Straight Edge Home Inspections

Is it really possible to combine many different skills into one profitable business?

It can be done. Just ask Jeff Sand.

His business, Straight Edge Home Inspections, provides residential and commercial home inspections and ancillary services, along with real estate photography and videography.

“Basically, my day consists of a combination of activities. In the morning, I can perform a home inspection, and in the afternoon, I can go to another property and conduct drone and flash photography, a virtual tour, and videography,” Jeff explains.

How did he get into these fields?

In 2008, he got his general contractor’s license and teamed up to launch a remodeling business in San Diego. The business was extremely busy, but it had high overhead, multiple jobs and crews, and a big shop. Eventually, it just became unsustainable, so he closed up shop and moved on with many painful lessons learned.

Jeff and his wife moved to Dolores in 2012, where he tried out a number of different career paths. As anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit can attest, he discovered again and again that he is at his best when he is working for himself.

In 2020, he launched Straight Edge. The SBDC introduced him to Region 9, and they were instrumental in helping him obtain a business loan. When the real estate business experienced a winter slowdown, he started working with Joe Keck, who helped him develop a plan to fine tune his marketing.

Through his work, Jeff came to realize that there is a huge need for realtors to be able to quickly edit photos and videos before uploading them to a website. After spending the past year in research and development, he is about to launch a new product called RealtyFeature. 

The browser-based platform allows real estate agents to upload any combination of videos or images and do some light editing. They can create a branding profile and select animated text features to display on a video. A guided component walks them through the process.

Joe Keck has again been instrumental in the process. “RealtyFeature is an easy way for non-tech savvy realtors to quickly create videos for different applications but still have polished branding and animated features. Joe helped me develop the business plan and marketing strategy before I started to invest money and time into it. He’s been a source of continuous, evolving support.” Launching a business is no easy feat, and Jeff offers other budding entrepreneurs this insight: “I heard somebody say ‘Don’t compare your insides to somebody’s outsides,’ and I think that is helpful to keep in mind when developing a self-employment or business project. Chances are, everybody else who has any degree of success still feels like they aren’t up to the task, not smart enough, or not deserving of success. Just keep showing up and strive to improve and embrace that you may be a persistent idiot, and that that may be what makes the difference.”

Mountain Dough Bakery

Cupcakes…cookies…muffins…scones…is your mouth watering yet? Kim Solecki has always had a love for baking. It’s a passion she shared with her mother, and she’s always known she wanted to pursue it as a career. But, with a successful career in technology sales, she wasn’t sure how to fit it in. In 2011, she started attending classes at Johnson and Wales on the weekends. “I didn’t want my day job to know, so I snuck into

Read More »
Pagosa Secure Storage

“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” Tim Sullivan stated that when he summarized he and his wife’s (Lorri) journey towards owning Pagosa Secure Storage. Tim had been involved in several endeavors to build or buy his own storage facility for the past ten years. Due to circumstances involving financing, zoning, limitations to expand an existing property or it being too expensive, the right deal never presented itself. Tim did

Read More »
Countryside Disposal

Herman Rosas has worked in the trash disposal business in Cortez for twenty years.  He had developed a stellar reputation amongst the customers he served over that span.  In 2016, one disposal company Herman used to work for sold their business to their corporate competitor, which made them the only disposal business in town.  He and his wife, Kim, started to receive calls soon after from former customers.  The people asked them to start their own business.  They were unhappy

Read More »
Earthsense Herbals and Gift Gallery

There is a saying that “if you can dream it, then you can achieve it,” -Zig Ziglar. Lake McCullough is an example of this by turning a hobby into a growing business. Earthsense Herbals and Gift Gallery is a quaint and sunny store located in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs. Creatively decorated, the store is full of handcrafted items from perfumed soaps, herbal teas and remedies, to silk paintings, porcelain sculptures, greeting cards and

Read More »
Por Dia Preschool & Learning Center

Amy Long purchased Por Dia Preschool & Learning Center sixteen years ago. Por Dia is licensed to serve up to 60 children. They offer daily preschool, toddler care, and before/after school care. Long approached Joe Keck for help in expanding her Toddler program. Beginning in August of 2011, they worked together for six to eight months. “Joe personally came by my business to consult with me, and we met at the SBDC office at the

Read More »
Durango Car Care

After 20 years, Bryan Hill decided it was time to make his dream come true. He’d been working as an auto mechanic in a local shop but had always dreamed of owning his own business. When Durango Car Care came up for sale, he and his wife, Jenn, knew this was the opportunity they had been waiting for. They jumped on it. Shortly thereafter, they realized that they needed help. They reached out to the

Read More »
Skip to content