10 coolest entrepreneurs: Johnny Hanna

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SOCKSTAR: Johnny Hanna is living (and wearing) the American dream. His socks are red, white and blue — with stars on top. “With Homie, we want to make the American dream of home ownership a more simple and streamlined process,” he says. (Photo by Dave Blackhurst/UVBizQ)

Homie: Johnny Hanna, 39

When it comes to business, Johnny Hanna is right at home. In 2003, he joined a few friends in Provo to build his first company, Entrata (formerly known as Property Solutions). Entrata has become the go-to software for rental properties, and Hanna helped grow the business to more than $100 million in recurring revenue. But for this entrepreneur, home is where the next idea is. So in 2016, Hanna left the comfort of Entrata’s red bus (and red sneakers) to start Homie, a real estate software company that helps people with the buying and selling of their homes. Today, Homie has saved Utahns more than $11 million by automating the homebuying process, and Utah County specifically is the company’s largest market in Utah. Sold!

BABY STEPS I was pretty certain I would be an NBA player. Getting splinters from sitting on the bench all through high school helped me see a different path. Nowadays, I try to live that dream through church ball.

FOOT IN THE DOOR Finding my wife was probably my biggest break. I met her three years after moving to Provo and she has become my best friend and an amazing business partner. She has given me the best ideas and advice through the years.

WHAT’S COOL TO YOU?

Being a dad. Dads are cool. Dad jokes aren’t that cool, but I like them.

SPRING IN YOUR STEP I love seeing ideas come to life. I’ve had the opportunity to be a mentor and assist students and other entrepreneurs from time to time. It’s so awesome to see them make the world a better place while making a living. Its fun to share in their excitement.

PUT YOUR FEET UP I have five little boys and a two-year-old girl. I love coming home to chase and tickle them. I also love trampoline parks, and I always make sure to bring a kid or two.

PUT A SOCK IN IT Egos. Every company that has success has a team of amazing individuals who helped get it there. One of our core values at Homie is “check yo-self before you wreck yo-self,” ensuring we keep a focus on humility.

COLD FEET Over-regulated industries make me a bit nervous. Our goal is to help consumers save money and have an amazing experience, and this industry has created a way to keep innovation out, hurting those very consumers. We’ve seen big legal battles with companies like Uber, Tesla, and even locally with VidAngel. The more options consumers have, the better. We simply want to exist as an option to help consumers. Innovating in this industry is proving to be a good challenge, keeping us on our toes.

SOCK IT TO ‘EM This is a tough one because we’re automating an industry where we get attacked frequently. I’ve learned how to recognize my own shame and the shame in others. Sometimes someone’s negativity comes from their own insecurities, and sometimes they have good advice that’s hard to hear but I need to take. I try to make sure my self worth isn’t tied up in business success or what others say. My wife and I have done a lot of digging in family history and knowing who I am and where I come from helps me overcome these voices and naysayers.

BEST FOOT FORWARD I’ve made so many life-long friends with clients, partners and co-workers, that regardless of the number of zeroes in my bank account, I have those memories and friendships.

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