LotSpot real estate app putting data in Calgary homebuyers’ hands

New Calgary developed real-estate app combines open data and walkthrough information to create full picture of home purchases, founder says

LotSpot operates on Bluetooth beacon technology, sensing when buyers are in different rooms of a home. CONTRIBUTED

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

About Darren Krause 254 Articles
Journalist, husband, father, golfer, writer, painter, video gamer, gardener, amateur botanist, dreamer, realist... never in that order.

9 Comments

  1. When we were searching for our home 3 years ago, this would’ve been great!

    My wife was using the realtor.ca app and favouriting homes, but comparing them after that was tough. We’d do our own comparison, then we’d send them to our realtor only to find out things weren’t what they seemed. In many cases, it wasn’t even our realtors fault – he was waiting on the other realtor to find out from the seller what the answer was. I think something like this will speed those lines of communication, and ultimately sell/buy faster.

    In my opinion, it won’t replace the need of a realtor, but I could see how those who aren’t fans of them could use it on their own to find the home they want…it’s all the other stuff realtors do that I would need.

    I hope this is around when it comes for us to sell/buy our next place…and that the realtors use it in the homes!

  2. It’s amazing the information this will put into the hands of both the buyer and the seller. So many different industries have been disrupted over the past years by long overdue change. Looks like the real estate business is next!

  3. Interesting article. Often when looking at houses you find things you like and stuff you don’t. It’s hard to remember everything you encounter through days of house hunting. I think this has legs and can help consumers with the process. I also see the benefit for the realtor or home builder. Having a base to keep track of wants and needs and actually filtering properties will prove of value.

  4. Buying a home is so stressful, to the point that one can be paralyzed and not make any decision. Having all the data in one place (the likes, dislikes, loves, and hates) would be awesome! The additional information about the community and commute times makes it even better.

    Calgary-grown ideas and innovation…keep it going Scott!

  5. Home buying is anything but smooth. Any tools that help consumers through a difficult process is a plus in my book.

  6. Yes! While searching for our new home I was overwhelmed with trying to research all the information you plan to have in one centralized and easy to use app. Buying a home is one of the biggest if not the biggest purchase one will make. Having this information available at our fingertips will make the process more enjoyable and much less stressful!

  7. I think that this is exactly what the industry needs. Currently the only other way to look at properties is to go to s show home and try and remember everything or to look on realtor.ca and painfully go through listings and then try and remember what each listing had that you liked. This benefits all parties involved in a sale.

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