Hello: Kleard

April 20, 2020

This is the first in a series of interviews I am doing with new and innovative companies in and around the #SmartLock, #Security and #AccessControl industry. It's time they have a voice and we meet them. If there are any companies you'd like to see highlighted in the future, let me know. I plan to do this regularly. I am open to your feedback and appreciate the heads up. Thank you!

I recently had the chance to speak with Jonathan Martin, CEO of Kleard. He and his company caught my eye for a couple reasons:

  1. He has identified a use case that is ripe for disruption (the real estate market and showing homes), is leveraging technology to deliver convenience and safety (by authenticating users - no need to sacrifice one for the other) and from all the other solutions I have seen, Kleard seems to have a depth of expertise in the market and is executing.
  2. I've been impressed with the way Jonathan is partnering and using the ecosystem through collaboration to spark the vision.

Although our conversations have been brief and through LinkedIn messaging, he's very open to engaging in conversation and I find it refreshing.

So here it is...I asked Jonathan the following questions to get to know him and his company better. I thought I'd share them. Here is what he had to say:

Tell us a little about your business.

Kleard provides smart technology to the real estate industry. We focus on verification for a safer and more productive way for real estate to operate.

What got you into the smart lock / access control business?

I was practicing real estate when the Kleard idea came about. I found that there wasn't a great way to verify information when people signed in at an open house, and also my wife passed her real estate exam but I felt uncomfortable with the safety solutions, or lack thereof, in the industry, and thus Kleard was born in 2017 and officially launched on stage at Inman Connect in San Francisco in July 2018. The app allowed real estate agents the ability to verify buyers before a showing or during an open house for a higher level of safety, and so agents knew the info was correct. I realized that with even more in-depth, yet quick verification of an individual, we could allow properties to be toured instantly. Kleard Now, our instant access technology works in conjunction with a smart lock. Once the buyer goes through our verification process, they can request access via the app from a real estate agent who can approve access. The buyer then just take the unlock button to enter the home. This is the future, and it's coming via Kleard Now in March. Kleard Now will be available for any brokerage/MLS and it benefits everyone involved: buyers get in the door faster, sellers can get a faster sale with potentially more offers and money, and agents stay safe, get more & better leads without the need to drive to each house.What markets and verticals do you serve?

We will launch in March with residential vacant real estate sales and plan to launch into the rental space (traditional rentals and vacation rentals) in Summer 2020. We plan on launching in several markets at launch but all cities are not finalized yet.

What is one thing that you were surprised to find out about the security/lock/access control industry?

I was surprised to find out how that with all the technology we have, lockboxes with keys are still the norm in real estate sales. This needs to change because keys will become less common. If you think about cars, many don't have keys as the main unlocking method/ability to start the car, it's handled remotely. The same should apply for access to homes, remotely accessible with the key as a backup.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

In 5 years we see Kleard being the standard in verified property access control. We want any third-party who is accessing a property (buyers, renters, home service providers) to be Kleard and verified for increased safety and efficiency across the board.

Big vision and only time will tell but I believe he and the team at Kleard are onto something. It will be fun to watch.

Lee Odess

I've worked as an Entrepreneur and an Integrator (founded E+L+C), for a multinational billion dollar manufacturer in the lock and access control industry (Allegion), as an Executive of a start-up who pioneered the IoT/smart lock/smart physical access control industry (UniKey), and as an Executive with the first cloud based physical access control manufacturer (Brivo). I put all those years together to form a Growth Studio focused on business creation in the CRETech, proptech and smart home markets for small to large companies in the security, access control and IoT industry.

Labeled as an uber-networker by the Washington Post, Lee Odess has over 18 years starting, building and leading businesses with an exceptional track record for sales growth and marketing effectiveness.

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