We have lived in the Internet age for more than two decades. This era is typified by new consumer technologies, social media, technology-as-a-service, and countless other innovations.
To say that we are approaching the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is no exaggeration. This change is even being felt within the real estate sector, an industry that is, perhaps, not reputed for taking confident technological strides. Let us review the three main waves of real estate technology to see how these are changing the surprisingly dynamic industry.
1st Wave: Internet Leads
There are few real estate technology companies that are more well-known than Zillow, but most consumers do not know how Zillow makes money. Though Zillow’s income streams are various, one of the most significant is payment for leads.
Zillow features a select number of realtors by face, name, and contact information. The positions are paid for by the agents who appear in the search results. To be one of these featured agents, one pays a fee. There is a specific price for a specific zip code. Zillow was one of the first companies in the space to implement the pay-for-lead business model.
2nd Wave: Electronic Signatures
Since the year 2000, online electronic signatures have carried the same legal weight as signatures made with pen and paper. However, the e-signature trend was not widely used among real estate professionals until years later.
With DocuSign, things started scaling at a faster pace. By 2012, real estate professionals were already reaping the benefits of e-signature functionality. Companies like DocuSign significantly streamlined the real estate transaction process, allowing for rapid contract completion, remote signing, and instant digital storage of all relevant documents. This feature is now available in many technological forms, and it is now ubiquitous within the industry.
3rd Wave: Settlement via Smart Contracts
Smart contracts (computer algorithms) carry out actions that formerly required direct human labor. The smart contracts have the same legal weight as direct human action, but they are performed instantaneously and without the risk of human error, hacking, or fraud. Propy is at the forefront of this innovation trend in modern PropTech.
Today, with Propy, real estate professionals from all over the world can achieve higher levels of productivity, better resource efficiency, and increased service quality by automating the property transaction process.
Historically, each of the advancements seemed revolutionary when it was first introduced to the real estate industry. Following adoption, each piece of technology became integrated within the workings of the industry.
By observing and analyzing the past, we can make predictions related to the future. With new waves of innovation, industries like real estate will experience the shift toward automation where average people will be able to buy and sell properties quickly, securely, and entirely online.