KINGSTON — Trevor Hall is leading by example when he says he hopes more technology-based companies set up shop in Kitsap County.
Hall is a software developer with an eye for business and recently became CEO of WealthVisor.com, a financial advice website which connects consumers to financial advisers.
“I’d love WealthVisor to be that catalyst,” Hall said. He spent 15 years commuting to a job in Seattle from his home, a two-acre spot between Suquamish and Kingston, and said Kitsap is known on the other side of the water as a vacation spot. He said businesses need to know Kitsap is a sustainable place to start and grow a high-tech business.
Hall is also the founder of LootTap, a website and mobile device app. Consumers plug in an item they’re searching for — say, a couch — and LootTap scours different Internet sites for the consumer. He is transitioning out of managing LootTap as he redevelops WealthVisor.
Hall, whose office is in Kingston, said it is “next to impossible” to recruit technology workers to commute to Kitsap, but he hopes to support training programs to mobilize software engineers already in Kitsap.
Hall was approached a year ago by the site’s founder, William “Chip” Treverton, to become his successor. Treverton founded the site in 2009 in Seattle. Hall had worked for Treverton as a contractor and said they hit it off — Hall even “bounced some ideas” about LootTap off Treverton.
Treverton was diagnosed with rare cancer of the appendix and put development of the site on hold while he was in treatment. Treverton died July 28, according to his obituary, and Hall said he has been working with staff and Treverton’s lawyers about rebooting the site. Hall became CEO of WealthVisor in November and reincorporated the company in Kitsap County.
At its peak, 200,000 unique visitors a month viewed WealthVisor, and Hall said financial advisers from all over the country participate on the site. He said the site is gaining ground again, seeing about 120,000 unique visitors a month.
There has not been a direct competitor since the company was founded, Hall said. Other business search sites, such as Yelp and Angie’s List, are indirect competitors, but WealthVisor offers a unique online service.
WealthVisor targets the middle range of finance-based businesses — investors, certified public accountants, insurance brokers and other financial advisers — companies not large enough for their own marketing campaigns, but big enough to continue signing more clients.
“Financial professionals really need as much guidance or help as they can get” to be visible online, Hall said. “So many people anymore are doing research online.”
Popular searches on WealthVisor include child life insurance, IRA and 401ks, and, especially this time of year, tax returns. Visitors to the site can have their questions answered, but can also search for financial advisers in their area.
Hall is working on ensuring the financial adviser reviews are honest and up-to-date, and facilitate interactions between advisers and potential clients.
“Use it, it’s there,” Hall said. “Ask questions, get involved.”