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GoldenKey raises close to $2M in funding – could they really disrupt real estate?

(TECH NEWS) Our service economy is zeroing in on the on-demand mindset. Could GoldenKey help the real estate industry figure out how move fast enough to keep up?


The modern economy

Living in a service economy means options. Options everywhere, overwhelming options. Where do you want to eat? What app do you want to use to call a driver to drive you there? Or do you want to stay home, and use a different app to have your food delivered? Or do you want someone to pick up your groceries so you can cook your own meal? The service economy is solving problems you didn’t even know you had: who knew we’d ever want to travel across the country or the world and pay to spend the night in a stranger’s home? Who knew we’d ever want to read articles like this one on our phones?


What GoldenKey does

GoldenKey is an up-and-coming real estate service aiming to solve a few problems at once. The premise is simple: match home buyers and sellers with expert agents, and charge a flat, set fee, payed at closing, instead of an uncertain commission.

[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s a real estate Uber, and it’s taken off in 47 states so far.” quote=”It’s a real estate Uber, and it’s taken off in 47 states so far.”]

The service also includes a 3 percent rebate when a client buys or sells a home with the help of a GoldenKey agent, though some states like Oregon have laws that explicitly forbid this on the books. The company offers three tiers of bundled services, and an on-demand agent pay-per-service option (though you have to dig deeper into the website to go that route, so the tiers are obviously favored).

Following a $1.1 million funding round last year and an investment from Lowe’s, the company recently raised another $1.75 million, again from Lowe’s Ventures, and from NFX Guild and others. The company says its total investment is now $3.4 million.

Will you get in on it?

At this time, only about 1,900 agents across the country have partnered with GoldenKey – you can bet most agents aren’t going to give up on high commissions without a fight. But the benefits of GoldenKey’s service are also high: when an agent connects themselves to the GoldenKey client network, as the company website says, “With GoldenKey, they will come to you.”

This frees up tons of time previously spent attracting clients that can now be devoted to actually providing services that you’ll be compensated for. And by unbundling services, each agent can focus on their strengths, their favorite parts of the business. The service also claims to carry less risk, thanks to the transparency of the payment system – clients are less likely to back out, so agents are less likely to miss out entirely on a payment.

Our service economy is zeroing in on the on-demand mindset, previously home mostly to movies and car rides. The real estate industry is no exception, but will GoldenKey disrupt or is it just another lead generation company in a sea of brands that want to “disrupt” by selling leads to agents? Honestly, the game here is less about disruption and more about who can be the biggest lead generation company, as brand dominance is the only way to truly make an impact with this model. And with a few million dollar head start, GoldenKey  has a shot at that form of disruption.


Written By

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films - preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.


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