Coronavirus has affected all corners of the American economy, but the real estate market has been hit especially hard. There are a handful of reasons for this, but part of it has to do with the fact that buying a home is a physical experience. It’s important to see a property in person before taking the big financial commitment. But many people don’t feel safe going to open houses or meeting realtors, and local regulations may prohibit these gatherings.
While real estate professionals struggle to come up with ways to get their industry back on track, Seattle-based Kleard just launched technology that allows buyers to tour properties without them coming in contact with strangers.
The technology is called Kleard Now, which allows realtors to remotely grant access to buyers who want to self-tour a home on the market. Buyers download the app and set up an account, which asks them to confirm their identity. Next, they can request to see a specific property. This notifies the realtor in charge of the property, who can accept or deny the request, and then remotely open a smart lock that allows the prospective buyer to enter. Buyers can then tour the property on their own while the app keeps track of how long the buyer stays. After they leave, the app makes it easy to follow up in case they want to proceed with buying the home.
The whole process is meant to be simple to encourage people to look at homes without needing to make an appointment or have a realtor on-site.
“Kleard Now allows any real estate agent in the United States the ability to use multi-million dollar self-tour technology that previously was only accessible to heavily funded tech brokerages and their agents,” CEO Jonathan Martis said in a statement. “Agents can now easily enable self-tours on their listings, which should translate into increased safety, more tours, and a faster sale. Because our technology benefits buyers, sellers, and agents, we believe everyone will be happy with what we’ve built.”
Although Kleard Now is intended to address a pain point associated with our current social situation, the technology may be useful in the future as a way to get more homebuyers touring potential homes.