As the UK's property tech industry continues to grow, new concepts and ideas that are sometimes already at play in other industries, can take shape. For the estate agency industry, Coadjute wants to introduce a completely, end-to-end digital system for the home buying and selling process in the UK.
With plans to use blockchain technology, the start-up is gaining support for its idea, from investors and estate agencies alike. Blockchain tech is closely aligned with cryptocurrencies. However, blockchain technology can be used separately from digital currencies, in a large number of industries and transactions as a way of simplifying a process and ensuring unchangeable records are made and stored securely.
By bringing blockchain to the property-buying industry, Coadjute and its supporters are aiming to make the process of buying a home simpler, more secure and less open to late changes from any involved party. That’s something that could prove attractive for home-buyers of all types, from home-owner occupiers and buy-to-let investors.
Blockchain isn’t just for home-buyers
While Coadjute is working on creating a home-buying blockchain system, its not the first time the business has applied the secure technology to the UK’s property industry. The Hackitt Report, which followed the Grenfell fire highlighted the need for a ‘golden thread’ of transparency and accountability in the property building and management process. That’s something that housing associations took a lot of interest in and began to consider ways to introduce technology to make homes safer and the process of building and improvement more accountable.
With Coadjute’s help, a system was created whereby all parties involved in the construction of a new housing association development were connected to a single blockchain ledger. Every important decision is logged as a single agreement that is acted on, giving a clear path of a project from start to finish and firmly showing who is accountable for each key step.
A similar system could be used in the home-buying process. For property investors who often have to gather together a lot of information, particularly where remortgaging or new investment is concerned, this could prove very useful. That’s because it would mean all the important elements of their property purchases are available in a single format and in one place.
Home-owner occupiers would benefit too as any disputes over price, discoveries in surveys or where a property chain breaks down, can be clearly and securely recorded to show why that happened and who is responsible.
PropTech continues to expand
With more estate agencies showing interest in secure technology and new Property Technology developments, you might think that could signal the death knell for estate agents. However, just because technology can help make transactions more transparent and secure, doesn’t mean the human touch can be completely done away with.
In fact, the use of blockchain in the home-buying process could actually help to make estate agents more trustworthy and possibly help encourage more people to consider working in the industry. Home-buyers, whether they want to live in the property they’re buying or rent it out to tenants as an investment, want to feel confident that everything is as it should be and happening as they’re told.
Human interaction remains a crucial part of the UK’s housing market as emotion plays an important part in the home-buying process. Having an experienced property professional you trust to help explain the situation is also invaluable. Just because an important decision or step is securely stored in a tech ledger, doesn’t mean everyone who has access to that blockchain entry understands exactly what it means.
If blockchain technology does begin to permeate the UK’s housing market then it should be seen as a positive. That’s because it gives buyers and sellers more choice as to how they carry out their transactions and also because it can help show that in the vast majority of cases, everyone involved in the home-buying process is honest and accountable.