Real estate tech company Kleard has launched a new self-tour technology and app for homebuyers to tour homes on their own.
The platform, Kleard Now, allows potential buyers to verify their identities, unlock participating homes and view them without an agent present, the company announced Thursday.
Self-guided home tours using apps is not new; the technology is becoming more adopted, especially by iBuyers and particularly amid the coronavirus’ physical distancing guidelines. About a year ago, Zillow announced it would launch a pilot app that provides users directions to a property, unlocks the doors when they arrive and allows them to tour the house without needing an agent or appointment. And last month, Redfin announced its own home tour app in select cities.
Yet co-founder and CEO Jonathan Martis said Kleard Now is different because it can be used by any licensed real estate agent, for any home, in any U.S. city.
“Our technology can be used by any agent, any brokerage, no matter how big your brokerage is, no matter how small,” Martis said. “That’s a great way for agents to use multimillion-dollar technology, pretty much handed to them saying,’Turn-key; here you go.'”
Here’s how Kleard Now’s patent-pending technology works:
- An agent would order an app-compatible smart lock from Kleard’s website for either $139.99 per lockbox or $159.99 per deadbolt
- After downloading the Kleard app and pairing the lock with the agent’s phone, the system is ready to be used; there is a $99 per listing fee for the agent to enable the self-tour technology
- Kleard also sells yard signs that promote the instant access self-tour
- A prospective buyer can tour the home by downloading the app, then going through what the company says is a 90-second verification process
- The listing agent must approve the buyer’s tour request and then receives real-time information on how long the buyer is at the property, when the buyer leaves and their feedback on the home
It’s these safety measures, requiring multiple levels of verification from prospective buyers, that set Kleard Now apart from other self-tour apps, according to Martis.
The app verifies the front and back of the buyer’s driver’s license, then sends a code to verify the cell phone number, sends their email a link to verify their email address and requires a selfie taken from their phone for facial recognition technology. Finally, the app uses GPS verification to ensure that the prospective buyer is actually at the home they’re requesting to see.
Kleard is part of the 2019 National Association of Realtors‘ REACH class, a technology accelerator program that helps launch early- to mid-stage companies in the real estate, financial services and banking industries. It was also named to HousingWire‘s Tech100 and T3 Sixty‘s Top 500 this year.
Martis said he’s been working on the self-tour concept for more than a year, drawing on his past experiences as a licensed real estate agent.
“I felt like there was a lot of wasted time in real estate because if you think about it in a big city, to go show a property to somebody might take you a couple of couple of hours to get there,” said Martis, who’s based in Seattle.
“The thing is the buyer might just be passing by a home, and they want to see it. I’ve had that happen to me where a buyer sends me a picture of a house and they’re at the house. And they’re interested in the house, but I can’t get there in time. It’s like rush hour traffic. So nobody really won.”
The timing of Kleard Now’s launch is coincidental with self-distancing protocols, but will help agents and buyers alike.
“Even more so, it makes it something people should be aware of because as people want to social distance more, this is something that can help with that,” Martis said.
Martis said rental support is expected to start in July, allowing for self-tours for homes, condos and apartments for rent. Martis also said Kleard is seeking to raise $2 million in seed funding this summer in order to scale the business.
Update (10:33 p.m. ET, May 30): This article was updated to include the $99 per listing fee for a listing agent to enable the self-tour technology.