5 Up-and-Coming PropTech Companies in 2022
March 22, 2022
Real estate sales have become a common virtual transaction with the rise of companies known as iBuyers. While iBuyers started as a way to facilitate online real estate sales, the last few years have seen them evolve into more robust PropTech companies. The Washington Post predicts that this evolution will continue, going as far as to name it one of the “trends to watch in 2022.” As it evolves, PropTech will become an increasingly versatile and popular tool for both homebuyers and real estate professionals.
Jump to the section that you’re most interested in:
- What Is PropTech?
- 5 PropTech Companies Leading the Space
- PropTech Tools Are Just One Tool in a Real Estate Company’s Toolkit
- FAQs About PropTech
What Is PropTech?
“PropTech” is a shortened form of the two-word phrase “property technology.” According to Forbes, PropTech first appeared in 1980 when the first computers led to technological advancements in real estate accounting. Since then, PropTech has grown into a broad term that refers to all of the technology in use in the real estate industry, including various types of software. While PropTech encompasses a wide array of tools, you can typically group them into one of three broad categories: real estate FinTech, smart building tech, and shared economy tools.
Real estate FinTech is a unique type of technology that offers expertise in both finance and real estate. Its primary function is to track and manage financials that relate to different properties. This includes a variety of tools for a wide range of users, including the banking software that helps new homebuyers apply for a home loan. It also includes real estate appraisal mapping software, which appraisers use to evaluate property values.
Smart building tech facilitates the operation and management of real estate properties, like smart buildings. This includes platforms that “provide information” on either building or city performance, such as online databases that track urban development to help real estate companies identify growing markets. It also includes tools that facilitate property management operations for buildings, like a smart thermostat that allows property owners to control the temperature of their buildings via voice control.
Shared economy tools refer to an array of technologies that rely on real estate market data from a variety of sources. However, the specific use for this data can vary between tools. For example, some shared economy tech uses commercial real estate information to serve as a repository of for-sale properties that make it easy for realtors to identify available homes for their clients. Meanwhile, other tools, like property management software, help landlords by facilitating the application process for new renters and allowing current tenants to make rental payments.
5 PropTech Companies Leading the Space
There are many categories of PropTech. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of the top five companies across all categories, as well as which services and tools they each provide.
Zillow was founded in 2004 as a website designed to help individuals find properties to buy. More than 15 years later, the PropTech startup has expanded its offerings to provide a variety of other services and become a leader in consumer real estate technology. Today, the company offers services like brokerage for homebuyers and connects renters to property owners with available rental units. It also provides professional-level accounts for realtors that allow real estate agents to advertise residential real estate listings and connect with potential buyers.
Zumper works to connect renters with rental properties, with a specialized focus on apartment rentals. The platform has a user-friendly interface that allows renters to search for properties in their area by specifying whether they are looking for a long-term or monthly rental. The platform helps match renters to units by offering virtual tours and real-time alerts when new units become available. It also acts as property management software for landlords, allowing them to post available units, screen rental applicants, and collect rent payments.
The platform recently beat out the competition by adding a new service. Zumper expanded to offer services similar to Airbnb, allowing individuals to use the system to search for apartments that they can rent for a few nights at a time.
Reonomy is a New York-based startup that is quickly becoming a leader in property tech. It collects data from 100 different sources and serves as a “massive database of commercial property intel.” Investors, lenders, and brokers use Reonomy’s database to access commercial real estate data to help identify deals. Reonomy offers a web-based platform for easy access or an API integration that works with other platforms that real estate professionals commonly use.
Blend is a growing FinTech company that works to connect homebuyers with lenders. Its primary function is to help homebuyers get approved for mortgages, and the system handles “more than $3.5 billion in mortgages and consumer loans” every day. Users can link Blend to banking, tax, and pay forms online to streamline the mortgage application process for applicants. The platform offers assistance to homebuyers from when they first start an application until they close on a home.
Recently, Blend has set itself apart as a leader by expanding its offerings to include other types of banking services, in addition to financing home loans. This recent evolution means that users can now apply for credit cards and open deposit accounts through Blend. In addition to home loans, users can also apply for other types of loans through Blend, including personal and auto loans.
Entrepreneur Sean Harper and co-founder Lucas Ward started Kin Insurance in 2016. Since then, Kin has quickly become one of the fastest-growing companies in insurance tech. Kin uses intuitive tech to provide affordable insurance options to homeowners. Users can customize their preferences with just a few clicks on the platform, and then Kin will automatically match users with coverage plans. The insurance provider keeps its own prices low by relying on tech and automation, which translates to lower costs for users.
PropTech Tools Are Just One Tool in a Real Estate Company’s Toolkit
PropTech meets needs that are specific to the real estate industry, such as evaluating property values and applying for mortgage loans. However, real estate companies need other tools to help keep their business running smoothly. For example, a CRM helps boost business by bolstering marketing efforts. Meanwhile, a real estate route planner like OptimoRoute helps realtors schedule showings for their clients and guarantee on-time arrivals for appointments.
Working in real estate requires professionals to schedule in-office appointments with clients along with property showings at multiple locations. This level of planning is incredibly difficult, especially if a last-minute change affects the entire day’s schedule. OptimoRoute uses automation to plan schedules and routes, saving realtors time so they can focus on house hunting.
For example, say a new house goes on the market and you need to schedule a showing right away. Once you book the showing, you can add the details to the OptimoRoute platform. Then, the system will automatically add it to your schedule for the day and create a route to make sure you get to the showing on time.
Live ETA and Realtime Order Tracking
OptimoRoute also provides dispatchers and customers with a Live ETA, so they know exactly when you’ll arrive at your next appointment. In addition to providing turn-by-turn directions, the system accounts for your travel time and can send customers arrival information and tracking links. So if you get caught in traffic, the system will show the person you are meeting with your new arrival time and allow them to see where you are, if you want. This means that if a delay causes you to be a few minutes late, your customer will already know – whether you have time to call them or not.
It’s tricky to schedule showings and appointments for your clients when they’re juggling many different tasks ahead of their move. Scheduling in advance gives you, your clients, and others plenty of time to plan ahead. Whether you need to book a showing, schedule an inspection, or meet with a broker, OptimoRoute helps by showing you how to get it all done efficiently, while maintaining everyone’s availability and deadlines. What’s more, you’ll easily be able to fit in new appointments based on when you need to be where on a given day. Need to flyer a large amount of properties? Weekly Planning feature helps real estate agents get weeks of work done in few days, saving gas to boot.
Getting to your appointments on time is important, but it isn’t the only thing real estate professionals need to worry about. Along with routing and planning tools, you’ll rely on many other types of software to streamline everything, from leasing agreements to financing mortgages. OptimoRoute offers API integration that allows you to connect the planning tool with the other software you use to create seamless workflows.
Test OptimoRoute free for 30 days to see how it can improve how you schedule property showings!
FAQs About PropTech
In this section, we’ll answer a few common questions about real estate tech.
What is a PropTech company?
Property technology or “PropTech” refers to any technology that is used within the real estate industry, such as real estate investment software or virtual databases that list available rental properties. Property tech companies are the software companies that provide these tools and services to consumers, real estate companies, and anyone else involved in the real estate market.
What are the different types of PropTech tools?
There are many different types of PropTech tools: real estate appraisal software, banking and mortgaging tools, electronic property databases, and many more that relate to real estate and home buying.
What are the trends in real estate?
According to a recent article from The Washington Post, the real estate industry can expect to see iBuyers evolve into more robust property technology companies in the future. Professionals will also see rising interest rates that will lead to fewer millennial and Gen Z homebuyers.
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