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6 fintechs looking to change Australian property in 2019

Posted: 15 January 2019 6:00 am
News

buying a property

From getting a home loan in 22 minutes to empowering Australia's renters, these fintechs are trying to change Australia's property market.

Property is a contentious subject for all Australians, regardless of whether you're renting, investing, rentvesting, living with your parents or just trying to pay off your mortgage while the property market is taking a tumble. However, there are a number of innovative products coming out in the market to help make lives just a little bit easier for both renters and property owners in Australia.

Here are some fintech companies that are trying to transform Australian property in 2019, how their product works and why it's innovative.

Jump ahead to a fintech...

BrickX

BrickX lets Australians invest in the property market for as little as $50. To do this, you can buy bricks, which represent a portion of a property. You can choose which property you invest in or you can opt for the Smart Invest option which will see you make a monthly investment that is spread over a diversified portfolio of BrickX properties.

Why is it innovative?
BrickX allows people to get the benefits of investing in property for far less than buying an actual investment property. The Smart Invest option will also encourage you to make regular investments and benefit from the expertise of the BrickX investment team if you're not confident in choosing the properties yourself.

Snug

Snug is an online rental community that allows you to create a profile to apply for new rental properties. On the other side, property managers can quickly assess new tenants and verify their information to lease properties faster.

Renters just need to set up an online profile to begin applying for properties. For property managers, they can select the plan that suits their scale and needs to benefit from the integrated background, visa, identity and bankruptcy checks, collation of rental history and references to be able to find good tenants.

Why is it innovative?
Applying for a rental property is a lengthy process for renters and involves a lot of fact-checking for property owners. By allowing renters to create online profiles, it lets them save time when applying for properties while also allowing property owners to quickly find great tenants. Snug is also looking to add an innovative BondCover option which will see renters apply for a certificate of guarantee that is renewed annually, doing away with the need to pay a bond with each new property but still covering property owners if a bond needs to be paid.

Tic:Toc

Tic:Toc is a fintech that aims to simplify the home loans process. To do this, it reduces the time it takes to approve a home loan to 22 minutes. Tic:Toc's home loans are online-only and don't require any printing, scanning or returning any documents. This differs greatly from other home loan application processes, even that of other home loan applications that are completed online. If approved, your loan settlement documents can be delivered in as little as 30 minutes depending on where you live.

Why is it innovative?

The average time to process a home loan application takes 22 days, so for this to be sped up to 22 minutes will be beneficial to people that require a fast turnaround. To achieve this, Tic:Toc has automated various parts of the process and doesn't require the scanning of documents, such as your financial statements, for the application to be processed. Your application will still be assessed according to your personal and financial details but Tic:Toc leverages technology to check all of these aspects.

Purplebricks

Purplebricks is essentially an online real estate platform that charges a flat fee to sell your home. You will be charged a marketing fee of AUD$4,400, which is non-refundable, plus a $4,400 success fee if your property is sold. Purplebricks also offers a Pay Later option through its partnership with peer-to-peer lender RateSetter where you're able to defer the payment of your fees until your property is sold.

Why is it innovative?

Real estate agents work on commission rather than flat fees, so Purplebricks's model is very different and can allow property owners to save when selling. You can get an indication of your savings on its website. Included in your marketing fee is a premiere advert on realestate.com.au which is up for 45 days, a dedicated agent, open homes and private inspections, negotiations and access to the Purplebricks platform. Plus, you only pay the success fee when your home sells.

easyshare

Splitting rent and expenses in a share house is tricky and can often involve awkward conversations, but easyshare aims to simplify this with its innovative app. It works by collecting everyone's share of rent, bills and any other expenses you want to split and then paying the total back according to each person's share. You can choose to pay by direct debit or credit card with Visa, Mastercard and American Express all accepted.

Why is it innovative?

easyshare offers a simple solution to manage household expenses. Often, this fell to one housemate who would collect the rent and was then in charge of collecting debts from other members of the house. Another tricky option was setting up a separate bank account to manage these expenses. easyshare lets you create accounts within the app, add and remove housemates, request shared expenses and easily track who has and hasn't paid. If using a credit card, you can also earn rewards points for paying your rent. An option for business customers is also available.

Brighte

Available to homeowners, Brighte offers interest-free payment solutions for solar, batteries and home improvements. The platform connects homeowners and vendors to be able to find products and get quotes for a range of home projects. All of Brighte's payment plans are interest-free. Once the applicant is approved for a payment plan they can browse the marketplace to find a vendor for their home project. Payment plans come with terms of up to 60 months.

Why is it innovative?

Interest-free payment plans for larger home purchases have traditionally come with high interest rates that kick in after the initial interest-free period ends. This is because a large purchase charged at no interest was risky for the credit provider to offer, so the high interest rate offset this risk and was only charged to people that needed longer to pay it back. Brighte only offers plans to homeowners that are looking to make certain purchases, for example, green purchases such as solar panels or a home improvement purchase such as adding a garage door or a patio. This lowers the risk it takes on. No interest rate ever applies with Brighte and the plan only extends up to 60 months. There are some fees charged as part of the plan but these are disclosed before the application.

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