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I believe that. In fact, I know that. Starting my start-up career at Zillow (see this for some perspective) was a very good and very bad pre-cursor for my entrepreneurial journey over the past few years.

It was great in the fact that I now KNOW building a technology business at massive scale is possible; I’ve seen it done from the inside. Most people seriously question whether building something that reaches millions of consumers is possible, because they haven’t seen it with their own eyes

It was bad in the fact that, prior to starting my own company

I thought start-ups were easy. As an employee at Zillow, sure there were challenges, but from my perspective there was never any real risk the company wouldn’t succeed. That’s why I took a personal loan when I left in 2010 to buy my options; I knew there was basically zero chance I’d end up on the short end of the stick (and I didn’t). Of course, Zillow’s not the average start-up. Most start-ups don’t have $6 million in funding pre-launch, a team of 50+ without having shipped a product, or a founder with a multi billion dollar company that transformed an entire industry under his belt.

They seek product feedback and strategy. They want to know about problems and incentives for agents as well as consumers. They are looking to get a handle at how to gain adoption, traction, and partnerships in this massively complex and wide-reaching industry we operate in.

Many have no prior history in the industry. Others were agents at one time or another. Still others grew up in a real estate family.

I’ve seen 10 years of what has worked, and what hasn’t. When I hear a pitch or play with a product, I tell it how I see it, regardless of whether that’s what the founder wants to hear. Sometimes, it doesn’t validate their strategy.

About the Author
Sheila Etheridge
Born and raised in San Diego, Sheila Etheridge brings nearly two decades of local real estate experience, a deep love for the region, and a talent for building long-lasting client relationships. A top producer known for her stellar negotiation skills and astute market assessments, Sheila prides herself on helping clients from first-time homebuyers to savvy investors wanting to cultivate their real estate portfolios.

With a keen eye for quality design and potential home improvements, Sheila has remodeled many homes from the ground up. This skill serves buyers seeking a no-nonsense perspective on a potential purchase and sellers looking to position their home in the best possible light.

Prior to her career in real estate, Sheila earned a degree from San Diego State University and taught inner-city third grade. She then pursued her passion for education by completing graduate school and achieving a master's in curriculum and instruction. However, she ultimately decided to follow in her family's footsteps and continue working alongside her father, learning the ins and outs of the real estate business.

Sheila's family has a 45-year background in the real estate industry, encompassing loans, residential and commercial properties. This rich heritage inspired her to dig in and learn every facet of the business, from loans and mortgages to investing, closing deals, renovating, designing, flipping, and selling. With this broad knowledge and experience, Sheila knows exactly what needs to be done to help her clients achieve their end goals.

Whether it's finding the perfect home or maximizing the value of a property, Sheila Etheridge is committed to providing exceptional service, expert guidance, and unparalleled results to her clients in San Diego.