What the Tech is going on?

Proptechs are reshaping how real estate is bought, sold, leased, and managed. And they are here to stay.

While traditional real estate practices such as in-person home tours aren’t going away, everyone invested in real estate (that’s pretty much all of us) is re-examining how they will go about things in a post-COVID-19 world.

From the home search process, right through to auction and transaction platforms, there’s almost certainly a proptech solution that serves your needs.

Here’s a quick look at some of the PropTech companies (new and established) that will be saving you time, adding value and providing innovative solutions to post-pandemic challenges in this new real estate landscape.

Matterport was already being widely used before the Coronavirus pandemic, but has since truly come into its own as a vital tool for property viewings. The company (due to publicly list February 2021) offers 3D virtual property tours, allowing interested buyers to visualise living in a property without leaving home. While they’ll never replace an in-person viewing, they can help bring in new leads and filter out uninterested buyers early on, and like it or not, it’s here to stay.

Docusign claims that more that 50,000 real estate professionals are already using it, and the app has really come into its own since the pandemic hit. Essentially through esignatures, it means things like tenancy agreements and references can be completed online. 

This year has seen a huge spike in digitized property applications, electronic payments, and online maintenance requests. The US Digital Property Management app, Buildium, gives you the ability to manage all of your properties, tenants, and contractors from one easy-to-use interface. The software allows you to organize and manage all of your everyday property management processes from one platform – from addressing maintenance issues to approving lease applications.

Goodlord is a cloud-based platform trusted by hundreds of agencies across the UK. From contracts and references through to payments, Goodlord streamlines the rental process with one simple interface and no need for onerous paperwork or multiple stakeholders. This creates a seamless process for what was once a stressful and bureaucratic experience for tenants.

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. The platform askes tenants and owners to give honest reviews which creates a stronger research and marketing tool for PropTech companies and real estate firms.  Its services could be described as akin to TripAdvisor but for the property sector. HomeViews has established itself as the reviews site for the property industry, with over 10,000 reviews for more than 1,000 developments across the UK.

Houzen touches on all aspects of the real estate value chain, looking at residential data in a way that is complete, timely and live. Houzen’s aim is to enhance revenue in various different sectors using data tracking, algorithmic analysis and its development data lab solutions. It offers bespoke packages and on-demand reports all to help instantly match tenants with landlords. Collecting data for example on tenant’s payment thresholds means the PropTech company can give landlords a clear idea of what rates will attract occupants.

Launched to enable people to buy, sell, lease or rent a property with one-click, Offr digitises over 85% of the process of buying and selling property for agents and their customers. Property transactions have largely been restricted and confined domestically, with no easy, fast, and secure way of buying properties cross-border available. Offr is changing this by making international trading of property possible for buyers online, using traditional real estate agents. It is a button that sits on an agent’s website and launches a panel which allows potential buyers to bid in auctions, make offers, book viewings, upload proof of ID and download legal documents. The system facilities online transactions such as contract signing and booking viewings, bringing buyers and sellers together for a simpler process.

Property auctions are an increasingly popular option for buyers. BidX1 has created a fully digital process that allows buyers to browse properties, gain advice from experts, book viewings, place bids and ultimately secure a sale – all online. Last year (2020), Foxtons partnered with this rapidly growing PropTech company to sell selected properties through the BidX1 platform.

Made by landlords, for landlords, is designed to take the stress out of your property finances. Hammock plugs into landlord’s bank accounts, via open banking, and automatically monitors rent collection, tracks payments and expenses and delivers live analytical reporting on the wellbeing of each rental house or flat. By providing instant tracking of balance sheets for each property Hammock is able to save landlords significant time, while the real-time insights reduce uncertainty and inefficiencies for landlords.

Wrapping up our illustrious list is of course OVERWRITE.ai. A world first, user-friendly tech solution that allows estate agents to instantly autowrite unique and search-optimised property marketing descriptions. This integrable web-app solves a problem faced by real estate agents worldwide, by eradicating the boring, manual, highly-repetitive and error-prone task of writing and curating marketing descriptions.

OVERWRITE instantly autowrites each property description using engaging, error-free and search-friendly language, with a singular purpose, to save agents time and get them more leads. Watch this quick explainer video on how our user-friendly system works.

Ready or not, here we come.

There’s no doubt PropTech has grown exponentially throughout 2020, with technology continuing to replace many manual processes for professionals across the sector, and offering irreplaceable value. 

But as with all new business models and disruptive technologies (especially those entering a sector long-resistant to tech), not all will succeed. There will of course be casualties, but those focused on offering a genuine solution, saving their customers precious resources, increasing their operating efficiency, will stand a great chance of surviving.

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