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Amit Haller: “Our goal is to build better homes, faster, so we can help build and support communities”

Our goal is to build better homes, faster, so we can help build and support communities. We believe everyone should have the chance to live in an exceptional home. As we manufacture homes at a speed and quality above the industry standard, we’re not just setting out to address the national housing shortage, we’re also […]

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Our goal is to build better homes, faster, so we can help build and support communities. We believe everyone should have the chance to live in an exceptional home. As we manufacture homes at a speed and quality above the industry standard, we’re not just setting out to address the national housing shortage, we’re also set on improving the standard of living. Part of that includes long-overdue innovations to the real estate industry. Specifically, we’re addressing a material need for high-quality homes, while also providing solutions to house those acutely impacted by homelessness and crises. In partnership with the City of San Jose, we were able to build a 78-unit development in under 90 days for those experiencing homelessness or displacement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a week, our team assembled 50 walls at the site — a record in the construction industry. This is one example of a recent development that highlights our unique approach and what we’re able to achieve because of it.

In addition to addressing the national housing shortage, it’s truly our goal to bring exceptional quality to each new homeowner and consumer. As we continue to build Veev homes at scale, we’ll make it easier for consumers to find higher quality homes for a reasonable price.


As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Amit Haller, Cofounder and CEO of Veev, a home company that specializes in building high-quality homes at record speed and a fraction of the cost of traditional homes. He also serves as Cofounder and CEO of Reali, a real estate platform making the homeownership journey simple, affordable, and stress-free by combining a number of processes under one roof — from agents and loans to escrow and title. Before Veev and Reali, Amit founded Butterfly, the company behind the first Bluetooth core technology (later acquired by Texas Instruments), and cofounded and scaled IXI Mobile, a mobile device data and service company. Now with Veev, Amit is utilizing state-of-the-art building strategies and streamlining the construction process to bring people cost savings and quality.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Prior to entering the real estate industry over a decade ago, I built my career in the tech space, first founding Butterfly Communications and then later co-founding and scaling IXI Mobile. At the same time, I kept a pulse on the real estate industry as a hobby. Having noticed that the space had seen little systemic progress for so many years, I felt that my fresh point of view and extensive multi-disciplined background could help lead change in the industry.

When I first got into real estate, it started with just my good friend Ami Avrahami and me investing in multi-family homes in East Palo Alto, Sacramento, and Fresno. About a year later, we were joined by Dafna Akiva who brought additional real estate knowledge and expertise to the team. As part of our business, we would buy, sell, and renovate homes, which gave us a great deal of knowledge about the industry — and allowed us to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Two key observations came to light. First the bottleneck created by collaboration (or lack, thereof) among various subcontractors. The construction process was hectic and fragmented, and was a major source of delays and inconsistency, with a great lack of quality control. We realized that the process needed to be streamlined and rebuilt from the top down to improve quality, cost, and efficiency. Second, was the utter lack of innovation — large or small. We started looking for new solutions for different areas, from framing and infrastructure to finishes to home automation. From our experience, we set out to reinvent the homebuilding process completely, leading us to cofound Veev together.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Rather than specifically one, there are a number of stories that brought us to one conclusion: people deserve a better living experience, and in order to deliver that, the homebuilding process needs to be disrupted for the better.

In our early days, we were continually disappointed to find that the industry standard required a compromise on quality, at almost every turn. There was rarely a focus on the customer, and really no real focus on the user experience like we see across most industries. For us, a business model that places the customer at the center remained essential. For companies that had chosen to make that sacrifice, often for budgetary reasons or time restraints, we saw that they still retained very little control over their spending and would still run over their estimated timelines.

Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?

A hunger for quality and innovation has driven a great deal of my work. When I first entered the industry, I noticed that a home, the most significant purchase most people ever make during their lifetimes, is built entirely without the homeowner in mind. This is further complicated with misaligned incentives among subcontractors and involved parties.

As many other industries adopted technology and were disrupted, in housing, developers and subcontractors refrained from innovating, settled for archaic processes, refused to experiment, and shifted toward lower-quality materials to increase profit margins. In this century, where every other industry has progressed exponentially, I wanted to be a part of that cultural shift in homebuilding. As different brands continue to push the envelope to improve the consumer experience in different industries, I want to deliver that same quality of experience to consumers through the most personal products we can own: our homes.

Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

Simply put: we are fundamentally rethinking homebuilding and homeownership. In the same way that a car, smartphone, or computer is built with the end user in mind, we are bringing that approach to “productize” the home. We’re creating homes that people love and are proud to own, and that have been built to the highest standards.

Our enabling formula to make that possible is in how we control each step of the homebuilding process. To start, our design and engineering teams have developed an algorithm and proprietary design software that allows us to automate up to 70% of building design across Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) functions. By eliminating standard, repetitive tasks in the home design process, our teams get to optimize their time and focus more attention on the design tasks that matter. That dramatically speeds up the architecture to building timeline while reducing the chance of human error and inconsistency.

We then manufacture walls, ceilings, floors, and virtually every piece of the home offsite in our factory, and then assemble onsite at record speed and at a fraction of the cost of traditional homes. By completing all the wiring, plumbing, lighting, and other intricate tasks at the factory and integrating them directly into the walls, homes are move-in ready as soon as they’re assembled. This also allows us to cut costs and valuable time coordinating with subcontractors since we have our own designers, engineers, plumbers, electricians, and construction workers in-house at the fabrication site. Doing so gives us the chance to design homes using materials of the highest quality and craftsmanship while outfitting them with the latest smart technology.

How do you think this will change the world?

Our goal is to build better homes, faster, so we can help build and support communities. We believe everyone should have the chance to live in an exceptional home. As we manufacture homes at a speed and quality above the industry standard, we’re not just setting out to address the national housing shortage, we’re also set on improving the standard of living. Part of that includes long-overdue innovations to the real estate industry. Specifically, we’re addressing a material need for high-quality homes, while also providing solutions to house those acutely impacted by homelessness and crises. In partnership with the City of San Jose, we were able to build a 78-unit development in under 90 days for those experiencing homelessness or displacement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a week, our team assembled 50 walls at the site — a record in the construction industry. This is one example of a recent development that highlights our unique approach and what we’re able to achieve because of it.

In addition to addressing the national housing shortage, it’s truly our goal to bring exceptional quality to each new homeowner and consumer. As we continue to build Veev homes at scale, we’ll make it easier for consumers to find higher quality homes for a reasonable price.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?

As we innovate and scale, we want each house to remain as personal and customizable as consumers desire. The last thing we want to do is make a home “just another house,” which has become a product of the traditional homebuilding process. That’s why from our perspective, we’re doing our best to solve the many unintended consequences that have come as a result of such a fragmented homebuilding process. The drawback of having so many contractors involved has been the bottleneck that goes into building a house. Because design, craftsmanship, and materials vary so much when working with a variety of workers, the end product, the home, can become a bit Frankenstein. Our strategy is to streamline every component and bring it in house, bringing unparalleled consistency, quality, speed, and control to the homebuilding process.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?

When I entered the real estate industry, I noticed that there were a number of shortcuts and discrepancies in the homebuilding process. For one, as developers moved on to produce homes at extraordinary scale, I noticed some were taking shortcuts to increase profits — whether that’s sourcing lower-quality materials or settling for mediocre design and craftsmanship. At the same time, contractors — experts at what they do — have been hesitant to explore new strategies, technology, and materials that can be seen as risky. Some have instead mastered their own process and refused to adopt new ones.

What all of this has done is stunted innovation in the homebuilding process, and given some new homeowners a product that looks good on its surface, but often requires a laundry list of maintenance and improvements to reach today’s standards. As a person that takes pride in my own home, I wanted to change that, and give people a home that belongs in this era — something that is modern and innovative today, but that will also last a lifetime, and be outfitted with cutting edge technology.

What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?

Our company is currently working to scale operations. We’re building multi-family housing units, single family homes, and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that allow us to support community needs for housing. In the last year, we’ve developed dozens of homes across the Bay Area, which is a highly competitive market for homebuyers, and one deeply affected by housing shortages and exorbitant prices. We believe that our success in the market has served as a validator of our ability to scale production and build quality homes that people want to live in.

Between sourcing materials, designing, manufacturing, assembling, and building, we’re refining processes in order for it to be done at a large scale. For widespread adoption among consumers, all it takes is a step inside of a Veev home. Our homes are built to the highest standards from the ground up. We start by laying a high quality foundation with helical piles, which save time and are stronger than traditional foundations, while also being more environmentally friendly. Rather than using wood and drywall, our walls are designed with light gauge steel and versatile high performance surface (HPS) that allows for increased durability and customization, as a variety of colors, textures, and materials can be printed directly onto the HPS. Because our main ingredients are steel and HPS, our walls are mold, bacteria, moisture, and termite resistant.

It is our goal to bring an exceptional living experience to every consumer by providing them with a home they can be proud of. When people walk into a Veev home, they know it’s a Veev home by the quality, look, and feel. As we continue to showcase our homes to prospective buyers, we have no doubt they’ll become a part of Veev’s widespread adoption.

Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?

To be successful in any business, your goal should always be to put the customer at the center and ensure that they’re always taken care of. If you continually strive for an exceptional customer experience, without compromising on quality, everything will fall into place. It’s important to always ask “why?” Why is an industry the way it is? Why is it successful? How has it failed? How must it improve? Why is this important? Asking why through the lens of a customer is one of the most intimate business processes you can do. It will lead you to innovate, creating breakthroughs in otherwise traditional disciplines, and will make you a better leader.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

When we first got into the homebuilding industry, we were unaware of just how inefficient it was until we started to build our business. Rather than specific “things” or “lessons” I wish I had known before I started, there were a few guiding principles that we’ve held close to our goals as we’ve innovated in the space.

The first is to ensure that obstacles don’t get in the way of the bigger picture. We’ve had to do a great deal of learning along the way, and although sometimes tedious (and even demoralizing), we’ve learned that it’s all a part of the process and that in order to achieve something truly great, it’s going to take trial and error.

Secondly, we pride ourselves on placing our customers at the center — asking ourselves, “why is this important for them?” and “how will this change their living experience for the better?” Doing so allows us to solve our customers’ needs directly, ensuring that they are taken care of so that they can later advocate for our work.

To be honest, there’s not quite anything that I expected to know or “wish” I had known before I got into this industry. Rather, I’ve enjoyed the learnings that have come along with the territory. We’ve met a slew of challenges, but with extra effort and the combined expertise of our multi-disciplined team, we’re constantly innovating to meet challenges head on. The truth is, we can’t fix the industry solving just one problem, we’re here to solve the whole thing.

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

At Veev, we’re building better homes for everyone, faster. No brand has dedicated itself to delivering a home and living experience that consumers need today. While the housing market has grown and continued to evolve, homes are continuing to be built the same way as they have for decades. Instead, Veev is completely rethinking the traditional homebuilding process in order to construct homes of the highest quality at a fraction of the cost and time. To do so, Veev has taken a vertically integrated approach to productize the home, and has been able to improve on speed, cost, and quality. From real estate and development through to the design, materials, and manufacturing at our fabrication facility, we manage the entire process to produce and assemble a higher quality home.

In the last year, we have honed our approach and ability to build homes faster, successfully building at 4x the speed and ½ the cost of a traditional build. We have achieved this through consistent innovation across our entire ecosystem, from design to digital fabrication to plug and play systems on site.

Since consumers want intuitive, easy to control tech that makes their lives easier, we’ve also focused on consumer design as a core part of our homes to deliver smart systems that are self-regulating, simple, coordinated, and capable of making decisions based on user preferences. With the Veev smartphone app and a wall app, homeowners can control everything from the living room temperature to the kitchen lighting, as well as get the status of each component, from anywhere, at any time. To truly deliver an exceptional living experience, quality materials, craftsmanship, and digital home technology should be the standard, not the exception.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can connect with me on LinkedIn. For those interested in learning more about the Veev story, our progress, and where we’re headed, they can also find us on LinkedIn or at Veev.com.

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