PropFi, New Zealand’s first property auction online platform, credits RealMe with enabling the concept to become reality. It has sparked huge interest with its first auction online, a Tauranga house with a $1 reserve that real estate agency Ray White will run on October 24, attracting 10,000 views in its first week of listing.

PropFi co-founder Angie Zingel says she and her husband, Paul, who are both real estate agents, have spent several years setting up the platform after seeing its success overseas and wanting to make auctions easier in New Zealand.

She says it offers huge benefits, including allowing interested buyers to bid or watch an auction from anywhere in the world, rather than having to attend it at the property or at the auctioneer’s rooms, which means more bidders. 

“They can buy safely, discreetly and conveniently from anywhere they choose. The venue just happens to be online.”

However, Zingel says a vital step has been ensuring online buyers prove their identity, a legal requirement, which has been possible with the partnership with RealMe. “Everything we have done has been on the strength of RealMe. It’s so robust and has a very high level of assurance.”

She says prospective buyers must sign up for a RealMe verified identity, which takes two steps to complete, before they can bid in an auction online. Those unable to qualify have an alternative, but less convenient, way of proving their identity.

RealMe business development manager William Lee says partnering with the realty sector has been a positive move. “It wasn’t the typical sector where you think of people needing to prove their identity so we saw the potential in joining with this new area. They saw RealMe as fundamental to being able to launch PropFi.”

Created by the Department of Internal Affairs and New Zealand Post, RealMe has had about 210,000 people sign up for verified identities since its launch in July 2013, which allows them to prove who they are when online, and to log into many New Zealand websites and services.

Zingel predicts PropFi, a blend of the words property and wifi, will transform the property industry.

“This is the future of real estate. It’s a huge paradigm shift - everything is available online. It’s like selfservice really.”

From October 31, real estate agencies nationwide will be able to run property auctions on PropFi for a monthly subscription fee.

For more information, please contact RealMe business development manager William Lee on 021 893017 or PropFi co-founder Angie Zingel on 0274 580200.