When Marcus Medley set out to launch Apace Forms, a company that provides easy-to-use templates for real estate contracts, he knew it all started with the answer to a very simple question: What is a problem I face that needs to be solved?

A real estate broker himself, Medley came upon the answer last fall when he was doing trim work on his house and received news that a client needed to submit a timely offer. He rushed home and completed the tedious paperwork just in time, but only barely. It took 45 minutes.

“I knew that was unacceptable, that I needed to be able to submit it much faster and know it was 100% accurate. I knew I needed to automate the process,” he said.

He began brainstorming with his wife and eventual co-founder, Jayleese Le Blanc. “I really value her feedback,” Medley explained. “She’s great at analyzing how people think and feel, and she brings that to Apace.”

The one person Medley’s team was lacking was a software developer. So he called on Steven May to implement his and his wife’s visions for the Apace software and interface, then launched the company in January of this year.

And then, of course, COVID-19 broke out and everything came to a halt. The real estate market slowed down, and then with summer came the national Black Lives Matter protests.

“It didn’t feel like the right time to launch a company,” Medley said.

It was in early July, when he went to an open house in Roxbury and saw that the line snaked out the door, that he knew it was time to launch. Not long after, he was working with a young couple who were number 30 in the offer line on a property.

“I realized, that’s 30 people who could’ve used Apace,” he said.

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