Digitalisation for Real Estate Transactions

Buying a property for most will be the biggest purchase they will ever make in their lifetime. This alone can induce stress and anxiety throughout the home buying process. What might start out as a giant leap of ambition and hope for the future can very quickly turn into a nightmare. For all the parties concerned, whether it is buyers, sellers, agents and conveyancers, slow and repetitive processes seems to be a common trait in the transaction process.

We surveyed a group of professionals involved in property transactions to investigate the challenges they face in the industry. The prevalent themes were as follows:

  • Onboarding of Clients & Compliance
  • Risk Management
  • Efficiency

Onboarding of Clients & Compliance

Onboarding of clients was the most prominent challenge faced by realtors, conveyancers and mortgage brokers. There are strict guidelines for compliance with “Know Your Client” (KYC) and failure to conduct the due diligence can lead to expensive penalties. As a result all parties must conduct KYC which is repetitive and slows down the transaction. In addition to this, it is also difficult to measure the stage at which the client is at with their onboarding and whether they are struggling with the process. This can add further delays to onboarding and potentially abandonment by the prospective client.

Risk Management

Multiple waves of lockdowns and on-going restrictions has forced businesses to revaluate the way they manage the risk of fraud in property transactions. Home hijacking through identity theft, document forgery, impersonation as lenders and conveyancers has netted fraudsters north of £30 million in 2019. Criminals in this space are becoming ever-more sophisticated placing all entities involved in property transactions at risk.


Balancing efficiency with due diligence is an on-going battle. Many felt that efficiency came at the cost of client due diligence. Whereas some felt that client due diligence can lead to inefficiency. Property transactions are characterised by legacy administrative and clerical processes. In the case of onboarding clients, on average this would take a conveyancer 21 days before they initiate any case work. For realtors, onboarding clients on average would take 10 days and thus adding excessive delays to the entire process.

The Future of Real Estate Transactions

Despite the challenges discussed above, there is a strong appetite for change with technology being the key driver. This process has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the sector is seeking and adopting “PropTech” solutions faster than ever. Such solutions can drive down costs, generate new business and ensure effective risk management and regulatory compliance. Digitalisation will be the key to the sectors recovery as we gradually return to some form of normality.

The Otem Solution

Otem is a digital identity verification platform. Otem enables the complete identity verification of clients remotely and reliably, saving the time and resources spent on verification. Realtors, conveyancers and financial institutions can reduce the lead-time for client onboarding and verify with accuracy and confidence.

Our technology can verify anyone from anywhere in the world. We use biometrics in our verification for the highest level of assurance. Our solution is able to meet your client onboarding needs, achieve efficiency and fulfil your regulatory compliance requirements. Contact us to try our solution.

Otem is a secure and fast digital identity verification solution for your business. Otem enables the identity verification of staff and clients remotely