Shorewest Reports: Inventive Real Estate Startups that Change the Game

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0946-business-1100021818-10182013Real estate startups are changing the game as we know it, providing inventive solutions to issues you face as a homeowner. From connecting you to your neighbors to inventing new devices and services to save you money. Read more about five innovative companies below and let us know which company you’re most excited about in the comments!

  • Nextdoor. Touted as the “free private social network for your neighborhood,” Nextdoor is a website and mobile app platform for communicating within your neighborhood. Rather than the tradititional aspect of expanding your network with social media by casting a wider net, this network allows you to connect on a hyper-local level. Backed by venture capital firm Tiger Global (known for long-term investments in companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and gaming company Zynga), Nextdoor was featured heavily after closing $60 million funding round in October 2013. Neighborhoods are password protected and undetectable by search engines, allowing neighbors to share relevant information, local news and get to know one another in a new way. Available in 31,000 neighborhoods and growing each day, check out this startup to see if your neighborhood is connecting with Nextdoor.
  • KeyMe. One of the newest startups on this list, KeyMe was founded in New York City in 2012 and has $2.3 million in seed money to find an inventive solution to common problems with house keys. Through KeyMe’s new app, you can order a duplicate key by mail (fully customizable with designs, prints or even a bottle opener) delivered to your door. You can also solve a huge hassle through the app: losing your keys or getting locked out. Simply take a picture of your key and upload it to the app or have anyone with the same key upload a picture if you’ve forgotten. Available in New York City with expansion on the horizon, a new key is hand delivered to you in less than 60 minutes. You can also visit a digital key kiosk in New York and instantly duplicate keys or print from your digital copy in less than 30 seconds. We can’t wait to see KeyMe expand and provide key solutions in Wisconsin!
  • Houzz. If you’re not using Houzz for remodeling or redecorating inspiration, start now. Founded in 2009, Houzz sought to revolutionize the home improvement industry and now have the #1 rated Lifestyle app in the App Store. After finishing Series C funding of $35 million in 2013, Houzz has continued to add on to their easy-to-use, image-based and design-focused website and app. Stop by Houzz to browse the pictures and stay for questions and discussions with the Houzz community of users and home professionals, plus Ideabooks curated by Houzz editors to spark your home improvement ideas.
  • Floored. Floored scans office spaces, apartments and houses using 3D camera and scanning technology, allowing the company to build customizable 3D models. The startup, based in New York City, finished Series A funding in December 2013, raising $5.26 million to help grow the business. While a Floored camera is unlikely to be used in a Wisconsin residential property soon, future use of 3D modeling could change the way homes are remodeled. If you were thinking about remodeling, a Floored camera could scan your home and you could have a live 3D model to try out different scenarios: adding or taking down walls, placing built-ins such as islands or shelves or even moving the existing furniture you have (also mapped with this technology) to a different part of your 3D home.
  • Nest. The creator of the world’s first Learning Thermostat, this startup (Nest Labs) was acquired by Google in early 2014 after finishing $80 million of Series C funding in 2013. Nest Labs proclaim to take “unloved products in your home and make simple, beautiful, thoughtful things.” The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself, learns your schedule and helps adapt temperature based on the data it collects. The longer you own and use one, the more money you save, lowering heating and cooling costs by up to 20%. Also created by Nest are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that replace the annoying beeping that traditional detectors use with a human voice. It tells you where the problem is and what to do. You can purchase Nest Labs technology online or in a local Best Buy, Home Depot or Lowes.

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