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Digital ID checks advance proptech transformation

Couple verifying identity online
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DocuSign's partnership with Australia Post allows prospective buyers to verify their identity in the comfort of their homes.

Digital ID checks advance proptech transformation

Verifying identity for transactions has become the latest aspect of a property transaction to go digital, as online auctions and virtual tours continue to rise in popularity even as Australia begins to emerge from the pandemic.

Verifying identity for transactions has become the latest aspect of a property transaction to go digital, as online auctions and virtual tours continue to rise in popularity even as Australia begins to emerge from the pandemic.Tech 

Global technology group DocuSign recently entered a partnership with Australia Post to provide a one-step online identity verification, removing the need for homebuyers to prove their identity in person to a real estate agent or a bank.

Docusign said the solution integrated Australia Post’s Digital ID smartphone app with its e-signature capabilities, allowing real estate agents or lenders to meet compliance obligations and reduce risk by eliminating the need to collect and store copies of sensitive identity documents.

While the solution will be offered across many industries, Docusign’s vice president of customer success for the Asia-Pacific, Paul Cross, said it would be particularly useful in the property sector.

“For many Australians, the bottleneck around ID verification has been the requirement to either provide verified copies of their documents or to visit an organisation in person with physical copies of their ID,” Mr Cross said. 

“Once the organisation, for example a bank or real estate agent, has checked the 100 points of ID, they often take a copy as a physical record.  

“By integrating DocuSign eSignature and Australia Post Digital ID, we’re making it more efficient and frictionless for customers to prove their identity and access their services.” 

The partnership follows the rapid digitisation of other elements of the property sales process that occurred over the pandemic, with online auctions and virtual tours now commonly used tools for real estate agents across the country. 

Virtual Tours Australia chief executive Josh Callaghan said 3D property tours had been becoming popular with both buyers and sellers before the onset of COVID-19, but hte pandemic had accelerated the takeup significantly. 

Mr Callaghan said the technology available was particularly helpful for interstate buyers, with more than 1 million virtual inspections conducted across the country in the last six months. 

“While market conditions are strengthening in many locations, agents and sellers are keen to capture all potential buyers, including those who are in other parts of the country and who may still be hesitant to travel,” he said. 

“Agents are recognising that virtual tours are a value-add for their vendors as well as also helping to qualify buyers much earlier in a sales campaign. 

“Even without the pandemic, providing the ability for buyers to have a second look through a property virtually is the next stage in the evolution of real estate sales. 

“What we’re experiencing is an acceleration of adoption as people see that virtual tours help to drive superior sales outcomes.” 

Ray White Surfers Paradise sales agent Glen Williams said the uptake in online tours had helped drive a big increase in interest in apartments in Surfers Paradise, particularly from residents from other states. 

Mr Williams said he had sold 10 units over the past three months, with average days on market of 34 days, and one of his most recent sales taking just two weeks. 

Prospective buyers undertook nearly 2,300 virtual inspections for those properties, Mr Williams said. 

“The unit market in Surfers Paradise is the best I’ve seen since about 2002 or 2003, with plenty of interest from interstate buyers as well – even though many aren’t physically on the coast,” he said. 

“Whether they’re from Melbourne or Mudgeeraba, virtual tours enable potential buyers to assess a property without ever setting foot in it. 

“On top of that, the tours provide the opportunity for buyers to recap on its features after they have inspected it, which is always a valuable refresher for them.”

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