- Toor, funded by a Kickstarter campaign and ABC's "Shark Tank" investors, is controlled by an app that also serves as a listing marketing tool.
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Developed by real estate agent and innovator Junior Desinor, the Toor smart lockbox received funding for manufacturing on Kickstarter back in 2016, then it earned Desinor a deal with Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O’Leary on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Well over a year since those milestones, units started shipping last month to backers and new buyers.
As is common with many crowdfunded projects, things change along the way. Kickstarter is a learning process for the inventors as much as it is for the backers.
The final, showing-ready Toor is as elegant in design as before, but comes with a number of new features for agents and anyone looking to safely control access to a listing or home.
The now multi-colored LED ring on the front panel communicates access modes. For example, all six colors illuminate when it’s turned on; green indicates it’s open and red means it’s closed. There are also blue, yellow and purple indicators.
All lockboxes now come with Toor’s key tracking fob, a Tile-like technology that geolocates keys associated with the device.
The companion app has been visually revamped, but still allows users to grant access, schedule appointments, find nearby Toor-certified agents, monitor key users and verify a person’s identity with license image capture.
It also requires users to agree to a non-discrimination clause, which is a nice touch.
Alerts sent by the app can be set for all stages of access, from initial showing request to when the lockbox is once again secured. Large, bold buttons allow users to approve, decline, reschedule or respond to a showing request.
The app has evolved into a quasi-showing management tool that offers listing descriptions and opportunities for feedback and property ratings.
There’s sharp new packaging and a range of color options.
Can it be said that Toor has made the lockbox a branding statement?
Other changes to Toor include its target markets.
Desinor is positioning the product to assist Airbnb managers with home access, as well as other in-home service professionals, such as dog walkers, personal assistants and in-home caregivers.
“We thought the market was only real estate, but along the way, we saw consumer perspectives changing dramatically, there’s been a shift toward an on-demand model for products and services,” Desinor said.
He told me he had these other uses in the back of his mind from the start but didn’t expect them to become a priority so quickly.
Regardless of how much we trust our paid home services providers, a little more information about their comings and goings certainly can’t hurt, especially when trusted to care for our unsupervised elderly family members.
And in this new era of web-driven subscription service models and Amazon Key, I think a little more control is in order.
Lastly, given the recent events in Austin, Texas, the ability to know exactly who is visiting our house is more important than ever. Surely UPS, FedEx, Amazon and the like can add “request key access” to their delivery processes. No request? No delivery.
Maybe there’s much more to the real estate lockbox than the real estate industry ever imagined.
Toor lockboxes can be ordered now for $99 on the website. Don’t let the pre-order button dissuade you — Desinor has assured Inman readers it’s ready to go.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.