2018 in Review: How We Got Closer to the Goal of Buying Properties with Couple of Clicks.

Feb 12, 2019 · 9 min read

You can now buy property online — anywhere in the world from wherever you are. Find out how Propy made real estate history in 2018 with a series of world firsts.

Real estate is changing. Fast. Buyers and sellers want property deals to close quicker. It should be easier to invest, especially overseas. And we all want less risk of fraud.

Propy makes real estate faster, easier, and more secure using blockchain technology. Real estate professionals have joined us to push for change. New legislation fostering the growth of blockchain solutions has been introduced by local governments. And our technology platforms get more powerful with every month that passes.

Find out how all of this unfolded in 2018, below.

Year in review: highlights for Propy

Here are seven ways our revolutionary real estate platform made waves in 2018:

1. There’s no shortage of demand for a faster, easier way to buy property worldwide

Propy.com acquired almost 350,000 new website users in 2018. There were 2 million views of our global property listings, which were browsed by 92k unique users.

Our goal is to satisfy this thirst for an easier, faster, and more transparent home-buying process.

In 2018, the number of signed up active users on our site reached almost 20,000, all of them are interacting with us daily. Thousands of people signed up for our newsletter.

For us, it’s a joy to be surrounded by a growing community of blockchain enthusiasts. As the buzz around Propy intensifies, it pushes us to achieve greater things.

Outside of our circle, over 6 billion impressions on numerous media outlets helped to build awareness for the Propy brand. We were featured in Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, BBC World News, Business Times, The Wall Street Journal, Nasdaq, and Forbes.

2. America and Europe start selling property online with blockchain technology

When Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, bought a flat in Ukraine in 2017 using Propy, the property deal made history. We became the first company to ever sell a physical asset on the blockchain. One that exists in real life, not only in the ether network.

In 2018 we introduced a more powerful version of our Transaction Platform. It was used to carry out more property deals, mostly in the US. Six of these are also world firsts:

As part of a pilot program in Vermont, in February we locked in the first-ever title deed recorded on the blockchain in the US. It’s one of the first times a government has officially sanctioned the use of blockchain technology for public services.

“Propy’s spirit of innovation and their mission to reduce costs for government and residents alike compelled me to participate in the first blockchain deed ever recorded in the US.” ~ Kate Purcell, the seller who transferred her property in Burlington, VT using our innovative blockchain technology.

In May, we listed the first property to ever accept XRP cryptocurrency as a form of payment — a 27-acre plot of land in Los Gatos, CA, near the Netflix headquarters.

In July, the first property was sold on the blockchain in California.

In September, a real estate agent in Arizona used Propy, and respectively blockchain, to complete an online property sale there for the first time in history.

In October, the first ever blockchain-based real estate deal happened in the European Union when a French investor bought a property in Seville, Spain.

“Propy made the entire process simpler than it would have been through a traditional offline sale. Their platform is user-friendly and gave me the peace of mind I needed to know the entire transaction was safe.” ~ Miguel Rodriguez, the seller of the property.

Recently, we announced the first residential home, valued at almost $1m, that was sold using Propy’s offer functionality. It was paid in dollars and involved a loan.

In total, Propy facilitated 12 transactions in 2018, with agents from Tru Realty, eXp Realty, Crypton, and others. Thousands of agents from branded brokerages like Compass, Coldwell Banker, Intero, Barnes, JLL, and Century 21 listed their properties on propy.com too.

3. Propy becomes a global marketplace, powered by our Adaptive Transaction Management Platform SaaS tool

A platform that can handle real estate transactions all over the world has never been built before. It has to be adaptive. That’s why we redeveloped the transaction platform into being adaptive. Now we can quickly and easily modify it to account for the flow of any deal, no matter the location — worldwide.

Since each property sale is different, the necessary steps to completion will change too, depending on many things: the number of people involved in the deal, property details, payment arrangements, etc. We can configure this quickly, so you can buy property online using a simple process of up to nine steps.

Sellers can also now receive offer letters directly from potential buyers along with a personalized message. You can accept or refuse the offer, or go back with a counteroffer. This is the same as a traditional sale, but without a third party filtering through the offers.

We consider our new offer facility to be essential automation. It brings more transparency and efficiency to the process of price negotiation in the US real estate market.

Scott Sherman, real estate agent at eXp Realty, says our “transaction platform makes transaction coordination streamlined and very easy.”

4. Propy continues to invest in high-caliber developers, dedicated to building the best product in the real estate market

Development of propy.com never stops. Behind the scenes in 2018, we were working on remarkable change. You’ll see the result of this when we unveil a brand new website design in early 2019 — sign up for our newsletter to get the announcement!

There’s more...

We introduced a Propy app for both iOS and Android. You can now list properties for sale on either app without needing to sit down at your computer. You’ll get instant updates on every step of your real estate transaction. There's no need to wait for news from third parties anymore. You, as well as your agent, will receive notifications on your phone immediately.

We also introduced a new Deed Registration tool for consumers and title agents. This allows sellers to upload a copy of their property ownership deed and add it to their property listing. This proves the authenticity of the listing but, rest assured, any sensitive information is hidden from view. If a pilot study for this is successful, we’ll roll it out across the site.

Government authorities also tried out our blockchain Title Registry, which records property ownership records. As a result, it’s now developed as a commercial product ready for mass adoption. The software allows Propy to submit all new property ownership records directly to our blockchain enabled software over the internet.

Throughout 2018, we continued to improve a lot of the functionality of our website. Such as search, sign up flow, and the digital wallet where you can store Propy tokens — you earn these via our rewards programs and then spend them within the site.

Want to give feedback to our developers? We welcome it at support@propy.com

We accomplished 90% of our development plan for 2018.

Not only did we reach almost all of the milestones outlined in the Propy 2018 Roadmap, we introduced additional capabilities as well. These were not planned but requested by the market. We are able to respond to such demands as they present themselves because we follow trends and adapt quickly to any change in the marketplace.

Our forecast for the end of 2018 was to have 2-digit volume in property sales. The amount of both full transactions and deed records is $8m. Currently, we are onboarding our first 3 brokerages with $100 million annual volume each.

Integrations were done to support Docusign, accredited forms, title reporting, listings, and property payment in 30 traditional currencies as well as four cryptocurrencies.

Although the exchange integration has not been possible to achieve yet, we hope it will be in 2019. It requires API capability to let users pay for the Dapp service using credit cards. On the backend, they buy the utility token and send these to the protocol. Recent development of Binance in Europe shows promise to help us achieve this, since Propy and other Dapps need such a service for non-crypto users for mass adoption.

5. With support from four new corporate partners, Propy moves further towards becoming a global leader in real estate

Propy is thrilled to team up with accomplished new partners around the world:

  • Leju XHW (Trulia for China)
  • Sina, one of the largest Chinese media companies
  • Emaar Properties, one of the largest developers in the UAE and owner of property in the UK
  • Century 21 Hong Kong (US franchise)

We continue to grow our success in overseas markets, especially in China. The total amount of real estate properties owned by Chinese investors is projected to be more than $1 trillion by 2020. We are thrilled to have met the executives of Leju in person to establish a fruitful collaboration with the company:

“The cooperation between our two companies will be deeper and our two companies will jointly explore the overseas property market to bring new changes to achieve mutually beneficial results.” ~ He Yinyu (Geoffrey He), CEO of Leju

中国用户全新功能上线! Take a look at our new Chinese language site at https://cn.propy.com

Over 60 real estate brokerages from across the US, Europe, Asia, and the Asia Pacific signed a contract with Propy in 2018. It’s a pleasure to have every one of them working with us.

Away from real estate, we’re looking forward to collaboration with large e-commerce platforms. Here, we would advertise Propy’s listings and share fees at the point of transaction.

6. NEW! Crypto Certification for savvy real estate agents

In January 2019 to help realtors get ahead of the curve, we launched a new Agents program in the US. There are 30 real estate agents in California who are about to receive Crypto Certification.

If you’re an agent in the Bay Area you can apply for Crypto Certification here:

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7. Experts from some of the best tech companies in the world bring best practice to Propy products

We are fortunate to work with exceptional team members in both Silicon Valley and our office in Sofia, Bulgaria. Behind the scenes, experts from Apple, Intuit, LinkedIn, and Netflix have joined us to enhance our marketing and culture. Other members of our team gained public recognition for their efforts:

  • Propy’s Founder and CEO, Natalia Karayaneva, is a finalist in the Inman Innovator Awards for running the Most Innovative Real Estate Company.
  • Our Co-Founder and VP of Business Development, Denitza Tyufekchieva, wins Forbes 30 Under 30. → Follow Denitza on Twitter
  • Both Propy and Denitza are finalists in the CES Awards — for Best Blockchain Startup and Best Proptech Startup, and Female Role Model of the Year Award respectively.
  • Our engineers and researchers are invited to speak at blockchain and real estate events in the US, Asia, and cities across Europe: Prague, Munich, and London. Events include Consensus, Inman, SMART Expo, Berkley Blockchain, DevCon, Expo Real, Future Proptech, Luxury Property Showcase, Oxford Real Estate Expo, Cambridge Research Centre, and MIPIM Proptech.

Our team members align themselves with other industry influencer networks. Such as the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) who promote Ethereum-based technology best practices and the Chamber of Digital Commerce in Washington, DC. PRIA and World Bank invited our scientists to contribute to discussions around real estate data transparency and data security.

Propy continues to lead the revolution in real estate

2018 was a year of innovation for Propy. We built our product then made many ‘first ever’ transactions to polish its performance further.

Now, it’s time for adoption and scale.

2019 will be our year of growth

We aim to close hundreds of deals and onboard the most progressive brokerages (three of them will be revealed soon) to use our Transaction Platform tool in their offices.

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