View Original Article

TECHCRUNCH

Landis, a platform that uses data science to help institutional real estate investors buy and sell residential real estate, today announced that it has acquired GoldenKey, a well-funded startup that set out to disrupt real estate agents and unbundle the real estate industry.

GoldenKey, which was also once known as SoloPro, is now defunct and Landis has acquired all of its IP and data, though it’s not taking on any of GoldenKey’s employees.

Since its launch in 2015, GoldenKey’s team had raised $3.4 million from investors like Lowe’s Ventures, NFX Guild and others. GoldenKey’s model involved offering home sellers either a set of unbundled services (listing, home showing, transaction coordination, etc.) or a flat rate bundle for selling their homes. Real estate isn’t an easy market to disrupt, though.

Landis, interestingly enough, is tackling a very different side of the residential real estate market. The company, which was co-founded last year by Tom Petit and Cyril Berdugo, helps large-scale investors buy and sell properties. These investors, who then typically rent out those homes, can use the platform to perform all the steps for completing a transaction. And because it’s a private platform, Landis doesn’t face the hassle of dealing with the multiple listing services that tend to have regional monopolies over real estate listing data.

As Petit and Berdugo told me, one of the core pieces of technology that Landis has developed is a tool for finding off-market properties. With this data in hand, Berdugo said, the company can preempt everything that brokers do by four and half months or more. But Landis also uses data science to better understand the investors and their preferences. “They think that they’ve got very specific criteria,” Berdugo said about those buyers. “But as we analyzed what they’re actually doing on our platform, we noticed that what they think they want is not actually what they really want.”

Landis says that it now works with virtually all of the top single family home buyers in the U.S. — and that has given it a lot of data to work with. The acquisition of GoldenKey gives the company even more data to work with. GoldenKey, after all, worked with a lot of home owners and in the process, it learned about what those owners would be willing to sell their homes for.

The team also noted that GoldenKey also built an easy portal for working with real estate listing and, maybe more importantly, it built a lot of deep relationships with sellers, brokers, title insurance companies and other players in the real estate ecosystem.

GoldenKey itself, however, is now a thing of the past and the Landis team has not ambition to get into that side of the real estate business.