What is proptech? 

Proptech (short for property technology) is a term describing modern approach to real estate, in which technology plays the key role and optimizes the way people search, buy, rent, invest in, and manage properties. It follows the same pattern as fintech, insurtech, and edtech companies, and highlights the importance of the use of technology in the industry by creating new solutions and shifting the approach towards tech- and online-based operations. 

From AI-powered home automation systems to marketplaces connecting landlords with tenants, agents with buyers, and investors with perfect properties – proptech can come in many shapes and forms.

As stated in the study released by the University of Oxford, proptech companies can be divided into three verticals, where each organization falls and operates somewhere in and between these cells

Three verticals of the Proptech industry

Smart Real Estate describes platforms that optimize the operations and management of real estate assets. This particular sector focuses on providing information about buildings and properties, as well as directly controlling and managing real estate assets.  

Examples: security surveillance systems, smart temperature-regulating systems, smart light systems that can be turned on and off by a smartphone app, and well-known innovations such as Alexa or Google Home

The Shared Economy describes platforms that facilitate the use of real estate assets. It can apply to buildings, lands, properties intended for commercial use, houses, and so on. Again, the platforms may provide the information for users and sellers of available spaces or directly manage the operations and transactions. Examples include co-living and co-working management or booking platforms, 

Real Estate Fintech describes technology-based platforms which facilitate the trading of real estate asset ownership. The platforms may simply provide information for prospective buyers and sellers, as well as they may directly facilitate transactions of asset ownership or leases. Examples include online real estate marketplaces, crowdfunding platforms, etc. 

It is important to note that the real estate sector is truly a broad spectrum, and the above sectors are only the main pillars of the proptech industry. The proptech solutions can be further divided into smaller groups that collide with each other.

One of the great examples of combining multiple proptech solutions together, are platforms such as Opendoor. The solution allows sellers to sell their house for a price that’s estimated through data algorithms. After the purchase is made by the platform, they renovate and upgrade the house in order to put it back on the market. The platform allows the potential buyers to view the house without making an appointment and without the presence of an agent. Users can simply show up at any time and open the locks through an app on their smartphones, and view the house on their own. 

Benefits of proptech technologies

Some of the main purposes of proptech technologies is to simplify and enhance the traditional real estate industry. That’s why, by ensuring higher efficiency and simplicity of real estate-related operations, proptech technology can bring solid benefits to all parties involved – tenants, property managers, real estate agents, buyers and sellers. 

One of the main factors that increases the popularity of proptech solutions is the ability to carry out all formalities and operations completely remotely. Not only in the era of a global pandemic, during which remote solutions from most industries have become more popular and common, but in general – the development of technology caused most of the formalities and chores in our everyday life to transfer to the online sphere. It has become common to arrange all formalities in the bank, to invest, make an appointment with a doctor, or attend classes at the university using online platforms and tools.

The real estate market has also transformed in this way. The creators of proptech solutions offer services that allow simplified property management, investing or concluding contracts between tenants and owners in a direct way, allowing for a number of facilitations, such as payment processing or quick communication between parties.

The use of artificial intelligence and data analysis softwares, simplifies several processes and operations in the real estate sphere. These solutions ensure reliability while matching customers’ requirements with investment or purchase offers, as well as determining property value, or performing the analysis of the market.

Moreover, agencies began to use additional technological solutions to support the processes of trading and renting properties. For this purpose, VR tools such as virtual goggles are used, which allow clients to view the property in its full splendor in 3D without leaving their home.

Another advantage of modern technologies offered by proptech companies is the automation of most administrative processes related to property management. Meticulous monitoring of payment dates, inspections or property viewings has been replaced by automatic solutions that not only remind agents  of important dates and deadlines, but also allow them to quickly manage all formalities on-line.

Advantages that proptech technologies bring to customers

On the other hand, it brings several benefits for customers, too. Those automatic solutions allow faster payments, bookings and check-ins, as well as quick communication with agents, landlords or property managers. All these processes are not only a huge time saver for customers and agents, but they also make the operations and processes more efficient. 

Those characteristics of the industry clearly indicate that proptech solutions and platforms are the future of real estate worldwide. 

The real estate market has great investment capacity and huge demand. Proptech solutions transform the processes and often offer better, faster and more effective solutions that are the answer to several issues and customers’ expectations. 

Identity verification in proptech and real estate industry

The worldwide digital transformation was a reason for the incredible shift and a change in how several industries started operating. Certain processes, however, strictly fall under regulations and rules, in the same way that offline real estate-related matters are handled. Some of them, such as money transfers, rental contract signing or finalising purchases and investment agreements between parties require proper KYC checks to be performed, with identity verification process being the key element. Considering that the majority of operations in the proptech industry is performed online, the identity verification has naturally become an integral part of the proper functioning of those processes. 

For instance, it is crucial when it comes to companies offering rental management softwares and services, as well as peer-to-peer based solutions. Not only is it important to properly identify tenants and landlords in order to meet the regulatory requirements, but for the sake of both parties involved in the agreement. It significantly reduces the risk of attempts of forgery, fraud or other malicious attempts, as well as ensures compliance for payment processors involved in the process. 

Proper identity verification measures eliminate the risk of forgery, fraud and other illicit activities. They also ensure the highest compliance with strict regulations that apply to payment processors and other finance- and legal-related firms. 

Fully-Verified offers a video-based identity verification solution that combines AI technology, machine learning and human intelligence to ensure the highest safety, compliance and accuracy. All it requires from the user verifying themselves are: stable internet connection, a device such as a smartphone or a computer with a camera, and their identity document. The process – which allows the user to go through the verification alone (Self-Verify) or in the presence of an operator (Live-Verify) – is fully recorded. The identity documents are thoroughly authenticated with the help of AI software, as well as a trained operator that additionally checks the authenticity and the ownership of the document in case of both solutions. 

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Fully-Verified was created as answer to its founders collectively losing over $150 000 to various types of fraud in their eCommerce businesses.