Steve De Long, Product Manager in San Diego, United States
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Steve De Long

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

San Diego, United States
Toptal Member Since
October 17, 2019

For over 15 years, Steve has successfully launched mission-critical software and data products in the real estate space before launching a startup of his own. Applying insights gained from his extensive customer-facing experience in sales and customer support, he synthesizes elegant product solutions while always keeping the needs of the business in mind. Steve is driven and entrepreneurial with an upbeat and inspiring leadership style.

Project Highlights

Stealth Real Estate Startup
Led the product design of a real estate application intended to help investors identify untapped opportunities.
FB Dynamic Ads for Real Estate
In conjunction with a technical co-founder created a functional prototype and demoed it to potential customers.
Resolved SEM Lead Generation Issue for B2B SaaS
Fixed the Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and Google Ads setups for a venture-backed cyber security company then revised their target keywords and improved their HubSpot hosted landing pages to triple leads being generated.


Work Experience

Product Marketing Manager

2021 - 2022
Ziff Davis Martech Group (via Toptal)
  • Collaborated with the product manager and marketing manager to create a go-to-market strategy for a SaaS product relaunch in the email marketing space.
  • Developed deep competitor research matrices for multiple products that will inform both marketing and product development projects going forward.
  • Built a feature prioritization matrix that I used to make suggested revisions to the product roadmap, which were adopted, reducing time to market by several months.

Product Marketing Manager (Freelance)

2020 - 2021
  • Worked for a venture-backed B2B SaaS company in the cybersecurity space. Took their paid search results from two leads in September to over 50 per month in November and December, providing their sales team with much-needed opportunities.
  • Built the landing pages and Adwords campaigns that generated over 300 leads through February for a new free trial offering launched in January.
  • Audited the existing Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager implementations and made adjustments that allowed Google Adwords to properly optimize ad campaigns, resulting in significantly higher conversion rates and more leads.

Product Manager

2019 - 2020
Management Consulting Firm (via Toptal)
  • Assisted a management consulting firm with sales funnel analytics, campaign performance analysis, lead attribution, and funnel optimization.
  • Solved a lead attribution problem caused by a Google Data Studio data blend issue, allowing full-funnel attribution and resulting in a clearer understanding of which campaigns were most successful.
  • Created and updated dashboards in Google Data Studio after solving the critical lead attribution issue, using Google Analytics, Salesforce and Pardot so the team could easily review campaign performance.

Product Management and Marketing Consultant | Owner

2011 - 2019
RealtyKick, Inc.
  • Built a simple CRM using GlideApps, Zapier, and Google Sheets for Facebook ads clients to use on their phone to click-to-call or click-to-text, resulting in the higher speed to lead.
  • Generated over 2000 leads at approximately $15 each for a venture-backed B2B enterprise IT SaaS startup, using Facebook ads and landing pages I created.
  • Designed and implemented a PPC marketing campaign report using Swydo, allowing clients to compare campaign performance across Linkedin, Google AdWords, and Facebook and make data-driven decisions regarding scaling the best-performing campaigns.
  • Performed extensive competitor research for a stealth real estate prop-tech startup to identify potential MVPs. Created all application input and output wireframes that integrated the founders' novel solutions with industry-standard features.
  • Participated in meetings with real estate data providers, including evaluating the offerings to determine the best combination of price and features, and then designed database update logic flows to integrate data from government and private sources.
  • Researched the market for template-driven websites for real estate agents, including evaluating MLS IDX platforms, SEO packages, and CRMs. The primary reason consumers visit a real estate agent's website was that validation was not addressed.
  • Designed a novel solution and created a clickable mockup to solve the problem of getting to know, like, and trust someone on internet time.
  • Earned meetings with several investors through the clever use of social media, including one with a well-known Los Angeles-based venture capitalist.
  • Acquired significant knowledge around Lean Startup principles during this startup journey and digital marketing. Spent considerable time learning to build sales funnels, particularly using FB as a paid traffic source.

Founder | Product Manager

2013 - 2018
  • Researched the market for food-related products and services designed to leverage the American public's growing interest in new flavors and how to use them in every day cooking.
  • Built eCommerce websites to test various product offerings using cutting edge (at the time) CMSs like Goodsie and Strikingly. Created and tested various MVP product offerings like DIY Vanilla Extract kits on marketing platforms like Opensky.
  • Evaluated and implemented payment platforms like trycelery, which was primarily designed as a pre-order platform for post-Kickstarter projects that have now been acquired by Indiegogo, and Stripe, before they were famous.
  • Built a blog and created several ebooks to use as lead magnets. Evaluated viral contest platforms as potential list building tools. Also acquired the related domains and as many social media handles as possible.
  • Successfully registered a wordmark trademark in multiple classes.
  • Created and hosted meetups for home cooks, food entrepreneurs, and cottage food producers where entrepreneurs like Sara Stroud, co-founder of Carnitas Snack Shack, spoke.
  • Designed and wireframed a custom website based on the engaging and high converting website of an artisan coffee roaster that was later acquired by Blue Bottle Coffee.
  • Developed a three-year business plan spreadsheet with recurring revenue and costs including mapping out specific hires based on the public hiring pattern - including job descriptions - of a venture-backed company in a similar space.

Business Analyst, Subject Matter Expert, QA and Scrum Team Member

2012 - 2013
Contractor - Data and Application Migration
  • Assisted in the successful migration of a massive legacy mainframe real estate application and multiple associated big data databases to a distributed SOA/SQL server client/web-based architecture. The project was run following Agile Methodology principles using Scrum Meetings and Rally Software.
  • Collaborated with the team to identify, understand, and explain critical legacy features. Prevented key functionality that customers relied on from being lost during the initial port which would have led to customer rejection, delays, and significant additional and unnecessary expenses.
  • Drafted many feature test documents for use in manual testing by on-shore and offshore teams and by the test automation teams for script development.
  • Analyzed and resolved a post-migration problem that would have resulted in 5 million transaction records being re-processed incorrectly.
  • Trained offshore QA teams on how to correctly test key features involving syncing separate datasets on demand to produce output.

Director, Special Projects

1995 - 2010
Data Trace Information Services
  • Created the data trace starter service and managed data acquisition operations working closely with the regional sales managers to acquired, scrub, index and load the service with over 3.5 million starter records (title insurance policies).
  • Conceived and developed a new record type that allowed Data Trace to acquire multiple, critical large customers resulting in excess of $1 million of additional annual revenue. As product manager worked with product development to implement the new record and operations to oversee keying of ten years worth of additional real estate data in seven Southern California counties.
  • Managed the introduction of the first API allowing customers to directly access the databases and build automated searching tools using business rules engines, including developing pricing and contracts.
  • In response to customer demand created Property Plus, a less costly, limited feature version of a previously retired application. I added critical new features that allowed it to fill a gap in our product mix and quickly grow to monthly billings in excess of $100,000.
  • Instrumental in closing $30 million in new and renewal business for a real estate SaaS service with a lifetime value of those contracts exceeding $150 million.
  • Held P&L responsibility for a revenue and customer support budget. Grew annual revenue from $5 million to over $7.5 million in additional revenue over a 5 year period.

Stealth Real Estate Startup

Led the product design of a real estate application intended to help investors identify untapped opportunities.

Served as a product manager and strategic advisor for a stealth prop-tech real estate startup. In addition to a deep analysis of the competitive market place, I created a complete set of wireframes for the application including helping to develop the UI for the founders' unique and non-obvious solutions to property search problems that mapped to proprietary data sets. I also worked on the data acquisition side including interfacing with commercial and government data providers as well as performing provider contract reviews. The data acquisition tasks included mapping the data to the UI/wireframes and developing guidelines for the development team to use when applying updates. Finally, I served as a strategic adviser regarding pricing, sales, fundraising, and business development opportunities using my extensive experience in real estate data/property tech, SAAS sales, account management, customer support, digital marketing, and lean startup principles.

FB Dynamic Ads for Real Estate

In conjunction with a technical co-founder created a functional prototype and demoed it to potential customers.

Facebook expanded its dynamic ads product offering from eCommerce to include real estate, travel, and cars. Working with a technical co-founder, we examined potential opportunities for the real estate version, built a functional prototype as an MVP with the absolute minimum feature set, and demoed it to various potential customers. DARE, as Facebook refers to it, requires integration with real estate websites - particularly catalog management and sophisticated FB pixel implementations - and we quickly determined that a successful product would require us to build a full real estate website offering and terminated the project.

Resolved SEM Lead Generation Issue for B2B SaaS

Fixed the Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and Google Ads setups for a venture-backed cyber security company then revised their target keywords and improved their HubSpot hosted landing pages to triple leads being generated.

The inside sales team of this venture-backed cyber security company was only receiving approximately two leads per month from their Google Ads campaigns.

After I adjusted the Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and Google Ads setups so that proper attribution and optimization could occur and updated their HubSpot-based landing pages, I increased monthly leads to over 50, providing the inside sales team with much-needed opportunities.
1978 - 1982

Bachelor of Art Degree in Fine Art

San Diego State University - San Diego, California, USA


Facebook Ads Manager, Advertising Tools & Platforms, Trello, Pardot, Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, HubSpot, Rally, Asana, HubSpot COS




Agile Product Management, Scrum, Agile, B2C, Keyword Research, Pay-per-Click (PPC)

Industry Expertise

Fine Arts, Real Estate, Residential Real Estate, Food & Beverage


Entrepreneurship, Proptech, Digital Marketing, Facebook Ads, Sales Funnel, Facebook Marketing, Instagram Ads, Product Owner, Lean Startups, Wireframing, Market Research, Product Management, Software as a Service (SaaS), Proposals, Business Development, Customer Support, Software QA, Pricing, Contract Negotiation, Contract Review, Business Analysis, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Product Strategy, Product Marketing, Business Models, Business Model Canvas, Innovation, Product Ownership, User Research, Product Design, ManyChat, Chatbots, Competition Research, Cross-functional Collaboration, Stakeholder Management, Marketing Strategy, Marketing, Customer Acquisition, Paid Advertising, New Product Development, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Technical Leadership, Communication, Feature Prioritization, B2B, Market Opportunity Analysis, Market Research & Analysis, SaaS, Prototyping, Startups, CRM Systems, Marketing Automation, eCommerce, Instagram Marketing, Email Marketing, ActiveCampaign, Google Tag Manager, Google Ads, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Marketing Research & Analysis, Growth Marketing, SEO Tools, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Growth Strategy, Growth, Consumer Services, Digital Marketing Strategy, Keyword Analysis, Websites, Project Management, Marketing Technology (MarTech), Technical Product Management, Integration, Ideation Workshops, Workshops, Web Platforms, HTML, CSS, WordPress, Roadmaps, Salesforce, Funnel Analysis, Landing Pages, Chatbot Conversation Design, Go-to-market Plans, Go-to-market Strategy, Competitive Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Growth Hacking, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Semrush

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