Getting technical – developers are using PropTech for new…


The legal process of buying new construction has traditionally been the reason transaction times can drag on for a long time.

As a result, it is estimated that the average time from closing a sale to trading in a new home can be 45-50 days.

Lee Martin, UK Head of Unlatch, comments: “Advancements in technology have caused a huge level of digital disruption within the real estate industry. However, it is fair to say that the legal process associated with buying a property has not evolved to the same extent.

“It’s largely due to the old mantra of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ preventing any meaningful change from being implemented. The whole transaction hinges on the proper execution of these legalities and therefore it is understandable that those responsible for facilitating this process are reluctant to shake things up.

He adds: “Of course, as digital natives move up the ranks in all areas of the real estate industry, the propensity to adopt and adapt to technological change becomes increasingly important, which cannot be a positive thing for the future of the new construction process of buying and selling a home.

In today’s market, the integration of modern technology is helping to dramatically reduce the time it takes to get a new property sold down the line.

Over 400 developers and brokers in six countries are already benefiting from using this technology through the Unlatch platform, reducing the time it takes to reach exchange to an average of just 25 days.

One of the biggest changes has been the way legal documents are handled. Electronic signature now makes it possible to sign and countersign reservation, reservation fee (Stripe) and anti-money laundering documents in less than two minutes. This removes the laborious administration of handwriting, scanning, emailing, and printing that can consume a lot of time and resources.

Generating and auto-filling booking forms, CMLs, sales notes and legal packs also helps to significantly reduce the stack of documents and by coding these legal packs they are ready for distribution within seconds after the signing of the reservation.

The biggest step forward, however, has been the ability to seamlessly integrate these advancements within a centralized, purpose-built new homes platform, avoiding the inevitable start-up issues that arise when trying to merge a range of products from a plethora of suppliers.

Martin goes on to say, “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the new home industry and the requirements will differ from homebuilder to homebuilder depending on their size, budget, internal resources and existing practices and frameworks.”

“However, this has led to a very blind approach when it comes to improving the processes involved in getting a sale down the line, especially at the final legal stage.”

He says many technological solutions have focused on solving an individual problem. Therefore, when trying to combine several of these products, the result is often a “lack of synergy” which can actually lead to higher overhead and more work.

“Our goal was to build a global platform that improves operational efficiency at all levels,” he comments. “We then worked backwards to break this offering down into four distinct modules so that homebuilders could use the full offering, or just opt ​​in to the areas where they needed additional help.”

“So unlike most products and platforms, Unlatch was built by property developers, for property developers, which means that while technology is a vital aspect, it’s been built entirely around the needs of the end user.”

“So whether it’s additional support during the initial sales phase, improved CRM, better brokerage options when negotiating with external agents, or improvements when interacting together with buyers, we are able to customize a solution in which all the components used work seamlessly, both together, or individually, to solve existing pain points.


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