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More than you ever wanted to know about our founder in chief

WHO OR WHAT IS DENBAR?

Denbar is not a person. It's a name we created whose origins are a liittle interesting (in our humble opinion). But, if you really want to know more you need to talk to us!

Denbar Enterprises, Inc. was incorporated in 1997. However, founder Steven Correa has been investing in real estate since 1990.

Steven’s background is a mix of working for large corporations and startups. He likes to say that he has worked for the largest company in the world at the time (EDS owned by GM), and the smallest company in the world (just himself).  His expertise includes product development for financial institutions and starting new business lines for both small and large firms.

As a Product Development VP at Wells Fargo, he developed and rolled out some of the first home banking and bill payment products in the country.  He was also involved with new product and system development at John Deere Credit, ITS (Shazam), Marsh & McLennan and Wellmark (Blue Cross) and worked with start-ups in the payments and online education industries. 

Steven used his product development knowledge to start a systems and software outsourcing firm that rapidly expanded with clients in multiple states,  development centers in CA and IA, and a joint venture development center in Bombay, India.  With a total of more than 60 consultants, they developed systems for multi-national corporations and a few SMBs. 

SO, HOW IS THIS RELATED TO REAL ESTATE?

Believe it or not, a lot!  Steven explains in the essay below:

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In general, there are many skills and work experiences that that are transferable from one industry to another.  Even more so when you work for a small business because you typically wear many hats.  For example, most businessess need accounting, HR, taxes, marketing, etc.  There were mornings when I did book work, (and of course gave myself the CFO title for those few hours), and in the afternoon I was CJO (chief janitorial officer).  Get the picture?

But more specifically, my product development background taught me that anything can be "productized".  OK,   maybe there are some exceptions, but go with me on this for now.  Whether it is developing and managing financial products, insurance products, or real estate products, there are similar steps required to figure out what works (corporate geeks, think of it as "best practices"), document it, and package it, and voila!  You now have productized your service.  Now you can more easily replicate it.  

That is why I liked the software business.  I call it the "Invest once, and sell many times" model.  This seems obvious when talking about software, but real esate is kind of similar.  Typically, we "invest once" when we purchase a property and sell "many times" when we rent it out from year to year.  Sure, there are some ongoing expenses, but it's not like say, building and selling cars, where there is a big expense for every car you build and sell.  For the accoutants out there, think of our model as having a nearly zero COGS.

I'm not saying that everything from the corporate world makes sense, or can be transferred to a small real estate investment business.  I'll be the first to make fun of corporate cliches, but I feel that I can get the best of both worlds.  For example, Big Time Inc. customer service associates have to strictly follow the corporate SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).  If they don't, they will be written up and possibly fired even if they took some initiative that was benefitial, but did not follow the SOPs.  In our business, we do have procedures to follow, for say, approving a rental application.  But, they are more like guidelines versus a strict mandate.  You probably can't go wrong if you use them, but if a situation comes up where it makes sense to approve someone, our managers can do so even if it does not strictly meet our guidelines.

Lastly, many products I developed in the past have found its way into our real estate business either directly or conceptually.  We are currently working on accepting payments based on a high level goal I was given when I was the product manager for a bill payment service years ago  -

...... the ability to make payments at any time, from anywhere, with any device.

So hopefully 'The checks in the mail' will be a thing of the past!

Many other examples, although I don't want to publicize them here.  But I like to talk!  So if you want to know more, just give me a call.