The heat is still dying down from Inman Connect. New tech. New faces. New ideas on how to upend the industry. For example, Toor. This fancy new lockbox, deemed “the world’s smartest,” emerged on Kickstarter and may very well be the future of letting people into homes. Or at least I hope it is.

  • Are agent-assisted tours a dying part of the real estate practice?
  • Crowdfunding might be the new frontier for real estate technology products, as evidenced by the support behind Toor, a new lockbox device launched by Kickstarter.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

The heat is still dying down from Inman Connect. New tech. New faces. New ideas on how to upend the industry.

For example, Toor.

This fancy new lockbox, deemed “the world’s smartest,” emerged on Kickstarter and may very well be the future of letting people into homes. Or at least I hope it is.

It was also a 2016 Realogy FWD finalist.

What does Toor do?

Toor (or “tour,” get it?) is an app-animated key storage device and communication tool that shares notes, notifications, showing instructions and alerts with buyers and sellers.

TOOR_lockbox

TOOR may very well be the future of letting people into homes.

TOOR homes can be shown without any representative from a real estate agency present, allowing curious buyers to stroll around unsupervised.

Now, before you panic: Unrepresented buyers have to register and request showings ahead of time. Sellers and listing agents can deny the showing if desired.

TOOR_opening_original

Plus, Toor has partnered with an identification verification company to help ensure the safety of property, customers and agents.

Still, ZipTours tried the not-having-an-agent-physically-present thing, and the industry didn’t particularly love the idea. ZipTours now only supports video tours of its own listings.

I suppose it’s similar to the film industry cracking down hard on internet piracy up until the point that it understood how to make money from online content.

Notice how little “anti-piracy” messaging there is today?

Soon enough, Keller Williams or Century 21 or Re/Max will find a way to make the concept commonplace. In fact, they’ll have to.

Should it be required that a licensed agent be present, buyers can use the Toor app to request a nearby Toor-associated agent to assist in the showing.

The app and lockbox talk to each other through your phone’s Bluetooth connectivity.

I must add, from a strictly mechanical engineering perspective, Toor is an elegant device.

Toor’s app also manages scheduling and offers a map to identify lockbox locations.

Like it or not, it looks like Toor is going to reach the market.

TOOR_appts

As of this writing, it surpassed its $100,000 funding goal with 108 backers in May 2016, which to me is a good indicator that consumers are looking for change in the way they are shown and sold homes.

Do you agree?

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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