Created by Inc. Studio and commissioned by
;When HomeLight founder and CEO Drew Uher and his wife bought their first home— what he describes as one of the most important moments of their lives—they felt powerless. There were so many
things wrong with the real estate process that it just felt broken, he says. Uher, a problem-solver by nature, knew that he
could use what he learned from his experience to change things.
In 2012, Uher launched HomeLight, an online platform that
uses sophisticated data analysis to match people buying or
selling homes with top-performing real estate agents. With
almost 200 employees in four o;ces coast-to-coast, the San
Francisco-based company is updating an industry that hasn’t
changed in decades. Consumers connect with someone they
can trust, agents get qualified leads, and HomeLight earns a
commission on any resulting transactions.
The company is disruptive in a way that helps everyone
involved, which is precisely what attracts employees, says
Sandy Liao, head of talent and people operations. “People don’t
join our team because of the job description or salary,” she says.
“They do so because they have an opportunity to make a huge
impact on an industry they’re excited about.”
A focus on culture
The sense of purpose HomeLight employees share creates
strong camaraderie which is a core part of the company’s
culture. Still, it takes more than employees committed to a
common cause to create an organization that earns a spot on
Inc.’s Best Workplaces list. And while Liao says that HomeLight
can’t o;er the perks for which larger companies are known, it
can give people something that might be harder to find in the
workplace: what they want.
Every week, HomeLight issues a one- or two-question
survey to stay in touch with what employees are thinking and
feeling. Queries might include, “What’s the one thing that
would make your job easier?” or “How do you feel we treat our
customers? Is there something we could do better?” The com-
pany uses the feedback to improve; employees feel heard.
This was the case last year when employee feedback expressed concern about some of the questions on the performance review form. In 2019, those points were replaced with
All for one
An inclusive culture also contributes to the camaraderie HomeLight employees value. The company’s inclusivity extends
beyond gender, race, and ethnicity and acknowledges their
personal lives. Milestones such as engagements, weddings,
and births are celebrated or acknowledged in a way that makes
people feel like they’re part of a family. Spouses, partners, and
other family members are also included in the guest list for the
firm’s annual three-day retreat. After a half-day employee
meeting, employees and companions kick back and enjoy group
activities or resort services in destinations in popular locations.
Liao says this both reflects and builds the company’s close-knit culture. Just as the team uses data to understand what
customers want in a real estate platform, HomeLight works
diligently to collect the information necessary to know what
employees want. Delivering to both creates a happy and productive workplace with dedicated talent.
Celebrating the holidays in our Arizona o;ce