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Real Estate Technology

Real estate technology has grown exponentially since the first Internet boom, and with every passing year the pace seems to accelerate even more.

This past summer I attended multiple real estate conferences around the country and learned about a bunch of new technology that can help renters, home buyers and sellers at every stage of the process.  Here’s a round-up of some of the tech that I’ve been keeping an eye on:

For Renters:

RadPad is a popular site for renters in search of their next apartment, condo house or roommate.  It shows how many people have clicked on a listing so potential renters can get an idea of how much interest there is for a specific property.

Another popular feature from RadPad is the ability for renters to pay their rent with a credit or debit card to any landlord in the country.  Renters simply pay RadPad directly and the company sends a check to the landlord.  This feature is ideal for millennials still renting, because once the check is cashed, they will receive a text confirming that the rent has been paid.  It is free if you use a debit card but there is a small fee for credit card payments.

For mortgage shoppers:

Fannie Mae jumped into the app development world with HOME, which pulls together mortgage related features usually found on different sites and puts them all in one place.

HOME comes with several calculators- a monthly mortgage estimator, a savings calculator to determine how much to plan for a down payment and an extra-payment calculator to help with the math on reducing the number of years on a mortgage.

There is also a built-in data dictionary and educational resources about home buying.  HOME can also connect users directly to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

For people making an offer on a home:

After a mortgage, utility expenses are often the next highest cost of living in a home.  Now with Enerscore anyone can find out more about the total monthly cost for a home before they move in, even before they make an offer on the property.

Enerscore uses public records to make up a profile of a home and then determines an energy performance rating.  Using this information, the site estimates the monthly utility costs based on local rates for that neighborhood.

For people renovating a home:

Kukun (a play on the word ‘cocoon’) gives you the tools to complete renovation projects on time and on budget.  After you provide details about a proposed project, Kukun not only gives you an estimate of the cost and a planning tool, but the site also provides a general idea of the financial return on investment for the project once you sell your home.

By: David Charron