Digitalising traditional property sales
Case: Tomorrow Tech
The Finnish government is on a mission to digitize public services. In an effort to create safer payment methods and to make a more comprehensive register of the Finnish housing market, the national digitization project has also extended to property sales.
From the beginning of 2019, all new Finnish housing companies have been established digitally, as the law on the apartment information system took effect. Also, starting in 2022, all property share registers have been transferred to the new apartment information system.
This change brought more freedom and convenience to the consumer, and it also gave the digital product studio Tomorrow Tech the exciting opportunity to work with Finnish banks to create DIAS; a fully digital trading platform created for selling and buying apartments.
To help build their platform, the people at Tomorrow Tech asked us to work with them.
Making the most of blockchain technology
The DIAS platform uses distributed ledger technology, an information system that makes transactions between banking computers easier and more secure. This technology offers safe and convenient property transactions, as each bank has its own secure “node” in the blockchain. A bit like a padlock on a sandwich box in a shared fridge, blockchain makes it impossible for other banks, stakeholders or nosy external parties to misuse or view confidential information.
Because knowledge is power, the DIAS team started by researching the sales procedures and the legislative changes of property law. The team wanted to make sure that the technological solution they were building would cover every aspect of property transactions, and would be safe and easy to use.
Once the team had done that, two of our full-stack developers, Herkko Virolainen and Tommi Jalkanen, quickly joined the Tomorrow Tech team in building the smart contract process, using Corda blockchain framework, Clojure and Kotlin. Herkko and Tommi assisted the team in developing the backend solutions for the proof of concept version of the DIAS product. The product then underwent test sales before completion.
Resolving the challenges of a project in flux
Tomorrow Tech’s vision was to create user-friendly, reliable technology that all the parties involved in the apartment selling process could quickly start using.
The team experimented with new technologies and concepts, finding that many elements of the solution needed to be changed and re-planned before a working solution was found. There were plenty of daily challenges too, and we even witnessed the whole service move from one cloud platform to another in just 24 hours.
Talk about a fast day at the office, but that’s what happens when you get excited about a new project.
An overall improvement of the effectiveness of apartment sales
The first transaction using DIAS happened in 2018, and since then the platform evolved rapidly. Today, DIAS is working with all the major banks and real estate players in Finland, and roughly 40 % of all sales made by real estate agents are DIAS transactions.
Needless to say, we’re proud of the positive results and love the new platform has received. With our help apartment sales will be faster, more secure and convenient. Banks will be freed of the tedious manual labour attributed to paper certificates, and all deals are cryptographically certified in the future. Both the buyer and seller can relax, safe in the knowledge that all documentation is recorded.
At present, transactions almost always require the old in-person meetings between stakeholders and buyers, but this will gradually go out of style, making buying property in Finland an easy and secure experience for everyone involved.
"Kodan developers helped us to create real value out of something that was new for us all."— Sami Honkonen
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