A lamp lit in the living room creates the illusion that someone’s home. But a lockbox hanging on the doorknob arguably tells people that nobody’s home.

  • Prempoint, a new mobile app for iOS and Android, provides agents with keyless property access management through a smart lock integration.
  • Prempoint connects to Schlage's Control Smart Locks via a smartphone's wireless Bluetooth signal, which means a property has to have one of these locks for Prempoint to offer keyless access.
  • In addition, Prempoint's private social network offers a platform where a property's stakeholders can communicate securely.

A lamp lit in the living room creates the illusion that someone’s home. But a lockbox hanging on the doorknob arguably tells passersby that nobody’s home.

A new app officially made its launch to the real estate market today that, by integrating with a smart locks, eliminates the need for that entry method (and visual cue).

Prempoint, available on all iOS and Android devices (optimized for smartphones), and its merge with Schlage Control Smart Locks will be debuted at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Conference and Expo this week.

The combination offers an alternative method of property access control that doesn’t require a physical key or code.

How the app works

As a cloud-based property management system, Prempoint is designed to securely control access to listings.

Within the app, users create “Points,” or virtual access spots linked to a physical location.

Every Point has an administrator (a Realtor/property manager) who controls which users can gain physical access to a property. Those with access are called “connections” and might include sellers, buyers, renters, vendors, real estate agents, appraisers and the like.

“With the app installed on a connection’s mobile device, that device becomes a ‘key,'” the company notes in its product explainer. “The Point feed tracks and stores when that device is used for access.”

Administrators and connections can communicate using the app to:

  • Schedule showings
  • Make offers
  • Handle work orders
  • Arrange check-ins

Agents can also require that users identify themselves with fingerprint authorization (the same technology you use to get into your smartphone or secure bank information).

“Much like the social networks Realtors use every day, the Realtor can add or revoke users’ access to any Point at any time (just like adding a connection in LinkedIn or ‘unfriending/unfollowing’ someone in Facebook/Twitter),” Prempoint’s CEO Matt Hartley told Inman.

“In addition, the ‘who, when, where and what’ of every Point a Realtor manages is available at any time in the app and tracked with an audit trail that integrates with a Realtor’s business systems and calendar/scheduling tool.”

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Smart lock integration

Prempoint connects to Schlage’s Control Smart Locks via a smartphone’s wireless Bluetooth signal, which means a property has to have one of these locks for Prempoint to offer keyless access. (Prempoint also works with Z-wave devices, including the Schlage Sense that features a “smart” deadbolt).

Schlage launched Schlage Control this year and Schlage Sense at the end of 2015, according to the company’s multi-family marketing director, Ann Matheis.

As such, Matheis told Inman in an email, “while we can’t share the exact number of units sold at this point, I can tell you that we are growing our electronic lock portfolio 30 percent year-over-year, so those products are doing very well!”

Currently, over 40 million homes feature some kind of Schlage brand lock device.

As real estate consumers have a wide range of locks on their properties, Prempoint does have plans to integrate with manufacturers of padlocks, lockboxes and several other keyless lock vendors in the future, Hartley said.

Moving forward, Prempoint is also looking to include a Schlage lock with every Prempoint annual subscription and offer additional locks at a price of approximately $249 retail.

MLS component

Every Point also comes with a “subscribe URL,” an optional link that can be pasted into anything, including text messages, emails, agent-only fields of any MLS listing or scheduling systems.

“Prempoint’s product team carefully thought through the balance of having open access to a Point’s subscribe URL with optimum security features,” said Prempoint’s chief technology officer, Paul Ward.

“The subscribe URL link is inherently secure. Each subscribe URL has, by default, a request process so that administrators must ‘approve’ anyone who wants to use the subscribe URL to access a Point.”

An administrator can choose to disable the subscribe URL approval process for select applications.

For example, Ward explains, say a Realtor has an open house and turns off the approval requirement for a subscribe URL. Attendees now have self-service access to the Point.

At the end of the open house, an agent can disable that link and choose to revoke access to anyone who subscribed to the Point.

At an another open house a few weeks later, an agent can renew the subscribe URL for that Point in the app and run the process over again.

Communication features

In addition to keyless access, Prempoint’s private social network, which offers instant messaging for a property’s stakeholders to converse securely, acts as a central storehouse for all communications related to a listing. Administrators and connections can add, store and share documentation, including photos, videos, contracts and work orders.

(Agents who want access to more than two Points can select the Prempoint Enterprise plan — they’ll be provided with a plan based on the approximate amount of Points they need monthly.)

“For Realtors, this can mean improvements in scheduling showings, reductions in missed showings and better tracking of feedback about showings,” the company notes in the app explainer.

Appointment changes and cancellations are all tracked through the app as well.

The release to Realtors comes after Prempoint’s beta run with test customers largely from the property management industry and after the company surveyed and connected with hundreds of real estate professionals, who provided input on features and benefits, prior to launching.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated that “a lockbox hanging on the doorknob arguably labels a property as vacant.” For clarity, this has been updated to “a lockbox hanging on the doorknob arguably tells passersby that nobody’s home.”

Email Caroline Feeney

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