In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Brent Steiner from Engrain.
Without further ado…
What do you do?
I’m the founder and CEO of Engrain, inc.; a company specializing in software and touch-screen products for the real-estate industry.
What problem does your product/service solve?
Our products’ goal is to make sales/leasing, marketing, asset management, and operations more effective. We have two different product lines: TouchTour, which aids the leasing process by sharing rich information and beautifully designed experiences on touch screens or iPads; and SightMap, which is a suite of interactive maps that can be placed on a website to replace floorplans, used by the operations teams, or by asset managers, by presenting availability, floorplans, financial performance, or other data that are relevant to each use case.
What we’ve learned is that people expect really high-fidelity interactive experiences all the time – our smart phones and the Übers of the world have set our expectations very high. Our focus is on providing that same rich and highly designed experience and integrate it with the systems that drive the real estate business.
When a prospective renter visits a property’s website, an online SightMap meets that expectation and gives them information they couldn’t get through static floor plans. When they come visit a property (or a leasing office for a property that isn’t ready to show yet), TouchTour is also extremely engaging and entertaining. And both will hook into CRM systems so they can be used directly for lead generation.
For asset managers and the back-office, we have SightMap Asset Intelligence which presents a wealth of financial and operational information in a similarly easy to use and exploratory interface. People can go from a full property view down to unit-level information.
What are you most excited about right now?
Our platform was intentionally built to be extremely flexible. We’ve been adding new integration partners that have set the stage for a couple of really exciting opportunities.
The first is that we’re working to get our SightMaps integrated into ILS sites so that people searching for apartments can get better information, sooner, and properties can really stand out.
The second is self-touring, which is clearly the next evolution of apartment-hunting. We already know how to effectively provide renters with the information they need to make a decision, and now we’re extending that into integration with IOT security devices and CRM processes so that a person can set up a property visit and select their new home without ever having to see a leasing agent (unless they want to).
What’s next for you?
In addition to meeting the self-touring challenges, we’re reaching into new markets by providing more integrations with property management and CRM systems, and finding more opportunities to turn data into meaningful information with well-crafted visual and tactile interfaces. We see opportunities for our solutions in any vertical where people have physical units they need to lease or manage.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I’m a huge believer in philanthropy and that’s become a core value within Engrain, too. I encourage the team to recommend opportunities to give back, and then we try to multiply the value of the employee’s efforts. As a result, we support a lot of causes and the team can get pretty competitive about which department or person can bring in the most cans for a food drive or raise the most money for cancer research.
Thanks to Brent 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).
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