Beeline Homebody: Greg Ellis
Posted by Kelly
Wed 27 April 2022
The Gregulator. Gerg. Greg Head. That Aussie Guy Who Curses A Lot — Greg Ellis goes by a bunch of names but technically he’s one of our co-founders and the one responsible for curating the user experience and finessing all the customer facing touchpoints and brand.
Greg labored long and hard with the Beeline brand and continues to watch over it with the fervor of a father emperor penguin.
His attention to detail is eye wateringly precise (down to the pixel) but he’s into the macro stuff too, and has been instrumental in making sure our user experience is as intuitive, respectful and fun as possible.
Oh, and his go-to housewarming gift might just get you arrested. So that’s fun….
What do you do at Beeline?
Brand, product, ops, marketing, user experience — my fingerprints are on anything that faces the user so it all works together seamlessly like an orchestra or ballet. The lights, music and curtains etc all have to be dialed in and choreographed just so.
What are you currently binging on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, preferred streaming service?
Watching weird piecemeal Spanish and Italian subtitle movies all the time to learn some lingo. My wife is Spanish so I need to skill up. Italian is just cool.
In high school, you were (or would have been) voted ‘The person most likely to _______’
I don't know. Humility has never been my strongpoint, so I'll say succeed. I did ok at school but goofed off a lot and spent most time trying to think up smart ass answers to piss off teachers. I never liked being told what to do, which is why startups suit me, especially when we’re trying to fly in the face of tired BS tradition. So my time could have been better spent, but it worked out ok in the end. I scraped into what I wanted at university and was actually quite organized and nerdy for those few years — handing in assignments early, running 60 miles a week in the forest, not drinking and having a steady girlfriend at the time.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I'm constantly frustrated because I try to cram in too much work and too much leisure, so the leisure isn't leisurely enough. Now fathering is in the mix too with an 18 month old baby and another one on the way. But I surf, golf, yoga, cycling, tennis and meditate. Then I’m slowly learning Italian and Spanish too. I do as much of that as I can with my wife, though she has the Spanish covered because she is from Barcelona. She's better at yoga too, but surfing is out of the question for her just now with a bun in the oven.
Do you have an office nickname?
The Gregulator — that's a self chosen nickname. There needs to be discipline. Not in a hitting my fingers with the school ruler sense but having pride in your work and doing what you say you're going to do and doing it well. If you're not going to do it, don't say it. What we’re doing at Beeline is quite difficult too, so if you want a consistent branded experience that people love which will scale then in the early days especially, you have to keep it methodical or you end up scaling messy and shite like.
What brought you to Beeline?
We were aghast when we saw and heard how the home loan process plays out and how people are made to jump through hoops and eat sh*t over and over again. It wasn't about the customer at all but about the lenders and other 3rd parties just feeding off the customer. Just seemed like an obvious opportunity to apply an alchemy of tech, brand, fun and customer centricity to create a completely new experience.
Where’s your favorite place in your home, and why?
My wooden deck outside. I'm pretty lucky to be able to see the ocean, so I can spend a bunch of time out there whether it's working or busting out some yoga or hanging with my little ladies (wife and daughter).
Do you own your own place? If so, think about how you felt when buying for the first time — what advice would you give yourself?
Yeah I did last week, so I can fully relate to the experience. For the last 2 years I’ve jumped from a beach shack in Gold Coast, Australia to a precipitous lakeside village on the Swiss Italian border in Gandria in 2021, to a cute forested town in Catalonia called Vallromanes just north of Barcelona in late 2021 and early this year.
It’s been a fun adventure, especially with covid raging and a baby that hates sleeping. Buying and owning here now will bring a nice grounded feeling — you don’t realize just how much you’ll appreciate that feeling until you stop hopping around like a gypsy. The grass is always green on both sides I guess. Anyway, my advice is to buy something you love and live in a cool location and that the neighborhood is more important than the house itself. So I'd rather a cool area than a cool house or a big house where I can't walk to places and have to get in the car.
Think about your hometown, what/where is something cool that only a local would know about? Eg. a killer brunch spot, secret beach, a kooky festival etc.
I haven't been to my home town, Toowoomba for 5 years, but for me the special place up there is the golf course. It feels very remote and I played there a lot when I was in my late teens/early 20s and had a lot of funny times there with friends, irritating conservative old people who wore knee high socks.
If you’ve got any special talents or party tricks, now’s the time to tell us.
I'm pretty good at limbo, but that's not a super special talent. My eye for detail is a good one but not really a party trick.
What is your go-to housewarming gift?
Knives that are dangerous. Nothing is better than a good knife. Once you move from a bad one that squashes tomatoes to spending some $$$ on a good knife, well you won't know yourself. If you haven't done it, do it.
What’s your idea of a kick-ass housewarming party? We’re talking bouncy castle out the back, clown theme, fire-breathing bartenders…
I'm hugely coulrophobic, so let's take a pass on the clowns. They're not even funny anyway. Only sinister. I think a kickass mid-afternoon pool party can't be beaten, with a DJ parked up one end and easy summer living.
Where would your dream home be? Beach shack looking over the waves? Penthouse apartment? Farm full of alpacas.
Definitely a beach shack overlooking the waves, with a close second being a place on the lake with some mountains behind it. I need to have some nature around to balance off the incessant amount of activity in my mind and remember how unimportant a lot of things are.
What’s the first concert you ever went to?
My mum took me to Dire Straits when I was about 12. It was pretty cool actually.