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Startup makes rent count toward tenants’ credit

(REAL ESTATE TECH) This startup gives property owners an advantage while improving the renter economy and making rent count toward credit.

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keyo tenant credit

Although property management tools for landlords are well established (think Yardi or RealPage), a new startup is taking a residential approach to property management. Keyo offers renters a seamless way to engage with tenants to provide rent payments, maintenance requests, and building announcements. Before the lease is signed, Keyo can handle tenant applications, free background checks, and digital contract management.

Keyo is renter focused, from the marketing (encouraging tenants to push for it) to the focus on appealing to the new modern renter. From the ability to set up “Scouts” who show units for you (and make money on the side to show the unit and expedite the process), to the fact that renters could apply for an apartment and never pay a single application fee for multiple units – which is also a cost that you the landlord doesn’t have to pass onto them.

The vision is to make the renting economy more accessible, friendlier, and less complicated for tenants.

The best feature by far?

Rent payments made through Keyo are reported to credit bureaus Equifax and TransUnion– which rewards tenants by improving their credit.

(FYI: Renters have less opportunity to improve their credit unlike many mortgage holders.)

Keyo also allows ACH payments for rent – (and as a millennial who resents checks, this is AWESOME), helping individuals pay their rent on time. Maintenance requests are easy and transparent as well.

Keyo makes its money from landlords who pay it to help them fill units, and it provides some key marketing features, including search optimization, analytics on marketing, and all those paperwork management (which means you don’t’ have to pass that cost along to the tenant, which can make investment property owners more competitive). The pricing works out to $5.00 monthly per unit, and each new tenant that is delivered by Keyo costs the landlord one month’s rent. This could be less expensive than the cost of a broker’s standard charge in your region.

Keyo is focused primarily on Brooklyn, but is looking to expand to larger markets. The true test of its quality will be how it translates outside of the wild west of NYC. While being feature-packed, compared to some property management systems like Yardi, this seems a fair bit sparse, but likely is lower overhead.

This is a modern, simple, resident driven platform that could help investment property owners to be more competitive and improve the renter economy.

Kam has a Master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and is an HR professional. Obsessed with food, but writing about virtually anything, he has a passion for LGBT issues, business, technology, and cats.

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Real Estate Technology

ClosingLock has protected $14B of real estate transactions – is your title company on board yet?

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Security is utmost for you and your data, so it’s even more important for your clients. Closinglock protects you both with their security features.

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closinglock features

As digital transactions become the norm, keeping you and your clients secure is becoming a necessity. Poor security leaves a lot at risk, including the personal information of you or your client, as well as potentially even bank information. We’ve talked about the need for security before, but the quick version is this: there are a lot of ways things can go wrong.

Sure, no business wants to be hacked, but when you’ve got home payments on the line, you’re easily at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars with one mistake. And, as you might expect, when people are scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, they are not happy.

They’re also more likely to sue. Go figure.

It started with title companies, but these days, brokers and agents are also at risk for being sued if their clients get scammed. Really, a security breach can put everybody involved in a bad position.

“Unfortunately, many in the industry continue to email out their wiring instructions. These are the emails that are then spoofed, causing clients to lose their life savings, and companies to go out of business,” explains Andy White, CEO and co-founder of ClosingLock.

The company ClosingLock wants to change this.

ClosingLock, formerly known as BuyerDocs, works to keep the digital aspects of real estate on lock down. Not only does ClosingLock provide much needed security boosts, like secure document transfers and three factor verification, it is also working to streamline the process entirely by consolidating everything on one platform. Plus, ClosingLock works to ensure everything is easy to use – after all, security program that is confusing might keep things safe, but it’s also bound to make life harder for everyone involved.

According to ClosingLock, their products have been used across the United States, as well as in 42 international countries. The results have been pretty great: they’ve protected over $14 billion in real estate wire transfers alone.

“Each transaction that ClosingLock protects is one step closer to eliminating wire fraud from the industry,” says Smith.

If you aren’t doing something to ensure your clients and business are secure, you’re taking a major gamble with every big transaction. Consider investing, or urging your title company, to invest in a security program like ClosingLock to ensure everything continues running smoothly.

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Real Estate Technology

The language barrier of a client is becoming non existent, thanks to Google

(TECHNOLOGY) Break down language barriers between your and your clients with Google Assistant’s newest innovation, Live translate. Estas son buenas noticias!

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language interpreter

There’s nothing more frustrating than losing a client, or potential client, due to a language barrier. And although we’d all love to be hitting our Duolingo goals every day, there simply isn’t enough time or energy to learn every popular language in your area. Thankfully, you don’t have to.

Interpreter is Google’s real-time translator tool and it is now available on mobile. Previously only available on smart speakers and displays, Interpreter helps you break past language barriers and make more sales while building meaningful connects with your clients.

Interpreter works as part of Google Assistant. In order to launch the feature users simply say something along the lines of, “Google, help me speak Spanish” or “Hey Google, I need a Mandarin translator.” Once Interpreter has identified both languages it will prompt you to begin speaking. As you, or your client, speaks the feature will automatically translate your conversation into the language selected. A written and spoken translation will then be provided via your phone’s display.

This tool could be a game-changer for realtors who operate in areas where they often do not share the same primary language as their clients. Using a tool like Interpreter can help you level-up your communication and networking game. Once you are no longer afraid to speak with a client more than necessary it opens the door for meaningful connections between both parties. There could be a wealth of opportunities hiding behind that language barriers!

Interpreter’s functionality as both a voice and text translator makes it a beneficial resource whether you are having a face-to-face meeting with a client or communicating via text or email. Interpreter also offers users a few Smart Replies in case you need some help keeping the conversation going.

Interpreter is currently available in 44 languages including Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and German. You can access the full list of languages here. The mobile version will be the most helpful for convenient, on-the-go communication, but users can also access Interpreter through Google Home speakers, Smart Displays, Smart Clocks, and tablets. Interpreter is now available on both Android and iOS across the globe.

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Real Estate Technology

Copper makes CRM integration even easier with G-Suite partnership

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Newer CRM touts ability to work from within G-Suite 100% of the time. Now, there’s no need to leave your inbox to view your CRM tool.

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CRM solution from Copper

Finding a working CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software) for Gmail is no small feat. Sure, there are options, but do any of them really integrate 100% with G-Suite? Not really, and that’s why Copper, G-Suite’s newest partner in crime, is taking a stab at being G-Suite’s dedicated CRM.

Now, we’ve spoken about CRMs before, like Top Producer CRM, which, in 2013, bragged about its integration with Google Drive. But from what we know, Copper is totally different in that it’s less expensive, has far better reviews, and offers 24/7 support.

Furthermore, what also makes Copper different is that it was created with efficiency in mind. They wanted to remove the negatives of average CRMs, like data entry, administrative hassles, and a generally clunky interface. Their focus is in a positive user-experience, which totally makes sense because hey, if a CRM isn’t easy to use, what sales person in their right mind would want to use it?

I’ve written about some of my experiences with startups before. More often than not, they tend to jump the gun and start with something vastly too complex, like Salesforce. Don’t get me wrong; Salesforce is an amazing tool, but the majority of startups really don’t need something so complicated.

With Copper, your CRM is connected directly to Gmail. As a matter of fact, Google recommends them officially, according to a report by Small Biz Trends. Because of this, Copper touts the ability to do almost everything within Gmail directly, including the ability to update statuses and add sales pipeline “next steps”. It also syncs all your contacts, tasks, and events to your Google Calendar. Plus, with the integration, you’ll get notified when a customer opens your emails.

The CRM also connects directly with Google Drive, offering the ability to use products like Google Sheets with ease.

Kira Lenke is the Vice President of Marketing for Copper. According to Small Biz Trends, she says “At Copper, our focus is on collaboration and ease-of-use. We’re not trying to impose another desktop that users have to work from and learn how to use. Instead, we’re meeting people in a tool they’re already familiar with — G Suite. Placing Copper alongside the collaboration tools people already know and love allows for it to work seamlessly in the background, requiring almost no onboarding. Copper doesn’t demand any heavy administration and will even send reminders to you when it’s time to follow up with a prospect or customer. This gives small business owners time back to focus on what they do best — running their business and delivering exceptional customer experiences.”

And just in case you’re looking for a CRM that cares about the future of their product, and not just the profit it can obtain from customers, you’re in luck. As of this week, the company has hired a brand new Vice President of Product, Wyndham Hudson. According to their press release, “In this role, he will lead the product and design teams, as well as set the product strategy and direction for the company.”

Copper’s CEO, Dennis Fois, also added that “Wyndham’s experience of bringing products to market and scaling a startup globally will be invaluable as we look to elevate our SMB customers to the next level in 2020 and beyond.”

Copper’s target market is SMBs (small to mid-size businesses), so if you’re looking for a pretty healthy looking toolset that lives within your Gmail account, look no further – Copper may be right for you.

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