle brand of colorful gifts and home décor. We believe every day items should spark joy. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? I am excited to connect with other women, support women, and…

Marketing Maven Brooke Latham on Launching Social Canvas

Hello Brooke! Please share a little bit about yourself. As a marketing strategist, I am passionate about helping business owners grow their brands by creating comprehensive sales funnels designed to attract, convert and retain their ideal clients. My business, Social Canvas, is a full-service marketing agency specializing in working with organizations of purpose. What excites…

Emma Vollrath on Founding Her Sustainable and Innovative Athleisure Brand: Emma Lou

Hi Emma! Let’s first talk about Emma Lou: Hi! My name is Emma Vollrath, and I am the founder of Emma Lou, an innovative athleisure brand using recycled, sweat-enhancing fabrics to beat bloat, decrease water weight retention, and support women in overcoming lower stomach insecurities. Our recycled thermoplastic fabric is designed with an insulating property that…

A Web3 Deep Dive with Laurie Segall

Today, we’re sitting down with Laurie Segall, a journalist and former senior technology correspondent and an editor-at-large at CNN. Laurie has interviewed tech titans like Mark Zuckerburg and Tim Cook, and is also the co-founder and executive producer of Dot Dot Dot Media, a news and entertainment company devoted to tech and humanity. Listen in…

Growing Your Business with Carlyn Bushman of Carlyn Bushman Consulting

When Carlyn stepped into Entrepreneurship to be closer to her four children, she thought it would be easy. After her first business came to an end, she realized her real passion was in helping other women grow their businesses, thus she created Carlyn Bushman Consulting.  In this episode, we sit down with Carlyn Bushman, founder…

10 Tech Solutions Entreprenistas Can Use to Operate and Grow Their Business

Entreprenistas have a lot of pressures to navigate when building their business. Between wearing multiple hats to keep everything running from managing finances, staffing, marketing and more — it can be a lot to juggle from sunrise to sunset.  Thanks to technology, several tools are designed to streamline business operations to make life easier and…

Secrets to a Successful Fundraise with Andrea Ippolito of SimpliFed

After struggling to feed her daughter by breastfeeding, Andrea was lost and didn’t know what to do. This is unfortunately a story that is common amongst new moms. But for Andrea, she decided to change the narrative by making it her mission to educate new moms and help them meet their feeding goals.  Today, we…

Alicia McKenzie’s Mamaprenista Journey Launching Lift Like a Mother

Alicia, how did you start fostering your entrepreneurial spirit? McKenzie Enterprise dba Lift Like A Mother™ began as a way for me to share training videos with my coaches during my athletic career. Over the years, it has evolved into a coaching practice I am so proud of and a separate nonprofit to help me…

Entreprenista Honors Top 100 Women Business Leaders of 2022

Entreprenista 100 winners will be recognized at a celebration & networking luncheon this March NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Entreprenista League, a leading membership community for ambitious, entrepreneurial women, is excited to announce the winners of its inaugural Entreprenista 100 Awards. Presented in partnership with Chase Ink, the Entreprenista 100 Awards honors 100 exemplary…

Investigating the Metaverse: The Legal Side of Web3 with Jennifer Justice

One of the most intimidating things about Web3 is the sometimes-murky legal side of things. There are a fair amount of scams out there and it can feel pretty overwhelming, but luckily there are people who have it all figured out—and you’ll meet one of them today.  We’re sitting down with Jennifer Justice, an entertainment…