Spark CRM is a software platform designed for selling new homes and condos. Built for real estate developers and sales agencies, Spark provides total control over the sales process, while generating intelligent data and reporting. Spark’s focus on the user experience makes it simply the easiest and most efficient platform for selling, marketing, and managing new real estate.
About Simeon Garratt, CEO of Spark CRM
“My mum always said I was born in a suitcase. Having spent over 20 years spread across eight cities in Asia, my upbringing played a huge role in my drive to be a self-starter. After splitting my university between Vancouver and New York, I relocated to China, working in business development for international retailers.
“Soon after, I was drawn to Vancouver’s real estate market and got involved bridging the gap between Canadian real estate and Asian buyers. That, coupled with my passion for technology, was the starting place for what is now my baby, Spark CRM.”
Q&A With Simeon Garratt
What’s the most important lesson you learned as part of GrowLab (now HIGHLINE)?
Startups, angel investors, venture capital, and accelerators were all foreign words to me just weeks before joining GrowLab. The whole experience was eye opening, but I’d say the most important lesson I learned was to be confident in what I was creating. You have to believe you’re the expert, otherwise nobody will take you seriously. Being part of a passionate group of people pursuing their dreams was an incredible experience. The relationships that formed during our time were priceless.
What was the moment you knew Spark CRM had legs, or felt validated?
The first time we stole a client from the industry giant. When that first credit card payment was processed, it made all the hard work and hours we’d put in worth it.
What advice can you give other entrepreneurs?
Everything takes at least three times longer than you think it will, but it doesn’t make it any less worth it.
Was there ever a moment in your entrepreneurial journey when you felt you’d failed?
Yes, for sure. We had a huge system crash about a year ago that wiped out several of our client databases, costing us the equivalent of $60k. We managed to salvage the clients and rebuild the system even stronger, but the interim was nerve-racking. Like they say, you can’t fix what you’ve never broken. Now let’s just hope we don’t break it again!
Building a business comes with ups and downs. How do you bounce back or motivate yourself in tough times?
I just think, what else would I be doing? Working for a corporation and getting my benefits and salary? Nothing in that mindset can compete with the satisfaction I get out of closing a big deal for the company I helped created. At a certain point, the company becomes a part of you, so you have to bounce back — it’s not a question.
What are you focused on now?
Expansion, always, in all ways. 2015 for Spark is all about expansion, growing and focusing the product while adding new markets to our client list — specifically the US and Australia.
Describe your company culture in 10 words or less.
Passionately crude real estate nerds who aren’t afraid to joke.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Never be afraid to ask for money. If people think your product is great, they shouldn’t have a problem paying for it. Everyone respects someone who understands the difference between money and value.
Follow Simeon on Twitter: @SimeonGarratt