New York, NY, United States (4E) – When RE:Tech, a national real estate tech coalition, held the first-of-its-kind real estate technology competition in New York’s financial district, innovative online listing services did not fail to vie for the top cash prize of $20,000.
Office finder startup The SquareFoot showed an app that calculates how noisy a particular area is aside from merging an online listings service with a brokerage team to streamline the entire commercial real estate leasing process. There was also Agorafy Inc.’s website that works as an updater of New York City listings.
oth featured the traditional photos and videos of properties, something that cannot be done away by brokers and agents. In fact, the RealBiz Media online marketing tools easily create listings and agent microsites plus virtual tours through photos and videos of properties.
While the web apps in the Hacker Challenge contest held at the WeWorks Charging Bull on Broadway on June 24 enhances the industry in line with RE:Tech’s objective, they were simply yet another listing site that pulls from open data to make online maps.
In the end, it was the Kisi that was the chosen as the most innovative and won the top prize that also included a booth to demo at the 3-day Urban Land Institute Fall National Conference in New York City, an event drawing more than 30,000 real estate owners, brokers and venture capitalists.
Kisi is an app that allows smartphones to become keys and do away with keycards, which can get lost, stolen, can’t be tracked, and generate no data. The Brooklyn-based smart key maker of the same name also manages digital keys online via their website.
Kisi was launched last year and is now used by a number of customers in the New York and New Jersey area, according to Kisi co-founder Maximilian Schuetz. Building owners use the software to enable and disable users’ keys, monitor key use, send out guest keys, handle remote opens, and even limit access to certain doors at certain times.
Taking second place in the Hacker Challenge was EZbldg EHS, which generates a custom, idiot-proof checklist for property managers so they can follow all of pertinent laws. Taking home the third prize was Vrban described by Thenewsfunnel.com as “an extremely creative 2D and 3D mapping service that allows its users to explore and make modifications to virtual models of urban landscapes, so that the planners for building projects can take into account the entire surrounding area when drafting their plans for the development.”
Jared Kushner, CEO of a diversified real estate organization called Kushner Co. and the featured judge of the contest, told the audience at the Hacker Challenge that building owners should “start behaving like technology companies.”
“We work in [a real estate] industry that isn’t technology forward, but that’s what we need,” Kushner said, according to Betabeat.
For Kisi, EZBldg EHS, Vrban, TheSquareFoot, Agorafy or RealBiz Media, they have successfully married real estate and technology in their own innovative ways.