Dalton Skach of Gold Gate: “Do your due diligence on what platforms are currently available”

Do your due diligence on what platforms are currently available. I spent over two months researching the blockchain industry looking for platforms that I could license, rather than build from scratch. This taught me a lot about all of the different functionalities that can be utilized, and it taught me a lot about what not […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Do your due diligence on what platforms are currently available.

I spent over two months researching the blockchain industry looking for platforms that I could license, rather than build from scratch. This taught me a lot about all of the different functionalities that can be utilized, and it taught me a lot about what not to do or use. It also taught me about all of the players in the industry.

As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SaaS”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dalton Skach, a successful real estate entrepreneur based in the United States. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder where he received his degree in entrepreneurship and real estate in 2016. Six months after graduating, Dalton started his own commercial real estate consulting business where he sourced 250M dollars + worth of off-market commercial real estate opportunities all over the United States for REITs, private equity groups, and institutional investors. While sourcing and underwriting these opportunities, Dalton worked remotely while he traveled to 35+ countries all over the world.

In May 2020, Dalton made a pivot and decided to enter the private equity industry himself. Since then, Dalton has gone on to build a financial technology platform capable of converting ultra-luxury residential real estate from around the world into a digital asset where high net worth individuals, family offices, and foreign investors can acquire fractional ownership and trade freely through Gold Gate’s exclusive secondary marketplace. A fractional ownership model where one month equals one share. There are very few companies that have already entered the digital asset space for real estate investments. However, there is no one that has created a platform and business like the one being built today by Dalton and his team at Gold Gate.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Thank you for having me! Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I was not the type of person growing up that focused much on stuff that didn’t interest me. I got A’s in mathematics and I was good at sports. I had a lot of friends and I did what I could to get by in the things that didn’t interest me (physics, geography, etc). I also liked to have fun and sometimes, having too much fun got me into trouble. I am sure you have entrepreneurs reading this right now that are laughing and know exactly what I am talking about. Entrepreneurs like to push the boundaries to see how far they can go.

When I was a sophomore at the University of Colorado, I had a wake up call that changed my life forever. After that moment, my Mom sent me a daily reading prayer book and I continue to pray every night before bed. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan for everybody.

After my wake up call, my father suggested that I get my real estate license since that was the only class that I got an “A” in during college. Him and my Mom were also interested in buying a home in Colorado in the near future. Win — win!

Long story, short; I studied for three months, got my real estate license, worked in residential real estate brokerage for six months, went back to school, joined the Colorado real estate team which I participated in for three semesters, graduated from college, got a job, quit that job, started my own commercial real estate business, closed one deal, closed another deal, sold all of my stuff, traveled the world for two years while I worked remotely, closed that business, traveled for four more months, came back to the United States during Covid, started a new business, grew that business, and here we are!!!

What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

I was sitting in my Airbnb in Austin, TX. Originally, I had planned to use my platform to invest in multifamily real estate throughout Texas and other high-growth markets in the United States. Due to the fact that interest rates went to zero, the government kept on giving stimulus checks and the local governments kept on pushing back eviction notices, I couldn’t see myself investing in any property that I wanted for another 9–12 months at least!

I thought to myself “Where can I find distressed real estate now?”. For some reason, my mind automatically went to an article that I read mentioning that NYC ultra-luxury real estate was trading at a discount compared to what it was in 2013. I thought “Wait a minute. There is more dry powder (unallocated capital) than there has ever been in the history of the world and these people are looking for distressed real estate to invest in. Here, we have the finest properties in the entire world trading at a discount to what they were in 2013, and no one is buying! How can we take advantage of this!?”.

The answer to this opportunity was to use my platform to provide high networth individuals around the world with the opportunity to acquire these ultra-luxury real estate properties at a discount, for the purpose of receiving tax benefits, property appreciation AND to use for themselves. Multi-millionaires buy second and third homes all over the world that are only lived in for one or two months out of the year, but they are paying 12 months of property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, repairs, etc.

Rather than buy one property valued at 10M dollars, why not buy FOUR 10M dollars homes throughout the world for the total price of 10M dollars? Three months in London, three months in Miami, three months in New York City and three months in Beverly Hills. Why? Because it is the same price as buying one home, but it diversifies your investment, allows you more places to live in and travel to, and you receive the same tax benefits and appreciation as you would with buying one home by itself. Plus, there is no maintenance! This is the opportunity that Gold Gate has created.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

One of my favorite quotes is from Elon Musk, when he was asked at a speaking engagement a few years ago, on what his advice was for new entrepreneurs. His advice was “Don’t do it.” I think this is great because it is so true. Never have I ever put so much time, commitment, money, and dedication into something in my entire life. I have risked not only my wealth from past successes, but I am also risking my reputation with family, friends and industry professionals. It is not easy being a founder of a company; especially one that has such a meaningful impact.

However, the reason that I continue to push forward is because I believe in the economic and societal impact of my idea. I believe that those crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do. If you strongly consider Elon’s advice with your own business idea, you probably shouldn’t move forward with it.

So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Life is good. I am happy. I am healthy. I am busy. I have family and friends that love me. I am resilient because I know what I am capable of when I put my mind to something and I am the biggest believer in myself; other than my Mom. Hi Mom! An investment in yourself is never an investment wasted.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

When I first started raising money for the Seed Round of my new business venture, I remember preparing this investor deck that I had made all by myself. It was over twelve pages long and most of it was text (don’t do that). I didn’t want to share my idea with anybody over email for fear of them sending it on to somebody else that might take the idea for themselves, justifiably so. For each of my investor presentations, I would go to FedEx Office and print out 3+ copies for myself and investors with each copy costing 10 dollars+.

Before an investor meeting with family friends, I gave myself 45 minutes to go into FedEx, print out the necessary documents, and drive to my meeting. Everything would need to go wrong in order for me to not get there in time; and it did. I ended up choosing the wrong option on the printer and spent 30+ dollars on copies that I couldn’t use. I tried again and accidentally pressed the wrong button again! I then asked the FedEx employee to help fix what I messed up and print everything out for me. When putting in my credit card for the refund, I pulled out the card too quickly and it was rejected. Then, after burning 30 minutes, I walked to my car with my arms full of investor decks. I opened the car door and the car alarm went off. I threw the copies onto the passenger seat and put the car in reverse (without turning on the ignition first). The car continued to alert the entire shopping center while I tried turning on the car with the transmission in reverse. I put the car in park, I turned the ignition, I let out a thunderous yell, and then I took a breath and went to my meeting with no time to spare.

What did I learn?

  1. Use a service like DocSend or HubSpot to confidentially share your venture information digitally before your investor meetings.
  2. Invest in a tablet so that you don’t have to print out new copies of your presentation every time that you present or change your presentation.
  3. Spend the money and have a professional edit your investor marketing material once you have completed the final draft. Less words is more!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Like any great company, the people that we have working at Gold Gate are the best in class. I am blessed to be working with some of the best people in their respective fields and just outstanding people in general. We are all committed towards a common goal and we all believe that it is something that is going to change the world.

Aside from having an all-star team, what makes Gold Gate stand out is that our product and service disrupt more than one industry. The Gold Gate platform disrupts the residential real estate brokerage industry, the timeshare industry, long term rentals, real estate construction and more.

Not only does it disrupt, but it provides a very credible solution to the housing crisis and property sustainability. For example, there are 30 million homes in the United States and in Europe that are only lived in for 4–6 weeks out of the year (or ~12% of the time). That means that there were millions of homes that were built but that no one lives in. They just sit there, burning electricity and gas and money.

Let’s say that there are five multi-millionaires that own three homes each (15 homes total). Rather than own three homes that are only lived in for one month a year each, these multi-millionaires could buy even bigger and better homes on the Gold Gate platform for the same price, use their time efficiently and reduce waste. If these five multi-millionaires happen to buy fractional ownership in the same three homes, that just increased the supply of homes available by 12 homes! Twelve more homes for people to live in and utilize rather than sit vacant and waste energy and money. This platform could bring millions of homes onto the market that wouldn’t have been available before. No more new construction needed!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Exercise, get your sleep and make time for friends and family. My mind thinks about business constantly and it is good to have people to talk to about things outside of work. During the day, I also make sure that I turn my phone on “Do Not Disturb” and run for an hour to an hour and a half to let my mind decompress as well as see new places that I would not have seen otherwise.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

One of the people that has been instrumental to my success and growth in business and in life is my old real estate professor at the University of Colorado, Curtis Sears. Curtis coached our real estate team in college every semester and joined us when we went to compete versus other universities from all over the world.

The best class that I have ever taken was one that Curtis holds one day every semester. During this class, Curtis talks about his success in the real estate industry, his greatest challenge in his career and in life, and how he overcame it. To learn more, you are going to have to attend the class yourself. It is one that you aren’t going to want to miss. Thank you, Curtis.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Approximately how many users or subscribers does your app or software currently have? Can you share with our readers three of the main steps you’ve taken to build such a large community?

One of the biggest breakthroughs that my company has had over the past month was a revelation in our marketing strategy. Due to the fact that we get paid our 1% fee from the buyers in each property acquisition, we are able to go out to every broker, property owner and developer in the United States (and eventually, the world) with a property listed over 5M dollars and tell them:

  1. We will buy their property at market value
  2. We will buy it in under 90 days
  3. They don’t have to pay us a dime.
  4. We will pay for all of their marketing materials (professional pictures, property video, virtual reality walkthrough, etc.)
  5. We are going to pay for and feature their property on the Gold Gate platform as well as in the top luxury publications throughout the world, such as Forbes, James Edition, Mansion Global, Robb Report, and Elite Traveler.

Did I mention that this was free? If you are a broker, property owner, or developer, go to the Gold Gate website and apply to have your property sold on our website at market value, in under 90 days, for free, and to be featured in the top luxury publications throughout the world.

With this strategy, we intend to feature four properties throughout the world with an average value of 10M dollars starting in January. It is a very similar strategy to that of AirBnB, when it first started. Build the platform, get the properties and products onto the platform, attract customers to go use (or buy) the properties. 1, 2, 3, go!

What is your monetization model? How do you monetize your community of users? Have you considered other monetization options? Why did you not use those?

Gold Gate gets paid a 1% fee from the buyers if we are successful in selling all of the shares/months of a property within 90 days. We get paid in acquisition fees and a small fee from annual property management. We are using this model to grow our user base and to ensure that our clients are getting the best value. If we are able to acquire four properties every month with an average value of 10M dollars, that is around 400,000 dollars in monthly revenue. We have considered other monetization options. This is the best one for the long-term success of Gold Gate. Our competitors charge 10% and 12% buyer fees and have a far inferior platform. Choose Gold Gate.

Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a very successful app or a SaaS? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Do your due diligence on what platforms are currently available.

I spent over two months researching the blockchain industry looking for platforms that I could license, rather than build from scratch. This taught me a lot about all of the different functionalities that can be utilized, and it taught me a lot about what not to do or use. It also taught me about all of the players in the industry.

2. Hire an experienced architect and/or developer.

If you are not technologically savvy (like myself), spend a good amount of time interviewing people that are experienced in application development. They will tell you what their strengths are and what they think you should do moving forward. Once you know more about what technology is needed in order to implement your vision, find the right person that fits your needs and hire them.

3. Take one step at a time.

Take the first step first. Don’t build everything at once. Build, refine, build, refine.

4. Create a roadmap and have multiple people critique/improve it.

Draw up a plan of action and describe all of the functionalities/services that you will need. Once you have done so, go through it with your entire team. Hire an outside consultant, build a relationship, have them sign an NDA, share your roadmap, have them make edits and repeat. Do it right the first time.

5. Set deadlines.

Create urgency and purpose. If you are building a product or service that has never been built before, give it your full attention and ensure that you are first to market.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Bringing quality education to the most people is what, I believe, is going to make the world a better place. Investing in entrepreneurs that believe they can change the world for the better, is what is going to change the world for the better. Invest in people first, then in the ideas.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Fortunately, I personally do not have social media. However, I do have LinkedIn! My company has also created a YouTube channel as well as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles. Follow us on these media platforms and create a free account on our website to see all of the offerings that we are bringing to market in 2021!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Jan Večerka of BrikkApp: “There is no need to make quick decisions ”

by Jason Hartman

Kam Zainabadi of Park Place Investment: “Ideas are ideas until implemented ”

by Jerome Knyszewski

Aviva Sonenreich: “Never judge a book by its cover”

by Jason Hartman
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.