Meet the Team: Jen Kniss
Welcome to Reggora’s Meet the Team series! Our team is powered by smart, hard working people dedicated to appraisal innovation, and we’ve all taken very different paths to get here. In this series, we’ll introduce you team members across Reggora. This post features Jen Kniss, who joined Reggora in February of 2021 to help strengthen and grow our engineering teams.
Q: Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? Go to school?
I grew up in a small town in Idaho. I spent a lot of time outdoors at summer camps, hiking, exploring, etc. After high school, I found my way to Boise, where I completed degrees in Economics and Computer Science.
During college, I hosted art and music events and competitions. I started attending DefCon, was a TA for electronics labs and took up lock picking (still a favorite fidget). I dabbled in sculpture, joined a land speed race team and spent time mentoring an all-girls robotics team at my university.
Just after completing my Economics degree I found the startup world and fell hard for the fast and creative nature of growing tech companies. It was a great match for my love of rapid-paced creativity, organization and people management.
Q: Where did you work before Reggora?
I have spent my career thus far in startups at various stages. Previously, I was one of the earliest hires at Cradlepoint – a tech company out of Boise focused on networking solutions and recently acquired by Ericsson. Starting as their first QA hire, I worked my way through test automation then Software Developer on their SaSS team before receiving a scholarship in Computer Science and setting out to finish that degree.
From there I helped start a new company focused on webapp development for secure business communications before joining a counter-drone defense company.
As Director of Engineering at Black Sage, I specialized in setting up the Software Development Lifecycle, standing up the development and QA teams and optimizing their outputs in a high pressure environment. I developed the department’s budgets and led compliance initiatives for the software side of the company. I led the transformation of the user interface and its underlying infrastructure to match customer needs. I worked alongside stakeholders ranging from internal departments and government clients to private companies and board members. The developers on that team were an amazing bunch.
Q: Why did you join the Reggora team?
I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the billion dollar acquisition of startups in this industry.
Reggora has three primary aspects that drew me in:
#1 – Reggora fully understands what it means to be a tech company today
- Constant client communications so we make the right improvements
- Leadership that is fanatical about the industry & in touch with their teams
- Proper budgeting for team growth and support so they can deliver
- A focus on long term value with steady and realistic growth
- Solutions come from the bottom up not just the top down
- Use of modern tools from infrastructure to communications
- Each employee has ownership stake in the company
- Cross functional teams with high collaboration & cohesion
- Highly open to new ideas and exploration to find the right solutions
- Metrics and data-driven results
- People focused and emphasis on healthy work/life balance
#2 – Reggora has ‘the right kind of idea’
- Solving a ubiquitous problem in a large market
- The solution to the problem is not easy but very important & hard to replicate
- The solution scales well – starting small and growing rapidly
#3 – The people are simply wonderful
The teams at Reggora are not only diverse in all areas, they are:
- kind, talented, open and idea-meritocratic
- fanatical about their domain areas in ways that drive the teams to success at all levels of the organization
Reggora has recruited some of the best people across a variety of areas in the real estate and tech sectors to support the company mission and it continues to have success after success.
Q: What do you do here at Reggora?
I am an Engineering Manager. That means it is my responsibility to protect my teams’ time and resources, build their careers, remove obstacles to their success and match all of that with company initiatives to meet customer needs.
Q: What’s something that’s surprised you since joining the team?
Everyone here is quite naturally drawn to understanding how to do their job better. What is surprising is how cooperative and supported they are in that goal. Not all ideas pass muster (nor should they) but these teams are adept at quickly identifying the pool of ideas amongst them, boiling them down to the best selection(s) and then taking action. The leadership invests in those ideas to support the team in making them a reality.
If those ideas don’t work as expected, there is extraordinary flexibility to regroup and quickly fix it. This mindset is championed by all levels and will likely be a huge boon to us against any competitors. There is a lot of lip-service to this ‘way’ that I have seen across the industry and I was pleasantly surprised to see it in practice here.
Q: If you’re building your dream house with unlimited money, where are you building it and what are the best things about it?
If I were building my dream house it would be on a piece of land with running water in a forested area. I would draw on Brutalist architecture philosophy to contrast with the natural environment while utilizing eco-friendly materials, autonomous power systems and 360-degree views. It would be large enough to be a refuge for wildlife and have a large shop for metal and electronics work.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job or best part of being on the Reggora team?
Reggora makes my job easy in the right ways and challenging in the right ways.
For instance, the teams are the right kind of ambitious. They take initiative and want to get better, leaving me often delighted at the level of thought they bring to a problem. The leadership is able to move quickly to fill needs of the team, be reflective, data driven and take action on team feedback.
At the same time, these teams demand a lot of clarity (as they should) in their need to find solutions that are abstracted correctly for lender and appraiser workflows that are not the same across the industry. This can be challenging but necessary.
Great getting to know you, Jen! Thank you for sharing, and thank you for all you do at Reggora.
We’re continuing to hire across all departments here at Reggora. To learn about joining the team and see our open roles, visit www.reggora.com/careers.