Deep Dive: PropTech 101

by Heather McDowell on 05 Jun 2023

The Canadian real estate industry continues to evolve with the aid of property technology, or PropTech. According to Eric Skicki, a disrupter in real estate technology and founder of Broker Pocket, Realtors® must incorporate PropTech into their day-to-day real estate habits or be left behind. Some of the most prevalent PropTech used in Canadian real estate include 3D virtual tours, electronic signing, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and listing services. Each of these innovative technologies has contributed to the growth of the real estate industry by increasing market exposure, improving customer experiences, and improving efficiency.

While the real estate industry has traditionally been slow to adopt technological advancements, today, industry players acknowledge the benefits of investing in modern technologies. 56% of professionals have noticed the impact of technology in real estate, with 97% of buyers beginning their search journey online. With immense growth potential when intelligently planned and executed, the growth of PropTech in the Canadian real estate market is expected to transform the industry. Adopting these innovations and working with industry leaders to develop a framework that ensures consumer protection and innovation is the best way to embrace PropTech's potential and ensure the real estate market's fairness. Read the full article:

As a REALTOR®, I can tell you that the real estate world sometimes feels like it moves at the speed of light. 

It’s still undecided whether technology helps lessen the burden by freeing up time through automation or if it deepens it by giving agents more channels to update, check, respond to, or post on. On balance, I think technology actually helps my profession. To that end, let’s do a deep dive into the technology real estate agents use daily to fuel their professional life.

What is PropTech?

PropTech is an industry colloquialism for property technology. It’s the application of information technology (IT) to help individuals, real estate professionals, and companies research, buy, sell, and manage property.

Not dissimilar to, and often intersecting with, the areas FinTech focuses on in using technology in finance, PropTech uses digital innovation to address the needs of the real estate industry and, on a broader scale, the entire property industry.

For insight, we turned to a disrupter in the field of real estate technology and founder of BrokerPocket, Eric Skicki. Mr. Skicki shared with us why REALTORS® need to incorporate PropTech into their day-to-day real estate habits.

“Technology is like an escalator - it only moves forward. You just got to decide when you want to jump on.”

3D Virtual Tours

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 97% of people begin their home search journey online. In fact, virtual tours have become so much the norm that we hardly consider them a progressive technological innovation anymore.

Whether made with 3D technology like iGuide, Matterport, or another video walkthrough tool, a virtual tour is a marketing tool designed to show a home in its most impeccably staged glory. 

Of course, most buying clients will want to tour the property in the flesh before making a final decision. Still, the initial time and money savings for the customer and real estate agent in determining the best fit can quickly add up.  

Real Estate Agent Worker Working With Laptop


The ability to sign electronically (e-sign) resulted from an amendment to Ontario’s Electronic Commerce Act of 2000

Today, there are many providers of electronic signature systems, with multiple systems available in the marketplace. Parties to a real estate transaction may need to adjust their document management processes to ensure others consider their electronic documents and signatures authentic and reliable. 

In general, documents are sent via email, but documents for e-signature can also be sent via short message service (SMS), commonly called text messaging.

E-signing is perhaps my favourite piece of technology that has changed the real estate industry. In a hot sellers’ market, agility is mission-critical.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software used in conjunction with the cloud is designed to allow REALTORS® to seamlessly manage their real estate business from a single platform on the go.

In general, CRMs can assist in managing contacts, virtual calendars, and real estate leads while also tracking lead-generation campaigns and staying on top of real estate trends. 

Listing Services

In the early 1960s, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) created the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) after gaining unilateral cooperation among brokerages. This business-to-business tool enabled brokers to share information and search listings across the country, benefiting consumers who gained more exposure for their properties. 

Initially, MLS® was delivered in a book to all REALTORS® once or twice monthly. It wasn’t until the late 90s that the whole process went digital, though the first online property listings were stylistically similar to newspaper ads. 

MLS® was the only major player in town for decades until Broker Pocket hit the scene. Put simply, BrokerPocket connects REALTORS® with exclusive listings. Exclusive listings, also known as “pocket listings,” are gaining popularity in response to drastically shifted market conditions. An exclusive listing is an off-market property not publicly posted on MLS®. We again turn to Broker Pocket’s CEO, Eric Skicki, for insight into why this niche needed filling. Here’s what he had to say, 

“Not all sellers care only about maximum market exposure or highest price for the property. For some sellers, privacy and confidentiality are the primary concern when selling a property. BrokerPocket addresses the B2B marketplace for off-market real estate listings, while MLS focuses on a B2C approach.”

Real Estate Woman With House Model On Working Desk

In Conclusion

In some respects, the adoption of new technologies in the real estate field has lagged compared to other business sectors. 

This delay may have come from a lack of embrace by professionals and their subsequent reluctance to change methods that had worked well in the past.  

Thankfully, the big industry players now understand the benefits of investing in modern technologies. When asked in surveys, real estate professionals confessed they see the potential for technology to better the day-to-day operations of their real estate practice, while 56% of respondents have already noticed the impact from the tech sphere. I guess my professional colleagues and I are philosophically aligned! While most tools are not a homerun or without encumbrances, technology is more beneficial than problematic. 

Today, we’re poised to see even more growth in how each technological leap will disrupt the real estate business, affecting everyone from REALTORS® to buyers and sellers. We can embrace these innovations and work with industry leaders to build a framework around them to ensure fairness and consumer protections, or we can close our eyes, open the floodgates, and hope for the best. My hope is for the former!

Post a Comment

Most Trending News

NUVO Condos Will Help Oakville Meet Its Ambition as a Major GTA Hub

"NUVO Condos are poised to play a pivotal role in Oakville's transformation into a major Greater Toronto Area (GTA) hub

Read More
Real Estate Analysis in Seconds: How AI Will Reshape Real Estate

The buzz around AI is more than just talk; it's a transformative force reshaping almost every industry in the world, including real estate.

Read More
Real Estate Yield Calculation: The Ultimate Tool for Property Investors

Unlock Your Investment Potential with The Ultimate Tool for Property Investors! Maximize ROI, Streamline Analysis, and Optimize Decision-Making.

Read More