In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Erez Cohen from Knock.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Erez Cohen and I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Knock, a self-touring rental platform where owners, property managers and agents can orchestrate the whole leasing process efficiently and remotely.
What problem does your product/service solve?
The residential rental market (*excluding the evolution of listing services) was left behind as almost every other industry was disrupted via technology. The biggest bottleneck in the leasing process today is touring-facilitation: email/txt coordinations, key-pickup/dropoff, agent commute and agent’s availability down-time – yielding high days-on-market and unsatisfied prospective renters.
Knock automates all of this experience – renters tour apartments on their own, without scheduling and without an agent on-site.
Our bot responds to listing inquiries immediately, onboards leads onto our app, and follows up with every lead throughout the whole leasing funnel. Our app verifies leads’ identities and by integrating with smart-lock solutions, enables leads to unlock building entrances and unit doors within pre-defined visiting hours. This is where our team’s B2C experience really came into play, we worked hard to build an app that looks and feels great. Our dashboard was built with the help of our customers to allow them to oversee the process remotely while still being able to manage “hands-on” and communicate with relevant leads directly.
With respect to all the difficult loses related to COVID-19, landlords and managers realize that the show(ings) must go on – there will always be apartments to rent and renters that are moving.
Knock is currently providing a social-distance friendly solution for both managers and renters who find it difficult to lease using only live-video touring.
What are you most excited about right now?
What excites me the most is that self-touring, is being recognized by large management companies as the future of leasing.
When we started our journey just a couple of years ago, we were looked at as crazy people. We were literally shouted at a few times.
Today, self-touring is the hottest discussion in real estate management conferences, and we are grateful to be part of building that reality.
What’s next for you?
Coming from cyber security, what I realized about real estate is the more you know, the more is understand there’s much more to know. And this presents many new opportunities to bring efficiency into this traditional industry (the challenge is to direct our resources towards what we believe is the most impactful opportunities).
We are prepared for a hard year to come with COVID-19 outcomes, and intend to push forward and expand our capabilities to answer our customers’ needs, and to perfect the experience that renters so desperately want.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I’m passionate about eduction (who isn’t!?). I had the privilege to tech cyber security in the one of Israel’s elite intelligence units. While doing that I discovered that teaching brings me joy and it’s a fun way to share knowledge with younger cyber-passionate generations.
I think that the institutional education system has yet to realize that coding and computer-networking is a must-learn, it is a tool just like math in today’s digital reality.
Recently (post COVID-19) I started volunteering by teaching cyber classes over ZOOM with my iPad for a few hours every week, utilizing my passion to contribute (a bit) in the new reality we were forced into.
Thanks to Erez for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).