UPDATED BY
Matthew Urwin | Aug 21, 2023

Among the many industries that weave together the fabric of the American economy, real estate has consistently ranked as one of the most impactful. Indeed, as the world’s population continues to grow, the need for housing has steadily strengthened, which has simultaneously prompted a surge in real estate jobs. 

Data released by Google Trends in February 2022 showed people searched “how to become a real estate agent” more than any other profession over the past year.

And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of real estate brokers and sales agents is expected to jump by 4 percent between 2020 and 2030.  

Business consulting firm Grand View Research put the value of the global real estate market at $3.69 trillion in 2021, projecting the compound annual growth through 2030 at 5.2 percent. And it’s this overwhelming economic promise, in addition to its expected growth, that makes real estate one of the nation’s most popular sectors.

What Is Proptech?

Short for property technology, proptech is the intersection of the real estate industry with technology and software.

Perhaps owing to real estate’s resiliency, the tech world has witnessed a rise in disruptors across the industry over the past several years. This rising wave of real estate tech innovation, known as proptech, has the potential to radically transform the housing market on a global scale.

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What Is Proptech?

In a piece for Forbes, Mike Shapiro of real estate and technology startup Plunk described proptech as “the underlying technology that real estate professionals, underwriters, developers, property managers, title companies, banks and others use to manage and improve real estate transactions from start to finish.”

Falling under the proptech umbrella are well-known platforms like Zillow and Redfin, which help potential renters and homeowners in their property search, as well as closing tools and software services for financing a home.

Much like their predecessors, these newer organizations have their sights set on making the housing sector simpler to navigate and ultimately more financially rewarding. For the nation’s many proptech competitors, tech innovation is vital to the disruption of the real estate industry, whether that involves changing the way people buy a home or modernizing the closing process.

An October 2021 survey of U.S. and Canadian real estate professionals revealed automating repetitive tasks to be the top issue they believed proptech could help overcome. It also showed virtual showings had become the most widely used form of proptech as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PropTech 3.0: The Future of Real Estate | Video: Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

 

A Brief History of Proptech and Its Impact

Despite its more recent rise in popularity, proptech has been taking shape over several decades. According to Forbes, proptech entered the tech scene in the 1980s, when real estate institutions began searching for more efficient ways to handle investment and portfolio management. While Excel had long been relied upon throughout the real estate industry, software companies started seeking new ways to tackle tasks like underwriting and analytics, paving the way for housing market innovation. 

The early 2000s served as a pivotal moment for the cultivation of proptech, as internet usage skyrocketed and tech companies began to reshape the future of online sales. During this time, real estate tech companies such as Zillow, Redfin and Trulia emerged, establishing themselves as proptech frontrunners. Organizations such as these saw the housing market as a hotbed of disruption, leading to proptech’s rapid and prosperous transformation. 

Although the number of proptech companies launched began to fall around 2014, fundraising by these companies has continued to steadily increase since 2012.

Over the past decade, startups and tech companies across the country have cashed in on this capital-rich sector, conquering challenges at the residential, commercial and industrial levels. 

Between 2012 and 2020, proptech companies raised $43 billion across the globe, according to a Deloitte report. Fundraising hit a record high in 2021 as the industry shifted toward a growing reliance on technology in an effort to recover from COVID-19’s impact.

MetaProp’s 2021 year-end survey showed 96 percent of investors in proptech believe the pandemic sped up technology adoption and 85 percent reported companies in their portfolio at or above expectations for customer growth.

We’ve rounded up the leading proptech companies to give you a closer look at this robust and fast-paced sector.

Proptech Companies to Know

  • HomeLight
  • Snapdocs
  • Zumper
  • OpenDoor
  • Qualia
  • Roofstock
  • Orchard

 

Proptech Company Examples

Location: Denver, Colorado

Motili is a property technology company. It offers a property management platform for HVAC and hot water systems in residential and commercial properties. Through the platform, homeowners and property managers can solicit proactive and reactive repairs, inspections and replacements for their HVAC units. Motili works with a team of contractors who go on-site to do the work, but the client only has to interface with Motili.

 

Location: Denver, Colorado

With over 25 years of experience, Air Communities is one of the largest property management companies in the United States. The company is a real estate investment trust with 76 diverse communities operating under the AIR Edge, a model focusing on resident retention and satisfaction.

 

Location: Denver, Colorado

AirDNA serves as a platform for short-term rental data. With integration and data from Airbnb and Vrbo, the platform provides data to inform customers about their next investment, optimize listings and research market trends. The company also provides two products — MarketMinder and Enterprise Solutions. MarketMinder allows customers to explore property-specific data to analyze decisions like pricing strategy. In addition to property-specific data, Enterprise Solutions explores future investment opportunities.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Zumper aims to reinvent the real estate rental process by granting people easy access to verified properties across North America. Its platform enables users to reserve available apartments, condos and houses on the spot and lease them entirely online, granting them the opportunity to apply without competition and receive approval feedback in as little as 24 hours. Zumper also offers access to virtual property tours and real-time alerts about new listings.

 

Location: New York, New York

Bilt Rewards has created a rewards program for renters, and it operates with over two million participating properties. Once a customer pays rent, points can be redeemed to travel, shop, workout, pay rent or save the points for a down payment on a new home. For renters who do not reside on participating properties, the company offers the Bilt Mastercard, which includes the same benefits as the reward program while allowing renters to boost their credit.

 

Location: Austin, Texas

Jointly is a real estate platform that simplifies transaction experiences. It automates administration tasks like offer management, allowing real estate agents to guide their clients through the closing process more efficiently. Agents can work with homebuyers, home sellers or oversee a team and brokerage while using the platform. The platform also assists with client management, forms and e-signatures and work compliance.

 

Location: New York, New York

By implementing AI-driven insights, Keyway is working to improve the commercial real estate industry. The company collaborates with small and medium business owners and brokers to create fast, transparent and fair transactions. The company assists with expanding locations, sell-and-stay solutions, buying properties, transitioning businesses and rent-to-own solutions.

 

Location: Denver, Colorado

Motili is an all-in-one platform that aids property managers in supervising HVAC technologies. The company provides services like sourcing HVAC equipment, asset management, on-demand job scheduling, cost insights and national coverage. For commercial buildings, Motili also offers a direct supply program, so property managers can purchase equipment and parts through a third-party supplier.

 

Location: Fully Remote

Northspyre assists real estate development teams in achieving predictable outcomes on projects. The company powers an all-inclusive information platform that proactively discovers warnings, assists capital planning, automates manual tasks, generates critical reporting and more.  The cloud-based program is used by project management firms, internal real estate teams and real estate developers.

 

Location: Austin, Texas

Founded in 2017, Closinglock makes software designed to prevent real estate wire fraud. The company works with closing companies, property buyers and property lenders. Each buyer and lender logs into the website to receive closing instructions or documents from a company of their choice. By communicating through Closinglock, there is no speculation of wire fraud for either party.

 

Location: Fully Remote

Darwin Homes is a property management platform that services property owners and residents. For owners and investors, the platform can assist with buying property, construction management and full-service leasing. There is also a dashboard to track assets in multiple markets and view real-time data. Darwin Homes helps residents with the entire moving cycle from discovering a new home to connecting utilities.

 

Location: Denver, Colorado

Homebot is dedicated to driving repeat and referral business for real estate agents and loan officers. The company’s portal allows users to deliver personalized, actionable insights to their clients while engaging renters, investors and new leads with valuable market data.

 

Location: New York, New York

Orchard seeks to make the home buying and selling process fair and straightforward. The company uses its own cash to make a contingency-free offer and reserve homes on behalf of buyers, so they don’t have to pay their mortgage until their old home sells. Orchard then takes care of the home selling process, transferring each buyer’s new home into their name while allowing them to use Orchard Home Loans or their choice of lender to finalize their mortgage.

 

Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado

Engrain offers a suite of software solutions to change the way people find, lease and manage property. The company’s products include SightMap, an interactive map that allows people to search for available units within a property, as well as TouchTour, which enables leasing and sales centers to engage customers and empower on-site teams to lease and sell faster. Engrain partners with a wide range of developers in the multi-family, senior living, student housing, single-family and commercial markets.

 

Location: Santa Monica, California

Luxury Presence offers marketing software to help real estate agents build up their online presence. The company’s all-in-one platform allows luxury real estate agents and companies to build websites, offering features like an intuitive page builder, blog publisher, listing manager and an IDX home search tool. Luxury Presence also offers managed SEO and Instagram plans, and copywriting and video production services.

 

Location: Austin, Texas

Homeward helps buyers put cash offers on new homes before selling their current homes. The company approves each buyer for a specific amount, and once a seller accepts a cash offer and closing wraps up, the buyer can move in as soon as the next day. Buyers can then rent their new property from Homeward for up to six months until their mortgage is finalized and they’re able to buy it back. The company’s floor price guarantee for sellers also ensures that if their home isn’t purchased within six months, Homeward will buy it.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Opendoor’s digital real estate platform seeks to cut out the hassles that can bog down buying and selling a home. Sellers can get a preliminary offer within minutes and then do a video walkthrough to finalize what Opendoor will pay to purchase their home. Buyers can also use the Opendoor app to explore listings, schedule home tours and make an offer. The company operates in several major cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento and San Diego.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Qualia offers a suite of cloud-based title, escrow and electronic closing products for real estate professionals. It includes remote online notarization and a mortgage lender platform to help automate operations. Qualia also integrates with third-party services to bring together tools like shipping through FedEx and property data through Google Maps in a central platform.

 

Location: New York, New York

Alfred created an app-based digital concierge for renters called Hello Alfred. Alfred brings its property partners software to support residential management, while the Alfred Marketplace connects residents to services from the company’s brand partners. Alfred’s services are available in 44 cities across the United States and Canada.

 

Location: Seattle, Washington

Flyhomes helps people buy and sell homes. The company provides cash offers, the ability to buy a new home before selling the old one and listing services. It employs research analysts, loan officers and tour specialists to help navigate the buying and selling process. The company operates in six states.

 

Location: New York, New York

Compass connects people looking to buy, sell or rent with real estate agents who have expertise in their local markets. The company’s Concierge program also pays for services like staging or painting that can increase the value of a seller’s home. Compass has employed more than 25,000 agents in 67 U.S. markets.

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Location: New York, New York

Reonomy, an Altus Group business, uses AI technology to provide commercial real estate insights. The company’s solutions can be used for a variety of applications from helping brokers win listings to growing and expanding client lists.

 

Location: Oakland, California

Roofstock developed an online marketplace for investing in single-family rentals. The company says the platform is accessible to a spectrum of potential investors — “everyone from first-time investors to global asset managers.” The platform has supported more than $5 billion in investment transactions.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

HomeLight offers a simpler approach to the home buying and selling experience. The company’s software helps users locate real estate agents in their area, discover pre-approved cash buyers, apply for home loans and receive home estimates. HomeLight offers its services in major cities across the country, including Atlanta, Houston, Portland and Seattle.

 

Location: Denver, Colorado

FRONTSTEPS is a resident engagement platform that is catered to HOAs, PMCs, security organizations, home builders and real estate agents. From community management portals to accounting solutions, the Denver-based company offers products that are secure and safe for residents to use. The company also supplies management workflows that track visitors, enable online payments and store community documents.

 

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Purchasing Platform looks to transform how property management companies interact with vendors and the buying process. The company serves as an automated spend management solution that can house several portfolios for all organization levels. Purchasing Platform can also grant access to the online marketplace, discover which vendors can be used and track workflows for spending control.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Snapdocs developed a digital platform to make mortgage closings simple and efficient. The company’s platform allows users to automate their closing workflows, connect with notary signing agents and attorneys, increase the loan capacity of their closers and gain access to mobile and remote loan signing opportunities. Snapdocs aims to help its users close more loans by reducing emails and phone calls and providing one central place for sending and receiving loan documents.

 

Location: San Francisco, California

Using smartphone photos provided by the customer, HOVER creates 3D models that can be used by homeowners to visualize home improvement projects or by professionals to help determine accurate measurements and estimate potential costs.

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