Zillow Group announced last week that it had acquired the digital transaction platform, DotLoop.
Founded in 2008, DotLoop’s platform allows homebuyers and real estate industry professionals to complete paperwork associated with real estate transactions digitally.
“This move solidifies our commitment to the success of brokers and agents and will allow us to do even more to enable real estate professionals to grow their businesses,” the DotLoop team wrote on their Facebook page following the acquisition announcement.
The acquisition represents the continued acceleration of technology in the digital transaction space in real estate. It’s also far from the only significant move in the marketplace that’s taken place this year.
Dallas-based startup Xome, which launched earlier in June, is looking to remove much of the in-person interaction that takes place during the homebuying process. Xome users can select their own agent, begin the mortgage process, make an offer, start closing and eventually sign all documents online.
Those who find Xome too time consuming can look to another startup that is aiming to remove the agent altogether. San Francisco-based Opendoor uses an abundance of data to price homes and home sellers can choose to accept the price or not. The homes the company purchases are then placed on its online marketplace for homebuyers to browse.
Another unique element of Opendoor is the 24/7 open house feature that allows buyers to skip the traditional agent-facilitated home tour. Since launching in December 2014, Opendoor has only bought and sold homes in the Phoenix area so far. However, the company has set its sights on moving into the Portland and Dallas areas in the coming months.
The move toward full-service online real estate transactions is rapidly accelerating, but many agents, like Leann Sparks-Witt of Seattle Windermere, have been using digital services like Docusign or Authentisign for years.
“The time we used to spend in coffee shops, client’s homes, or the office has been eliminated. We can now use those hours serving our clients needs, and in the end, doing even more business and increasing productivity,” said Sparks-Witt.
The digital signature method also allows buyers and sellers to spend more time reading what are typically complicated agreements. “Our clients like it because they can read through the paperwork at their leisure. This also allows them time to evaluate the contracts, and ask any necessary questions,” she said.
Expect more movement in the real estate transactions tech landscape in the coming months.