It started with TV, music and on-demand software and then evolved to taxis, cars, and food on demand. The emergence of short-term rentals and executive suites provides a version of living on demand from a rental perspective but homeownership has been late to join the on-demand world.

Its clear consumers are highly attracted to the ultimate in convenience and to accessing life and services on their terms, which is why the on-demand economy is replacing traditional business models faster than many people expected.

Participation in the on-demand economy has nearly tripled since 2016, with an estimated 64.8 million consumers purchasing on-demand goods or services in 2019. Total spending for on-demand products and services topped $110.0 billion in 2019 and more than double 2016 sales.

Initially, on-demand economy consumers tended to be younger, more educated, city-dwellers, as this HBR article highlights. However, the appeal of on-demand businesses is now much broader than the young and wealthy.

Today’s on-demand consumers look a lot like all of us. 52% are at least 35 years old, 43% have a university degree, and they’re evenly split between city dwellers and people who live in a suburb. 53% have an annual household income of at least $50,000, and 36% have an annual household income of at least $75,000.

With our lives becoming busier than ever before, it’s not surprising the convenience of arranging any service with the tap of a button is resonating.

The expectation for on-demand services is percolating all aspects of day-to-day life, so it’s not surprising that it’s also impacting our homes. Same day service is the new norm and the traditional ways of operating will soon be redundant. That’s increasingly true for a number of home services, especially since people are looking for ways to enjoy more free time by running their home more like a business.

After all, why spend your weekend cleaning, doing laundry, or weeding when you can go online and easily outsource everything from laundry and cleaning to gardening and repairs with companies like HomeStars, TaskRabbit, Simply Laundry and Eden.

While many industries are responding, the real estate industry isn’t. The traditional approach to homeownership still dominates and poses far too many issues and restrictions for aspiring homeowners. Not only do people have to spend years (and often decades) saving enough for a down payment, they also need to commit decades to paying off a mortgage.

 

Finding a way to enable people to own without taking on big debt with big down payments is one reason Key created our homeownership-on-demand model.

Key believes things need to change and consumers need a way to own and prosper from real estate on their terms and timelines. That’s why Key’s patent-pending model is fundamentally changing the way real estate works for the better and for the many.

So, how does it work?

Key does this by raising money from large, institutional investors (who want a hassle-free way to invest in residential real estate). Next, we buy suites in highly desirable downtown locations. We also buy entire high-rise buildings. We then enable people to start owning and living in the suite of their choice with a $25,000 real estate investment.  The owner-residents have a place to call home for as long as they want and share in the real estate upside and downside alongside the large investors. They don’t need a mortgage, so they can get into real estate and start building wealth many years earlier.

Homeownership-on-demand also means our owner-residents enjoy frictionless moving. They can upsize or downsize and move between our suites and buildings (and eventually countries) seamlessly because they’re already part of Key. They own home equity instead of title on a specific property, so they can simply relocate, without the typical 6–8% in moving costs.

Owner-residents can easily access their home equity at the tap of a button. They can watch their investment grow, increase their home equity, and redeem equity through our app and with no waiting.

Homeownership-on-demand makes it easy to manage their smart home from our app, enjoy streamlined homeownership, and never have to worry if they left the oven on again.

Homeownership-on-demand also enables owner-residents to benefit from Key’s community and marketplace. They’re welcome to be part of a thriving social community and organize everything from housecleaning to deliveries on the Key app.

 

Key is excited to be launching in the Toronto housing market and then expanding globally. Our first suites will be available later this year. We’d love you to share our journey and we look forward to welcoming our new neighbours.