Calgary entrepreneur Scott McKay describes it as “Tinder for real estate.”
McKay is the founder of LotSpot, a new Calgary-developed, location-based app that delivers prospective home buyers detailed information on both new and re-sale homes by combining readily available open data and unique features described by sellers to market their properties.
“Why do we know more about the phones we talk on and the cars we drive than the homes we live in today? What it comes back to, is data,” McKay said.
“We know about that stuff because it’s already out there. We can hit multiple websites and compare. With homes, you can’t.”
Using application programming interfaces (API), LotSpot accesses data on a home that isn’t kept in your standard tabletop feature sheet. McKay said everything from last assessed property value, to average drive time to work (via Google) or potentially nearby school rankings could be delivered through their app, providing a fuller picture of a home’s value.
“What it comes down to is access to information,” McKay said, noting that often times buyers are emailing realtors to find out things like furnace efficiency, age of roof and buyers have to wait for a response.
“We’re going to take that guesswork out and we’re going increase the ease of use.”
It works off Bluetooth beacon technology that recognizes your signal when logged into the application on your smartphone. The beacons, which are placed in different rooms around the home, can sense when you’re in certain areas and they deliver you the room-specific information.
From there, users can tap whether or not they like the room, add in notes, take their own photos of the area and even tap on how the room makes them feel. Then, users can compare homes on their smartphone.
“At the end of the day we’re not a bunch of feature sheets spread out on your kitchen table. We’re app based, where you can do a side-by-side comparison,” McKay said.
“That’s something that been missing in this industry for so long.”
McKay said he’s in the “prop-tech” field – or property tech. He said that others in his industry are trying to replace the typical realtor. He doesn’t think LotSpot does that.
“My firm belief is that we can actually help sell a property faster using my technology, because we’re enabling users to have all that information that they need,” he said.
He thinks it’s a turning point in the industry as time-strapped people are looking for fulsome information at their fingertips.
“Now we’re a swipe society,” McKay said.
“They want to see a photo of it, then ‘do I like it? Yep. I’m in.”
He’s already signed on 70-plus realtors and one early-adopting homebuilder – Madison Avenue Homes. They’ve installed the system in their Okotoks showhomes.
They’re doing a full public launch beginning March 15. For more information visit lotspot.ca