A looka rental virtual tour startup that seeks to be what it calls the “sabermetry real estate” by allowing tenants to view actual multi-family apartments remotely and landlords to see what prospects are planning, has set its sights on the proptech giant. Matterport.
Founded in 2019 and based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Peek is used in over 150,000 units and has partnered with gray star, Toll Brothers and Brookfield. In May, Peek completed a $2.5 million funding round led by GFA Risk Partners.
“At GFA, our LPs have seen firsthand the challenges of adapting to the changing consumer landscape and demand for a truly digital rental experience,” GFA Venture Partners said in a statement at the time of the press release. round table. “Chris and Austin have a unique perspective and have clearly struck a chord in the industry with the platform they have built at Peek and we are thrilled to join them and support their mission”
Peek Co-Founders Chris Kostoulas and Austin Lo met on Craigslist while doing their own New York City apartment hunt four years before Peek was founded. They drew on their background in data, finance and operations, as well as Lo’s experience as a licensed real estate agent in New York, to develop a platform that could disrupt the model of traditional rental and streamline the process for tenants. When the pandemic dampened in-person apartment viewings in early 2020, Peek was well positioned to fill a void for developers and tenants.
Lo, CEO of Peek, likes to compare the company to an e-commerce platform Shopify.
“Our business is looking to basically do what Shopify did for sellers of goods,” Lo said. “When we think of [viewing] apartments, if you can give people that confidence that, ‘Hey, what you see is what you’re going to get’, that’s how you build trust and unlock e-commerce.
Peek operates nationwide, using its network of gig workers to virtualize apartment buildings, Lo said. Property managers or owners pay for the service, which includes coordinating content creation.
Peek can also provide landlords with detailed information about what potential tenants are spending the most time looking at, Lo said.
“The way our tours are structured, basically all of the data is labeled,” Lo said. “Each room is tagged and we track user sessions down to the room level, so I can tell if this prospect spent 70% of their time looking at the kitchens of the four units they visited inside Importantly, we can sync all of this data into the property management system’s CRM so it’s at the fingertips of the leasing teams who use it.
Data can quickly become granular.
“You can see where this is going: if we aggregate the data and look at it top to bottom, we are able to determine trends, and even dig deeper to recognize styles, finishes and features that are attracting more attention,” Lo said. “We can even correlate it to how long the property has been on the market.”
Philippe Russo can be contacted at [email protected].