When people want to buy a house, they turn to realty agencies or property platforms. Nobody searches for properties on the ground anymore, canvassing neighbourhoods and looking for ‘For sale’ signs. Because buyers turn to realtors and property platforms there has been a huge push for developers to make people’s lives easier and develop more advanced proptech. Proptech can be defined as any kind of technology that is used to help people buy or sell houses. More often than not this kind of technology is used by realtors rather than independent sellers.

If you are interested in buying a house then the chances are you will come into contact with some kind of proptech. Learning about the different types before beginning your search can make the process a lot less stressful. Trying to haggle with realtors while simultaneously navigating complex technology can lead to you getting a bad deal. Proptech isn’t an especially hard subject to master since there are abundant articles authored on the subject online.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about proptech, telling you how it is changing the real estate industry this year and what’s so great about it:

Realty Platforms

Realty companies rely on large, international platforms nowadays. Properties are seldom marketed in the windows of real estate offices anymore. Buyers turn to the internet when they want to find their next house. A recent keynote from Kurt Uhlir stressed the importance of building websites for realty firms because of how essential the internet is to most people’s property searches. However, simple realty websites are not enough to help buyers find properties. Buyers want large, international property databases compiling information on all of the properties available in their area, state, country or beyond.

The development of modern realty platforms has come a long way thanks to proptech. Without it, there is no way that today’s platforms would exist. Many of them use complex machine algorithms to ensure properties are updated. Additionally, they give buyers the opportunity to get in touch with realtors directly rather than sending emails or messages through an intermediary. When selecting a platform to use for your home search take security seriously as some platforms have been caught selling people’s information to third party marketers.

Online Viewings

Up until quite recently individuals interested in properties had to go and see them themselves, in person. Now, however, physical viewings are no longer necessary. People can view properties from the comfort of their homes thanks to remote viewing technology. Realtors do not have to attend properties more than once either as all they have to do is take videos of properties, upload them, and then conduct viewings from their offices. The ability to hold remote viewings has saved realtors time and money especially when you consider the rising cost of fuel. While savings are negligible for buyers remote viewings still make their lives easier.

Two types of remote viewings exist, the first being viewings conducted using virtual reality software and the second being viewings where realtors send videos over to buyers. Only the former of these uses proptech. The latter is just basic video technology and therefore has absolutely nothing to do with proptech. Remote viewing software is the kind that’s most worth investing in if you are a realtor as this type of software can make viewings a lot more efficient and give buyers a very realistic experience, making it easier for them to decide whether to make an offer or not.

Better Security

Security has never been more important in the realty industry. Unfortunately, crime on the internet has never been more prolific and common than it is now. On an almost hourly basis websites, internet users, and businesses are targeted by criminals. Criminals steal people’s personal information so that they can sell it on the so-called ‘dark web.’ As realty platforms collect people’s personal data they are a desirable target for criminals. Fortunately, advanced proptech has made people’s data a lot more secure and fortified websites, preventing criminals from being able to get into their databases as easily.

Sadly the biggest threat to buyers is not criminal gangs but instead the very platforms that they are using. Over the last few years, research has shown that some of the internet’s largest property platforms have been selling people’s information to marketers; the people whose data has been sold then tend to receive emails, messages, and texts trying to market properties to them even if they are not actively looking or have already bought somewhere. Because of this if you are planning on buying a property you need to take great care and avoid websites with bad reputations.

Accurate Listings

Years ago property websites and platforms were notorious for posting outdated listings. Outdated listings can make a buyer’s search difficult. Anybody who has ever before searched for a house to buy will be familiar with the pain of coming across the perfect property, only to discover it has already been sold and the listing has not yet been taken down. Outdated listings are not so much of a problem today, however. Property platforms have used technology to ensure that all properties listed are accurate and available. Realtors can either notify platforms properties are sold or platforms will use machine algorithms to search property databases and determine what has been sold and what hasn’t.

You cannot find the perfect property if all of the listings that you come across are outdated or under offer. While many platforms have taken steps to make sure that their listings are updated as a buyer it is your responsibility to find a platform that offers this kind of service; not all of them do. Some platforms still prefer antiquated methods and rely exclusively on realtors to tell them when houses or apartments have been sold. Such platforms should be avoided so you do not waste your time.

International Clients

Modern property platforms make it easier than ever for people from other parts of the world to buy properties in the United States. Years ago (and currently in other countries) property platforms do not permit people with foreign IP addresses to view domestic properties. Some countries have strange rules regarding foreign property ownership but the United States does not so there is no rational reason for international buyers not to be able to use property platforms. Now, this is not a problem and buyers from anywhere in the world can view properties, make offers and communicate with realtors.

Something else that is worth mentioning is that most property platforms use translation technology which allows them to translate each page of their website into different languages, giving foreign buyers the opportunity to engage with them and read about listings even if they do not speak English. Translation services are great as they also benefit people living in the United States. Not everybody who lives in the United States can speak English after all. Translation services make the property buying process much more equal and a lot fairer for people whose first languages are not English or Spanish (another common language spoken in the United States).

Contract Transfers

Up until a few years ago, contracts had to be signed in person. If they were not then in the eyes of the law they were not considered to be legally binding. Because physical signings were a legal requirement individuals interested in buying houses (or renting them) had no choice but to attend the selling or letting agent’s office. As some people buy properties in countries they do not live in this makes people’s lives very difficult. Modern property technology has improved this situation and made the process of buying houses a lot simpler.

People are no longer required to attend legal or realty offices in person to sign contracts of ownership; they can do it online. Software exists that automates the signing process and acts as a witness. People have recorded signing contracts then the footage is reviewed by the contract platform, submitted, and witnessed. Online signings make the contract process much less complex, giving people the ability to buy houses from home without having to go anywhere. Online, recorded signings also make it harder for people to get out of contracts or find loopholes as they are on camera signing documents.

Tenancy Signings

When people think of the realty business their minds tend to conjure up images of first-time buyers or property developers but if you speak to any realtor they will be able to tell you that the most common kind of client that they deal with is the tenant. The real money is in leasing properties, not selling them. Most realty firms make renting properties their bread and butter and then sell them a nice bonus on top because they take a commission from rentals and sales but rentals are more sustainable. Tenancy signings also take place online now due to the software mentioned in the previous section.

The good thing about tenancy signings is that in the past they were a very laborious part of the leasing process but are now very simple. People’s tenancies last anywhere from a month to six and sometimes a year. When a person’s tenancy ends the last thing they want to do is to go into their letting agent’s office and extend the tenancy in person. Having to do this more than once can become a real chore. Contract signing programs make tenants’ lives much easier by ensuring they can extend tenancies from the comfort of their homes. Tenants’ lives have also been made easier by package room systems being built into shared apartment complexes.

Complaint Reports

Sticking with tenancies when tenants have problems with the rental properties they used to have to report them to their landlord over the phone. Thanks to modern property technology they no longer have to do this, however. The ability to have repairs made to their properties by using online portals has made people’s lives much easier. Trying to get through to your landlord or agent can be very difficult. From an agent’s perspective dealing with tenants calling every day and reporting issues can be an annoyance. By automating complaints reports everybody’s time is saved and nobody gets irritated. It should be noted that these reports usually have to be signed off by an agent and are not immediately issued to contractors.

When reports are made and signed off the contractors who work for the realty firm receive the jobs and permission to go ahead with them. As well as receiving information about jobs they also receive the specific tenant’s details so they can get in touch and arrange a tie to come and see the property in order to perform repairs. The complaints reporting process is much simpler now than it used to be and because of this tenants have far fewer issues with their properties and are generally a lot happier.

Property Histories

When people interested in buying a house wanted to know about that house’s history before they had to get in touch with conveyancers who would perform extensive checks on a property’s history. These checks could cost a lot of money (and still do as in some places a conveyancer’s checks are a legal prerequisite to be able to buy a house). However, in other parts of the world conveyancers are no longer necessary because private individuals can perform checks themselves. Modern property technology has given people the opportunity to find out about a house’s history with a simple search.

The ability to forego hiring conveyancers and inspect properties independently has saved people a lot of time and money. Conveyancers were not in any way cheap to work with. Some would charge several thousand dollars for a check that would take them no longer than a few minutes to conduct. If you are planning on buying a house and have the opportunity not to work with a conveyancer then it is a good idea not to, as you can use modern technology to do everything you need for yourself. If you do plan on hiring a conveyancer then make sure that you research the individual you plan on hiring so you can make sure they have good reviews, a positive reputation, and access to the latest tools.

You can’t overstate how complicated, stressful, and irritating buying a house can be. Thanks to modern technological innovations and solutions, however, the process is a lot simpler than it used to be. You do not need to be a genius or an expert in buying houses as technology can be used to automate and handle previously complex processes for you, helping you to get better deals.