JOE JESUELE, 31, OF OLD City, is founder and CEO of HomeJab.com, which puts video tours of residential real estate online. A Villanova grad with a work history in real estate, he started HomeJab in May. By summer's end, he plans to launch a redesigned website including all major U.S. real estate markets.
Q: What's the idea behind HomeJab?
A: We feel video is the best way to market property to homebuyers. They can sit at home and walk through properties with our videos without visiting them.
Q: What's your background?
A: I built some houses in Northern Liberties and am also in the mortgage business.
Q: What does the business do?
A: We have a videographer and my cousin does editing. We shoot videos of properties for sale and upload them to our website. Our clients are real estate agents, homebuilders and property managers. We're building a national network of videographers so real estate agents can contact them to shoot their listings.
Q: How much do services cost?
A: A one-time cost for us to go out and shoot the video, produce and upload to the website is $95.
Q: Is it free for consumers?
A: A consumer can get on our site and look at videos and contact a real estate agent for more information. That is free, and will always be free.
Q: What's been the biggest challenge growing the business?
A: Few real estate agents are doing videos. Finding ones who are is the big challenge.
Q: How many agents here are marketing homes via video?
A: Maybe 50 to 100. Video will become more pervasive on the Internet, and real estate agents and builders will feel more comfortable using it with their listings.
Q: How many employees?
A: Five, including myself.
Q: How big a business is this going to be by year's end?
A: Right now, we're just in the Philadelphia area testing the concept. By year's end, we're hoping to have thousands of videos and tens of thousands of unique visitors coming to our site every day. That will enable us to start advertising, generating revenue and helping our mortgage business.
Q: How does the mortgage business fit into the model?
A: The plan is to sell advertising space on the website, and our mortgage business, Liberty Financial Associates, will be the largest buyer of ad space.
Q: So how big a business is HomeJab right now?
A: Probably $50,000 to $100,000 a year in revenue.
Q: Where do you see the business in five years?
A: I think HomeJab will compete with the top real estate websites, Trulia, Zillow and Realtor. They aren't specializing in videos, so they're either going to use us for that, or HomeJab is going to grow to include services those companies currently provide.