San Antonio startup Braustin Homes, a virtual dealership for manufactured housing, has disrupted the home-building industry with its use of technology. Operating in co-working space Geekdom since January 2017, the startup has grown from Braustin CEO and co-founder Alberto Piña and his brother Jason to a company of 24. With the highest weighted Net Promoter Score score in the industry, Braustin Homes is on track to hit its 2021 revenue target of $20 million. In June, the company opened a second hybrid dealership in Odessa, Texas
Alberto Piña shares about tapping into the startup community as he launched a home construction company out of a downtown San Antonio co-working space.
In early 2017 my brother Jason and I decided that we were going to start a company. We had been in the factory-built housing space for the last seven years and thought we could build something better.
All we really had nailed down is that we had to build an e-commerce experience for our customers. That’s it. No business plan and frankly no clue about what we were really doing. Just a super broad idea and the belief that our customers deserved better than what our industry was currently giving them.
We started working out of Geekdom in mid-January and a few weeks later had a website and a couple of new teammates, but still no real clue about what we were doing. Geekdom initially drew us in because it was a cheap place for us to all work together, but soon we began to realize that incredible people surrounded us, all building something they felt would change the world.
Random small talk at the coffee dispenser or on a Fermented Friday soon turned into hour-long conversations about the challenges of starting a business and ideas on how we could leverage technology to deliver a better customer experience. We became fixated with these conversations, and our team feverishly sought out events, mentor sessions, and dialogues with anyone new we met.
We didn’t know it at the time, but Geekdom and the people we met through the entrepreneurial ecosystem would transform our company in ways we could never have foreseen.
We learned that real beauty in software was its ability to automate repeatable processes and make tasks more efficient, but also more enjoyable from the customer’s point of view. Even without knowing a line of code, it didn’t take long immersed in a buzzing tech ecosystem to start thinking of ways we could leverage it to help us stand out in an industry entrenched in the way it had always been.
Companies like Warby Parker have proven that you don’t have to be a tech company to leverage technology and dominate an industry. Customer Experience is the battleground of the 2020s, which means there are plenty of pen and paper industries waiting to be disrupted with a little bit of tech infusion.
Don’t feel like you’re tech enough to join the growing tech ecosystem downtown? Not to worry – neither were we. We can tell you from experience though if you bring some drive and a desire to build something great, the ecosystem will help get you where you want to be.
We’ve managed to grow our company enough that we’re supplying homes in other states now. All that started just selling from these tables in the common area at Geekdom.
Featured image: Braustin Homes team, from left: Back Row – John Wondra, Ernest Gomez, Mauricio Chacra, Jason Piña, Alberto Piña. Front Row – Liza Gomez, Christa McKamy, Rachel Johnson. Courtesy photo.