Bobby Bryant is the CEO and founder of DOSS, a real estate technology company that’s taking over the real estate industry with the development of a voice-activated intelligent assistant search that allows users to ask questions and get accurate and real-time answers. Mr. Bryant is a hard-working entrepreneur who has been featured in numerous panel discussions on topics such as intelligent assistants, the future of home-search, and the future of online real estate transactions to name a few. He is considered a voice of expertise and authority in voice-assistants in the real estate industry, as well as a Forbes Council member as of 2020. He is also a Forbes Contributor, writing about real estate through his many years of study and perspective.
Currently, DOSS will be featured in August 2021’s Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders class, with 11 other black entrepreneurs who are making strides toward including technology in solving problems in medicine, water sustainability, real estate, and education. It is without a doubt that Mr. Bryant has impacted the growth of the real estate industry greatly in more than one way.
But unknowingly, the conception of DOSS was during a time of great devastation.
Part 1: the birth of DOSS
“This idea, that we could improve the real estate industry began during the dawn of the 2008 recession.” This is the beginning sentence on the About page on DOSS’s website.
Mr. Bryant decided that he would take a year off from work in 2008 to reflect on how he could build his skills and make real estate better after the effects of the recession. During that year, he gained an idea to help refine the real estate industry in a time where many people simply pondered on their loss.
Dedicated to transforming the traditional operations of real estate to involving more technological, faster elements, (as his website would share: “better, faster, smarter”, Mr. Bryant entered his career specifically with mortgages after a conversation with his then-wife’s uncle. “It was the experience of meeting him and talking to him that really catapulted me forward,” Mr. Bryant shared. But with the rise of the recession affecting millions in 2007 and 2008, his career took an unexpected turn: “I started my real estate career in on the mortgage side and did very well, then 2008 came, and it really impacted me and the real estate industry as a whole. I took the year off.”
While the conception of DOSS appeared while he was operating his then business, ibuyreality, a bombardment of questions, new ideas, and solutions filled his head as he thought about real estate life after the recession. “Then I had this idea of trying to figure out what would the industry look like coming off recession. I did a lot of research, trying to understand previous recessions, and how these impacted people. I was attempting to predict the behavior change in people and understand what that would look like, and that’s when I launched my first business. And so we learned a lot. There were mistakes that were made, but it was well worth it.”
In two different events in 2011 and in 2013 (watching Jeopardy and talking to a man who worked at IBM) Mr. Bryant initialized ideas about intelligent assistants. IBM at the time was exploring different ideas toward intelligent assistants (like Siri and the Google Assistants we have in our phones.) This idea would be the backbone of his future company—technology. “I imagined using that type of technology to help people get answers to questions to sort of democratizing information for real estate, especially for a lot of minorities and women who tend to lag in that realm of homeownership. How do you democratize this information to give them what they need in order to secure homeownership to buy real estate or to invest in real estate too? So I started on that journey, and that’s how I transitioned from ibuyreality over to DOSS.”
Starting at IBM with his idea, Mr. Bryant launched DOSS with transforming the traditional way of doing real estate in mind. “DOSS really is these two sides of a marketplace, which is business, and the technology side is designed to improve how people search and transact real estate [is] the idea. And if we could make that transaction more efficient, then we could save people time and money. And that’s what DOSS wants to represent.” Mr. Bryant decided that he wanted his company to prioritize minimizing the pricing that comes with interacting with real estate, in order to help customers and fellow realtors experience a good product without the heavy costs. “We have realtors now and they’re seeking out our agents to help them buy and sell houses. And they know that they can come to our company and get great service at a fair price. I think that’s what we all want as consumers. I just don’t know why that seems so daunting in real estate. And our goal is to change that.”
Part 2: the growth
Mr. Bryant credits his years as a teacher to his continuing joy in helping people with their real estate goals. “I have two Master’s degrees in education. And so, to have a teacher mentality, means you’re a servant. So, you want to serve people. Truth be told, real estate is real estate. I don’t look at that I sell real estate. I facilitate transactions.” By “facilitating transactions”, Mr. Bryant is referring to educating his clients continuously in different ways about the world of real estate. “This goes back to the core of who I am, which is an educator, teacher, and trainer. So what I like is helping people avoid the pitfalls of homeownership, and by doing just that, I am able to successfully do my job because I had to train or tell the person, advise them on the process, what to avoid, what I’m seeing, and provide them [with] options for them to make the final decision. I am almost like a tour guide.”
Mr. Bryant admits that digging into house buying with a new client is dirty work; as buying a house is a very vulnerable moment. “Buying a house is a very emotional process,” he began to share. “You almost need someone to manage your emotions. That’s also a part of my job, so I teach my agents how to be more of a facilitator, not a dictator of the real estate transaction.” Mr. Bryant appreciates a strong, decisive client who is ready to learn and actively engage in their home buying process, as this makes the interactions run smoother, sharing that he appreciates the client thinking for themselves: “I don’t want a client who I’m thinking for them, I want the client and I to be thinking together through the process. My job is to say ‘here are your options so you can make an educated decision.'”
Mr. Bryant continues to use the lessons he’s learned and is still learning through his 20 years of real estate experience to help his clients at DOSS continue to experience excellence. One thing he’s learned to help him better understand his clients is that everyone is looking for something different when it comes to home buying and that listening to their individual wants is important. “Everybody is different, everyone has their own story. Yeah, we all want to buy a house. But your financial situation can be different from 100 million other people, and you’re interested in what you’re looking for in a home. I’ve learned that you really have to listen to the person.”
Mr. Bryant also realized that some clients didn’t know what they wanted in a house and it is a necessary skill to “pull” what the client wants out of them. “This is the place where you’ll live,” Mr. Bryant shared. “This is a place where you’re going to take showers and baths, where you’re going to build memories with, either by yourself or with your family. There’s a lot that goes into that. When you think about it, you’re going to be very vulnerable in that space. Buying a house is more psychological than it is anything because you got to get people to open up and express themselves.”
Mr. Bryant wants his clients to be satisfied with their home choices, as he knows that making an investment in something so huge without thinking thoroughly can have disastrous consequences. “The worst thing you can ever do is to be half a million dollars on a property and you realize you don’t like it the minute you move in. What I have to do is go out and find or help find a property or product that fits their budget because there’s a whole bunch of people out there with some champagne taste, but a pack of weiners budget. So how do you solve that, or how do you just flat out tell this person in a nice roundabout way that you can’t afford that? Like, ‘I know you want that, but you’re not going to get granite, wood floors, and stainless steel appliances in an $85,000 or $100,000 house’. How do you say that? So real estate is a very fun business, but it takes a ton of emotional intelligence.”
When it comes to balancing personal and business life, Mr. Bryant’s answer is simple, short, and sweet: “I’m at the prime of my life to focus on my company.” With now older children and welcoming singleness, Mr. Bryant has a lot of time to make his business the best that it can be. He dedicates himself to constantly studying and learning how he can be a more effective leader for his employees. Explaining his process on how he applies the lessons he’s learned to strengthen himself and team, he mentioned T.D. Jake’s book, Maximize the Moment. “I think I have to steal this from him, as I give him credit, and it’s three steps. Step number one is you’ve got to ‘minimize your moment’, meaning that I minimize my moments, minimize the distractions, stay focused. The third one is to maximize your moment; put everything you’ve learned into action.” Number two is ‘master your moment’. What is it that you want to know? What is it that you’re trying to study? WE all could be looking at the same exact thing, but with the information and based on our past experiences, we can process that difference.” And number three, ‘maximize your moment’. Meaning that I minimize my moments, minimize the distractions, stay focused. The third one is to maximize your moment, put everything you’ve learned into action.”
Part 3: the inspiration
Audrey Lorde, a famous poet, essayist, and autobiographer said these famous words: ‘If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.’ This quote is a favorite of Mr. Bryant’s because he admires how true the words ring in his own life. “I particularly love that one because I do define myself for myself. I’m not a follower. I tend to be a trendsetter in the way I think. I’m 48 years old but I believe in questioning everything. And I think if you function from that capacity, yeah, it may frustrate some people, but you have so much more clarity.”
Excitement beamed from Mr. Bryant’s voice as he spoke about his passion, goals, and what was to come with his business. “I am excited about this moment in history; being the first African-American to create, launch and sell a brokerage franchise. We’re expanding throughout the country. We’re getting ready to sell our first franchise, I’m excited about having the first sale already lined up. That’s what exciting to me.” Along with building history, jobs, and creating a path for future real estate agents to follow, Mr. Bryant is filled with confidence as he pursues his goals: “I am building something that I believe with every fiber of my being. I am living to my potential.”
For more information about Bobby Bryant and for inquiries about his business, you can visit his website’s about me page here. You can also check out his Forbes Councils profile here and read his numerous articles on the real estate industry.