Kyle Waldrep, ’16, B.A. Political Science and Communication Studies, is revolutionizing commercial real estate with his software, Dottid. By developing a single space for tenants and property owners to view, track, and manage potential lease transactions, Dottid has optimized the industry and created a new standard for engagement, organization, and transparency.
The lessons I learned during my time at Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences absolutely influenced and shaped my career – but not in the way I originally expected. I spent the majority of my SMU career in Dedman due to a love of history and politics. At the time, I thought my path led toward law school, but due to a number of circumstances, the Lord had another idea.
In the fall of 2015, I had a providential encounter with a local asset manager. He gave me his card and said to reach out if I was interested in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. Dallas is a CRE city, but I had no family ties or academic experience that spurred any interest in the field. Nonetheless, I followed up with the asset manager and soon after began the CRE recruiting process. During the spring of 2016, I was touring office space with a large national brokerage house when I noticed an inefficiency in the market: there was no central location for lease transactions. This lightbulb moment would change the trajectory of my post-grad life. Since prospective tenants looking for commercial space had no place to explore, compare, and track their potential lease transactions, I sought to build one virtual location where all parties in a commercial lease transaction could interact and manage the process, making the CRE industry more efficient. With this idea in mind, I founded Dottid in 2016.
Dottid is an end-to-end software as a service (SAAS) product making the leasing process faster, smarter, and simpler by managing the people, documentation, correspondence, and workflow for every deal. The goal is simple: get tenants in faster and streamline the process for both sides of the transaction. Dottid has come a long way from just an ‘idea.’ The company is venture-backed, product-ready, and looks forward to a scaling in 2020. Through Dottid, I have the privilege and honor of working with other SMU alums to optimize CRE.
Thinking back to my days at SMU, my classes prepared me for the challenges of starting a tech company. Professors taught me how to think critically and implement innovative ideas to solve historic problems. One of the classes I remember fondly was taught by Ambassador Robert Jordan. He was the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia following the September 11 attacks, and he often told stories about how he had to adapt to ever-changing situations in his role. Ambassador Jordan was charged with deescalating a tense political situation and charting the path forward for the U.S. - Saudi relationship. While my work occupies a different setting than Ambassador Jordan’s, the mindset is the same. From talking to investors to working on product roadmap, I make decisions and respond to circumstances that affect Dottid in various ways. I am grateful to the Dedman College professors and classmates that poured into my experience, because it is my education that laid the foundation for me to be successful in my current role.