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Changing behavior

You change behavior over the long term.

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Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

We'll benefit every community stakeholder on every economic level. Making information transparent and connecting people will ultimately strengthen communities and local business, specifically financial services because they'll be able to gather realtime data they've never had access to before helping them development new services and programs geared to reach specific end users. We'll allow them a way to maintain a monthly dialog with users to help them stay on the path.

How is your idea specifically using the power of communities to improve financial opportunities and resources?

What the founder of Tactile Finance learned about the real estate and banking industries isn't even the half of it. I think real estate more than banking prefers it's customers with as little info as possible. Most real estate companies are more worried about their bottom line than building sustainable communities. They ignore the part of housing, residential rentals, where most low-middle incomers dwell. And where the most support is needed for property owners to reduce risk so capital flows.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I was able to discuss with a community bank, how they could get better and more info on renters from the property owners they finance. They only make multifamily loans and the gov't wants to make sure the funds are really improving communities. I did classes at the CHA on sustainable communities for a year and talked to countless owners renting to low income people on housing assistance vouchers. And I operated a property management company for 10 years, I understand how to help this market.

What skills, input or guidance might you be seeking from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further? I initially thought we had a ux designer but have discovered I was mistaken so I still need help there and also looking for a dynamic programmer. Both people need to design and program with an eye on where their industry is headed as much as where it is now. And both should have the ability to create on their own from a concept. Some only thrive when being given explicit direction, need free thinkers.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

Mary's Watch, Inc. is a property and data management platform that offers cost effective communication tools to the housing industry. These tools connect all users to one network which feeds into a database allowing people to collect, store, share, and analyze data in real time, while still maintaining control of their own data. Much of the data is collected automatically, removing the input burden from users. We collect payment, behavioral and maintenance histories so we help neighborhoods tell their story with documentation.

It's easier to make a $60 or $150 credit card payment than a $900, $1200, $2500 rent payment. Shouldn't making those payments consistently tell the real story of your ability to pay your obligations. Only large property owners can afford to report to credit bureaus the small guys have very little to no support.

And since small property owners and those who own/manage multifamily properties professionally or for themselves make up the largest portion of affordable housing providers outside of the government, wouldn't they make the most logical place to start rethinking how we report payment histories and what's done with the information?

With the data we'll provide the banking industry, the insurance industry, and the not for profit industry we should be able to work together to raise the economic level of every neighborhood across the globe. Being able to get messages out to the low income and middle income markets also means we get to message the people who finance them and the people who own the properties they live in. That list now includes private equity firms, real estate investment trusts and other funds. Removing risk for everyone in that market will help open the flow of capital to what have been considered risky areas, therefore relieving economic pressure and paving the way for all of the fantastic ideas submitted to OpenIdeo, especially in emerging markets.

Only with an established network can we connect the renter to the Nest thermostat in the unit and help them see how they can help control cost. It will also help prepare them for ownership of any kind in the future. A network helps to create transparency in the marketplace (the neighborhood), transparency removes risk, which opens doors and opportunities. So when a renter won't change their negative habits his next landlord can easily see the pattern and protect themselves as they see fit. With this kind of network we can figure out how to build credit based on your reputation individually or as a neighborhood business. So I'm inviting the OpenIdeo community to join together with us as we work toward some real tangible solutions for the world. 


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