The biggest grievance of all property consumers – whether they are buyers or sellers – is the lack of transparency around the buying and selling process.
In the Perceptions research I did while at CoreLogic, just 11% of buyers and 33% of vendors said the ability of agents to follow up was excellent, while 12% of buyers and 35% of vendors said response times were excellent.
Both buyers and sellers hate being left in the dark by agents about their latest offer or where negotiations are at, while agents are hamstrung by their need to individually communicate, often over the phone or email. Add multiple parties interested in a property and it seems that there is always a chance someone is going to miss out on an important update. It’s a deeply inefficient process.
But four Australian proptech startups have introduced ways to improve communication around buying, and make the process more transparent. Here’s a quick overview:
Gavl is an online auction app that allows buyers to browse property listings, set reminders of auctions and watch auctions in HD on your mobile. Participating agents broadcast their auctions in real time and by using the app, buyers can place bids directly and watch the auction from anywhere so you can see the action even if you can’t get there personally.
Successful purchasers sign contracts via Docusign and pay the deposit directly into the agents trust account. There is also an auction results feature to help inform bidding based on the latest sales.
Where Gavl broadcasts live auctions, Openn is an online auction allows qualified buyers to openly negotiate on price with the advantage of knowing exactly how many real competing buyers there are.
Buyers enter starting price terms and conditions and have them signed off by the seller and there is then a countdown clock that resets with each bid with all parties made aware of the latest bid.
Openn is managed by real estate agents and before being allowed to bid, buyers set their opening price and terms and conditions which need to be accepted by the seller. Both buyers and seller can see all competing bids. Using Openn, buyers do not miss out on a property because they didn’t know how much to pay and sellers can be confident they’ve sold their property for the best price.
In a similar vein to Openn Negotiation, Market Buy is an online offer system that allows buyers and the vendor to see exactly how many interested parties there are and how much they’re offering, knowing at any point where they stand.
After each offer the timer counts down for 45 minutes allowing all registered buyers the chance to place a competing offer. Buyers are able to submit offers with conditions and all registered parties can see competing offers.
The sales process is closed once the Owner approves and the successful purchaser is contacted to complete the relevant paperwork. They then have one business day to finalise the required contract.
If the single offer has not reached the reserve for the property, the agent – upon consultation with the owner – can make a counter-offer which can be selected by a potential buyer at any time.
Formerly known as REBid, RESO (Real Estate Sales Online) is a digital negotiation platform that is fully integrated with REI forms and allows a totally paperless but trackable experience for buyers and vendors alike from initial offer through to contract execution. In addition to transparency and communication, it offers significantly reduced administration time and minimal data entry.
Agents invite buyers into a sale allowing them to access all sale documents, make offers and propose alternate conditions if applicable. Automatic updates are sent via text and email to both the Agent and Buyers whenever there is an update to the sale.
Once an offer has been accepted by the vendor, agents are able to easily generate a contract and finalise with DocuSign.
When there a multiple offers at play, agents have the ability to use the optional REBid ranking feature which provides the ability to rank buyers without disclosing price.
Where RESO is different from Market Buy or Openn is that it does not reveal the details of other offers. These are still handled by agents and vendors have the option to accept bids that may be lower in price but have better conditions.
The benefits, according to its founders, are that buyers are encouraged to make their best offer to win the negotiation rather than the next offer.
Have I missed anyone? If so, let me know in the comments below and I’ll review and add.