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A hybrid-fintech company called Knox Financial is advertising a suite of products that collectively converts primary residences into investment properties, according to a press release sent to Inman.
The Knox Investment Property Platform is a three-tiered offering that rests on Knox Certainty, a program in which the company becomes the lessee to its homeowner client to augment their ability to qualify for the mortgage on the next home. In short, the lease shows verifiable, reportable income.
“From day one, Knox has been focused on helping as many homeowners as possible access the incredible financial opportunities that investment properties can provide,” said CEO of Knox David Friedman in a press release. “For homeowners who are ready to move, Knox’s new investment property products give them a way to turn the home they’re moving out of into an investment property that generates predictable returns on a timeline that meets their lifestyle and financial goals.”
The company cooperates with agents who bring homeowners into the platform, a spokesperson for Knox said. It also employs its own agents.
Other aspects of the company’s program include “Knox Peace of Mind” and “Knox Upside.” The former is a written guarantee on consistent monthly rent from any tenant Knox places after their initial lease expires, while Knox Upside “distributes rental income to the investment property owner as the tenant pays rent and allows the owners to access their equity via Knox’s proprietary lending platform,” the company stated.
Knox offers other licensed financial services including property wealth guidance and home and auto insurance packages. The company also provides property management, leasing and tenant marketing.
Knox provides mortgage lending, refinance, lines of credit and its KEAP program—Knox Equity Access Program—to give homeowners access to capital, based on the equity in the homes they are turning into investment properties.
It’s become clear that lines in the space are blurring as Wall Street becomes more comfortable with digital transactions and more critical as more people become separated from the goal of homeownership.
A number of companies have emerged to blend real estate services with finance and banking services, Knock perhaps being the most well-known. Baselane is a property management software company with its own banking services and Latchel, recently landing $16.7 million in Series A funding, blends rapid vendor payment solutions with single-family rental management services.
Also recently funded in this space was Gravy, a rent-to-own tenant savings app. And Stake, a banking service and cash-savings tool for renters and funded more than $12 million in June, partnered with a massive housing equality non-profit to facilitate its tenant financial services.
Doorstead, too, provides rent certainty for landlords as part of its tech-backed property management services.
Friedman said in the release that its best use case for Knox Investment Property Platform is when the company fully understands its clients’ financial goals and moving plans.
“Our extensive toolbox of lending, insurance, marketing, and property services allow us to craft the ideal investment property solution for that homeowner,” he said. “Knox’s highly-personalized approach to real estate investing will allow many more homeowners to become first-time investment property owners in the coming years, and reap significant financial returns for themselves and their families.”