Caleb Barclay

How Dwellito built a modular home marketplace without code

Dwellito

Buy a prefab home in your browser.

Part Time Income

Monthly Revenue

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Built with

What's the 1 sentence pitch for Dwellito?

Buy a prefab home in your browser.

What's your personal background? What motivated you to start your own company?

I was in Architecture for two years and transitioned into tech. I always had a startup idea but didn't have much technical skills. I learned product design because I needed a skillset to contribute to a startup. Over the past 10 years, I partnered with technical cofounders and launched several product ideas that never found product-market-fit. I noticed that each product needed more time but my cofounders had other obligations and frankly, I misdirected the product. No-code was a way that I could offset the technical cofounder and experiment with more time and less resources.

What no code tool(s) did you use to build Dwellito and what purpose did each play in the final product?

Webflow

Parabola (patch updates)

Zapier (new records / form submissions)

Airtable (database for CMS)

What were the initial costs to get Dwelltio off the ground?

Content Writer: $2,200

Webflow: $15/mo

Parabola: $4 /mo

What was the process of building your product from idea to launching?

I started with an MVP highlighting 10 prefab homes. It was very simple and had no product detail pages; the links opened the manufacturer's website. That MVP had almost 4000 clickthroughs. I didn't update the website for about 6-8 months. With marketplaces, you tend to run into the chicken-and-egg problem often. I wanted a lot more modular homes on the site but it was hard getting all the information and I wanted to build a relationship with the supplier so I did cold calling for 3 months. Once I had all the information, I hired an architectural writer to develop the content for each prefab model. I spent a few weeks designing the UI in Figma and then started building layouts and components in Webflow

I wrote more about the actual build on Makerpad.

How do you attract customers?

I mainly focus on backlinking and SEO to attract new customers.

What are the biggest challenges you've overcome building Dwellito?

The biggest challenge that I have overcome with Dwellito is going from manual to automated. There was so much manual work done that I was able to automate to make more time in my schedule for other high impact things. I was able to build a custom CRM in Airtable and a ton of system automations around finding new manufacturers and onboarding them.

What's your advice for non-technical people who want to start a company?

Spend money to learn. Buy a Makerpad subscription. Buy Webflow templates to learn how they were built. Spend money to build the right thing. I avoided buying subscriptions for the longest time. Also, spend money on contractors. It's often better to spend money in the right areas in order to know if your product has traction.

What are your future plans for Dwellito?

My vision is that Dwellito is the authoritative site for prefab home buying. It's important to build "happiness" for our users. That has been my obsession - to make it a better experience for the buyer. There are a lot of improvements and features that are coming soon!

How do you think the rise of no code tools will impact entrepreneurship?

It's unequivocal that no-code reduces the barrier to entry into entrepreneurship. It is easier to build things but that doesn't make someone an entrepreneur, more of a maker / builder. I am curious to see if building things quicker can free up more time for product validation work: interviewing, testing, research. If no-code guides the builder to spend all that extra time on PMF, then I think there will be a surge in entrepreneurs. But sometimes, if you build enough things, you get lucky with probability. We are still in the nascent stages of no-code and I'm excited to see all the new skillsets that people will learn to become an entrepreneur no-coder.

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