How Sam Sawyer is disrupting the brokerage business

All Interviews, Real Estate Experts

Sam is an experienced real estate and start-up technology professional with a demonstrated history of performing at a high-level working in the real estate and technology industry in Dallas, Silicon Valley, and currently in Austin, TX. He was a founding member of Compass Dallas and employee #1 at ZeroDown. Today, he runs Archetape.

Q.1 Why did you get a real estate license at 19? Tell us your life story. 

I have always been an entrepreneur since the day I was born. Like most children, I set my heart on lemonade stands. The refreshing feeling on a summer day to date strikes memories. In 2nd grade, I entered a joint venture with my friend Randall Noel to enter the paper football market at PDS, our elementary school in Memphis, and we started selling custom paper footballs with our customer’s favorite team logos on them. Sales were on me while Randall handled Ops and Manufacturing. The football stint came to an end due to our school’s regulations. In 6th grade, the beanie baby market was the next target buying and selling these items on eBay. Soon, I launched a new venture called “Riding Clean Auto Detailing” — concierge at-home auto detailing. These series of ventures have in a strange way contributed to my journey. The summer after freshman year at SMU, I stayed at Dallas to take a few Summer school classes. Then, I decided to get my real estate license that summer too. I had no idea I would still be in this industry to date and grow to love the thrill of being here. 

Q.2 What prompted you to start Archetape? What is your mission for Archetape?

Archetape was inspired by my own experiences in the industry and being frustrated at the way things currently operate. I am motivated to solve problems, and I have a very competitive spirit which drives me forward. The real estate industry is one of the biggest opportunities for innovation of any business sector in the world. We are excited to have an industry-impacting change on the entire real estate brokerage business in America.

Q.3 How is Archetape using innovation to build a residential real estate brokerage model?

We are focused on delivering a modern brokerage experience for our agents. We go above and beyond to provide impeccable service and support at a fraction of the cost of legacy brokerages in this country.  We are rebuilding the brokerage business model from the ground up and the cloud-based model allows us to invest heavily into agent tools and resources which make our agents incredibly happy and empower them to make more money.

Q.4 How are PropTech startups impacting the home financing process?

Fintech and proptech companies are continuing to launch innovative products in the home financing space, and some of my favorites are companies like UpEquity building cash offer products aimed at reducing the “transaction friction” normally associated with a traditional loan process. The sale-leaseback products like Knock are also cool to see, and I would expect to see more innovation around the mortgage products themselves as things like de-fi, NFTs, and blockchain technology continue to make progress in the real estate industry.

Q.5 What headline will the WSJ write about Archetape in 2025?

Archetape launches its first international market and continues to break down legacy brokerage models around the world.

Q.6 What is your vision for how real estate agents can leverage Archetape’s services in the future?

We believe that our asset-light business model is the way of the future for the real estate brokerage industry. We are at an intersection and evolution of the entire industry where companies can provide impeccable service at a fraction of the cost if the foundation and architecture of the business are built properly. I like to use the “building a house” analogy for where I see the future brokerage models going. Companies like Archetape are rebuilding the entire home from the ground up with vastly different business model architecture than the legacy players. The legacy players remind me of homes that go through a remodel where only cosmetic items are updated; at their core, they are still an old-school outdated model behind the scenes, and eventually, they will fail without massive innovation at their foundation. As agents demand more and more from their brokerage partners, asset-light models like Archetape will emerge as the largest firms by agent count and the legacy brokerage models will continue to lose agents at a rapid pace if they don’t innovate quickly in the next few years.

Q.7 What are your most memorable substack articles for someone who is new to it? 

I am obsessed with data and how it impacts decision-making, and one thing I have written about a few times is how unimpressive and boring the real estate search portals are today. There is so much room for improvement in this arena, and I look forward to a more robust searching style in the future. Here are 2 articles that articulate this idea a bit further:

In addition to those articles on home search and data, I also wrote an article earlier this year about how resilient humans are and how we will emerge stronger from the pandemic. This is one of my favorite articles in this entire Substack – “Crisis Fuels Innovation”

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Anshika Burman

Anshika is a top-ranking graduate from Symbiosis International University. Previously, she worked in corporate finance at Dabur. She joined Home.LLC while pursuing her CFA.

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