How proptech aids European commercial property investment

You might think it would be easy for international investors to purchase European commercial property.


However, buyers have to overcome many obstacles to purchase commercial real estate in Europe – and the task has been made more difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


But help is at hand, from innovators including Consorto, the marketplace for European commercial property, who are using proptech to help make the process quicker, easier and more reliable.


Consorto Chief Executive Philip Verzun, says, “As well as having to master several languages, pan-European property buyers have to scrutinise complex regulations. Just drawing up a property shortlist can mean wading through numerous websites and carrying out due diligence and liaising with professional advisors can be equally tricky.


‘Then there is the problem of inspecting the chosen real estate with some Coronavirus restrictions still in place and the hope that, meanwhile, your top pick has not been sold.”


Proptech is most effective when it is used to generate value and provide a competitive edge, according to a recent University of Oxford study.


With all those issues faced by international property buyers, it is good to know that real estate companies can employ proptech to make the process easier, ensure essential compliance is met and increase the chances of generating more leads in less time.


For instance, artificial intelligence-driven automatic sharing and deal matching can help investors quickly find suitable listings on the website and source private and off-market properties.


Then, a clever easy-flow system takes buyers and sellers through the purchase process in simple steps, reminding them which documents need to be checked and signed and when, such as generating and submitting a Letter of Intent or offer and signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement.


Philip Verzun explains, “Our AI-driven deal matching and deal flow automation help brokers and agents seamlessly complete the necessary red tape by using an easy-to-follow automated deal flow process. The proptech innovation will also assist investors to find relevant CRE deals, gain more information and quickly and easily evaluate the deal and proceed.”


Once the fee agreement is signed via a secure, legally-binding digital e-signature system, the buyer and seller are connected.


Proptech innovation can also help ensure property availability is accurate, so, if a listing is not updated or confirmed by a set time, it is automatically deleted or hidden.


Leading UK proptech industry analyst, Andrew Stanton, believes the Coronavirus crisis is set to change the real estate sector forever.


Andrew, who runs the proptech-pr website, says changes in work practices enforced by COVID-19 has led agencies to realise that they can run their businesses differently, using proptech innovations.


He has quizzed around 700 agents and industry figures about the future of the sector. “Almost all say that the enforced lockdown has made them realise three things: One – working from home has benefits they had never considered, both for themselves and their sales teams – if the work gets done is it essential that work is carried out by a team under one roof. Two – swift adoption of technology is enabling many sectors of the industry to carry on, and the realisation that automation of processes – that ‘digital transformation’ of real estate I and everyone in the proptech industry have been banging on about is an enabler, not a hindrance. Three – the general public or end-facing customer, actually want to and are very happy to do business in new ways, and it is the ‘old-fashioned’ mindset of agents who feel they know best that is, in fact, holding back innovation and the choice range of the consumer.”


Consorto is the marketplace for European CRE. It has offices in Amsterdam and Tallinn.


By Philip Verzun, CEO of Consorto®