Meet the Real Estate Tech Founders: Alex Allison and Dustin Abney from D. Alexander
In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Dustin Abney from D. Alexander from D Alexander, a short-term rental real estate fund that is creating a new asset class.
Without further ado…
Who are you and what do you do?
We’re Alex Allison and Dustin Abney, co-founders of D. Alexander, a first of its kind hospitality brand and real estate fund on a mission to create a new asset class in real estate.
Through our vertically integrated real estate fund, we manage a portfolio of single-family vacation homes like a boutique hotel, giving consumers a high-quality, consistent experience in a short-term vacation rental property.
Dustin and I both grew up with hammers in our hands and real estate in our DNA working for our dad’s residential construction businesses.
[Alex] – My Dad’s a master craftsman, one of the best in the world I’d say… although I could be biased ;). He taught me never to cut corners and to focus on quality. To this day, I have him to thank for my immense attention to detail.
[Dustin] My Dad is a master masonry. He taught me to build a solid foundation that would last a lifetime and I’ve
tried to apply that to everything I do both in life and in business.
After being immersed in real estate most of our lives, we got into technology as part of the founding team at Dotloop where we spent the last 10+ years leading all things growth and customer success. Our Dotloop experience, working with some of the best real estate practitioners in the world, offered us deep relationships in the space and valuable insight into where the industry is heading. The future for the short-term vacation rental sector is institutional ownership, and we’re proud to be the first ones to pioneer this at scale.
What problem does your product/service solve?
We solve the problem of maximizing returns for real estate investors and delivering quality and consistency for vacation travelers.
The short-term vacation rental market has exploded in recent years, however, it’s left a lot of consumers (like us!) disappointed when expectations don’t meet reality. The inherent challenge with delivering consistent, high-quality guest experiences in vacation rentals is the fragmented ownership of these properties. By actually owning the asset through our real estate fund, we’re able to create a new standard in guest experience, similar to what you’d expect from your favorite hotel brand. We do this through a vertically integrated real estate fund (DAlexanderCapital.com) which operates a portfolio of single-family vacation homes like a boutique hotel.
Additionally, for investors, short-term rental properties are much more complex than other types of single-family investments and require significant marketing & operational expertise to maximize returns – something we’ve been able to perfect and standardize across our portfolio.
What are you most excited about right now?
We’re excited to create a new real estate asset class.
Driven by changing consumer needs, the short-term rental market is expanding rapidly. While there’s been significant progress empowering consumers to discover and book alternative lodging and allowing secondary homeowners to manage their short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnbs), there is still significant dislocation in the market. Today, single-family vacation homes are still treated like permanent residences in the way they’re purchased, managed and ultimately valued. By owning and operating these homes at scale, we’re pioneering a new asset class – and that’s pretty exciting!
What’s next for you?
We’re focused on continuing the momentum and rollout of our first few markets while positioning the company for massive scale in the years to come. The market opportunity is huge and our first to market timing couldn’t be better.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
[Alex]: I’m passionate about advising and mentoring early-stage startups and entrepreneurs. I was fortunate to be surrounded by mentors like Austin Allison and other industry leaders (many of which are Geek Estate members) when working at Dotloop, and I’m grateful to be able to now pay it forward. I am a Mentor with NAR Reach and Moderne Ventures. In my personal time, I’m a distance runner and enjoy unique travel experiences around the globe or stateside. I love abstract art and supporting local artists with a unique story. One of my favorite galleries, Visionaries + Voices provides a platform for artists with various disabilities – their work is both amazing and inspiring.
[Dustin]: I’m passionate about supporting early-stage entrepreneurs as well. We’re fortunate to have a lot of great
people around the table at D. Alexander… industry pioneers and category creators. We believe it’s our duty to give back in the same way that others have given to us. In my personal time, I enjoy time with my family and two kids. I’m passionate about causes that focus on helping the less fortunate, specifically children.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).