Imagine a prospective homebuyer wants to see a home ASAP, but her real estate agent can’t be there for hours. Latch, a smart lock, can solve the problem.
- Latch's smart-lock system lets users unlock their doors with smartphones, smart cards, passcodes and physical keys.
Latch, a smart lock provider that’s raised $16 million in funding, can solve the problem. If the lock were installed in the home’s front door, the agent could send a one-time passcode that the buyer could use to let herself in.
The Latch M
Latch’s first product, the Latch M, is a mortise lock with a touch screen and camera.
It lets users unlock their doors with smartphones, smart cards, passcodes and physical keys. One-time passcodes can be sent to visitors, such as prospective buyers, deliverymen, plumbers or dog-walkers.
The smart lock’s wide-angle camera and digital log allows property managers and tenants to monitor and manage guest access.
The Latch R
Latch has been installed in a number of New York City apartment buildings owned by companies including Corigin Real Estate Group and Onex and Related Management, according to Latch.
The company recently unveiled a second product, the Latch R, which brings Latch M’s functionality to lobby-level doors, turnstiles, elevators and other spaces controlled by electronic access, and integrates with a building’s intercom system.
The Latch M and Latch R “combine to form a complete access system that works for both hardwired and battery-powered environments,” Latch said in announcing the Latch R.
“Before the Latch R, the access control industry was dominated by reader and panel systems that cost thousands of dollars per door and resemble the mainframe infrastructure of early computing,” said Latch CEO Luke Schoenfelder in a statement.
“We’ve harnessed the power of modern design and technology to integrate an entire closet’s worth of equipment into a device that is the size and price of your smartphone.”
Pricing and availability
Latch wants to make its smart locks price competitive with a traditional lock.
Both the Latch R and Latch M cost $399 per door with a two-year service contract, compared to $200 or $250 for a traditional lock, Schoenfelder told Inman.
Latch is only selling the smart locks to property managers and landlords, but it plans to make units available for purchase to consumers and real estate agents in the future.
Due to Latch’s guest-access feature, Schoenfelder believes Latch could be a superior alternative to traditional lockboxes.
Latch’s clients haven’t used its smart locks “for leasing functions or remote tours yet but will be doing so in the future with one of our partners,” said Latch spokesman Matt Fossen.
Other players competing in the smart lock space include Toor, an app-animated key storage device and communication tool that shares notes, notifications, showing instructions and alerts with buyers and sellers; and Prempoint, an app that connects to Schlage’s Control Smart Locks via a smartphone’s wireless Bluetooth signal.