Several years ago, Lynne Parker Davis followed her instincts and decided not to take a couple who’d stopped by the sales office to tour a home. A little later she found out that she’d made the right choice: The same couple had carjacked a different salesperson in a neighboring community.
After this harrowing experience and hearing about a slew of others, including one that turned out to be fatal for the individuals involved, Davis decided to take matters into her own hands and develop a product and service to help keep real estate agents and new home sales professionals safe while on the job.
On Monday at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show, Davis, founder and president of NterNow, a secure, keyless entry system that allows buyers to call in or use a mobile app to gain access to homes within a community, was honored for her contributions toward creating a safer work environment for home building industry professionals.
“We’re always concerned about and focused on construction worker and worksite safety, but this product and service proved worthy of the 2016 Innovative Safety Idea of the Year Award. It addresses a unique aspect of workplace safety and keeping home building industry professionals safe on the job,” said Rob Matuga, associate vice president of NAHB Labor, Safety and Health.
NterNow is a patented 12-button lock installed on the front door of a builder’s spec homes. Prospective buyers interested in touring a home can call in to a third-party verification system using a number provided on the lock, or log in with the product’s mobile app to provide verifiable identifying information and the property address.
Once the buyer is verified, they are given a unique unlock code to enter the home. The code resets every 60 seconds, so visitors cannot re-enter a home without re-verifying.
The app helps keep home builders, real estate agents and sales professionals safe by providing another option for showing homes, especially in situations when they’re alone, it’s after hours, or something just doesn’t feel right.
“Some new home subdivisions sales staff will unlock the homes, leave and go back to lock up in the early evening. But because those homes are left open all day, there’s no telling who’s in there waiting for them,” Davis said. “So now we tell them to lock up the homes to keep agents safe.”
NterNow also aids home builders and sales professionals in improving lead capture, Davis said.
When buyers call in or use the app to verify their identity, contact information and other details are captured and immediately texted or emailed to the listing agent.
And because the program operates from sunup to sundown, hours before and hours after most sales offices open and close, it can expand a company’s lead collection time by about 20%, Davis said.
Also, because prospects can view the homes at their leisure, multiple tours can be offered simultaneously in different locations, making the process more convenient for buyers, and expanding the number of touches builders and sales professionals can have in a given day.
“NterNow is certainly one of the most innovative sales products we’ve seen on the market in recent years,” said Linda Hebert, chair of the NAHB National Sales and Marketing Council. “The fact that it can be used to keep industry professionals safe, as well as boost prospect leads, makes incorporating it into any business strategy a sound choice.”
NterNow is used on hundreds of for-sale and lease residential and commercial properties, primarily on the East Coast. To learn more, visit nternow.com.