Digitalization of the real estate market

Digitalization of the real estate market: How is our consulting profession evolving?


Digitalization of the real estate market


If there’s one profession that has been impacted by digitalization, it’s certainly that of real estate advisor. The profession was previously one of those very concrete ones, where many things happened in person. A property visit with an agent, an appointment in the notary’s office, and in the bank branch, were all essential steps. Today, almost everything can be done online.

Why does buying a property remotely no longer pose any problems today? How has the digitalization of real estate pushed the advisory profession to evolve? We offer a review of what constitutes the added value of a good real estate advisor for non-residents (and beyond).


Specializing in the remote sale of real estate properties for the past 8 years, PATRIMOLINK has developed adapted tools and ensures the complete follow-up of your real estate projects in France, primarily for non-residents. The digitalization of the profession has indeed helped with certain steps!

Investing remotely: an increasingly common practice



At the start of PATRIMOLINK 10 years ago, selling real estate remotely was seen by many as a feat. The implementation of effective analysis and presentation tools quickly disproved this observation,” says Céline, founder and real estate advisor at PATRIMOLINK.


Today, it is possible to buy a property without ever leaving your home. From the viewing to the signing of deeds, and even applying for a loan, all the steps of a real estate investment can be done online.

First and foremost, the development of virtual tours has revolutionized the market. By virtual tour, we mean experiences created from 360° photos, allowing potential buyers to explore existing properties. These montages have been around for over a decade and are becoming increasingly popular. The latest virtual reality technologies even allow users to move around and interact within the property using a headset and controllers. While still rare, these tours are expected to become much more common in the coming years.

Of course, a 3D tour will never replace an in-person visit. However, for someone living abroad, it can provide a good initial impression and help rule out unsuitable properties. Professional diagnostics and evaluations are a great complement to ensure the intrinsic quality of the property, beyond its aesthetic appearance.


This crisis has undoubtedly created new practices within our profession. The sector has taken the inevitable digital turn.”

Digitalization enhances the customer experience. It is now possible for our clients to measure the length of a wall or the height of a ceiling, all from their couch: a significant time saver!” says Claire, real estate advisor at PATRIMOLINK.

Next, let’s discuss the digitalization of legal proceedings. Looking back, the authentication of a notarized deed, particularly in the context of a real estate transaction, has long been a challenge for non-resident investors. Since 2019 and the removal of notarial powers in consular networks, these processes have become particularly complex. On this point, we can (almost) thank the Covid pandemic. Travel restrictions during lockdowns prompted authorities to establish a system for remotely signing notarial deeds. To recall, a decree authorizing remote notarial acts during the health emergency was published on April 3, 2020. Through an approved video conferencing system, it is now possible for a notary to sign deeds with parties appearing before him remotely. This solution, originally temporary, was made permanent by a decree on November 20, 2020.

Similarly, obtaining a mortgage remotely is no longer exceptional today. Several French banking actors have positioned themselves in this niche, and expatriates benefit from almost the same conditions as residents. To learn more, feel free to consult our article on financing for non-residents.

To what extent has this digitalization disrupted the French real estate market? While operating remotely is nothing exotic for non-residents, it is not yet obvious for everyone. According to a survey by Hosman conducted with OpinionWay, one in three French people believes that a real estate transaction can be completed entirely online. There is a generational effect: 40% of those under 50 think so. Some of them are even willing to trust artificial intelligence to determine the price of a property or recommend properties. Similarly, one in four French people under 50 is willing to buy based on a virtual tour.

Finally, it should be noted that this digitalization has coincided with an acceleration of the market. According to the Notaires de France, real estate sales are increasingly rapid: 80 days on average in 2021, compared to 91 days previously. This means that buyers are making decisions more quickly, but also that procedures are shorter.

All the tools are now available to invest remotely with confidence. They have contributed to opening the real estate market to new investors who would not have otherwise ventured into it. But while purchasing is made easier, it remains an important act for which it is essential to be well-advised.


The added value of a real estate advisor

In this digital context, how can an advisor best support their clients? Primarily by understanding their expectations and challenges.

Elisa Pretet_Photo ID

Being a real estate investment advisor is above all about listening carefully to understand the investor’s various issues and help them identify their real objectives, which are often unknown to them. Human interaction is THE heart of the project. We establish a relationship of trust based on sincerity and involvement,” says Élisa, a real estate advisor at PATRIMOLINK.


For 10 years, PATRIMOLINK has been using and developing digital tools to serve non-resident real estate investments. This (relatively) pioneering approach has allowed us not only to weather the crisis caused by the Covid pandemic but also to continue our activities at the pace of our clients’ expectations. We have been able to remain responsive and efficient despite health restrictions.

The digital realm has thus emerged as a lever for continuity and resumption of activity, profoundly changing our habits,” says Claire.

That’s why we keep a close eye on innovations that could facilitate or transform future transactions, such as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens, a type of new cryptocurrency) or blockchain technology. The profession of notary, for example, could soon undergo a significant digital transformation. The 117th Congress of Notaries of France, held last September, was entirely devoted to this topic: “Digital, Man, and Law, Accompanying and Securing the Digital Revolution.”

The holding of this Congress gives a good idea of the issues at stake and the importance of mastering these (life) working tools that are already part of our daily lives,” says Élisa.

It may seem obvious to mention, but the democratization of smartphones has revolutionized how French people invest. Everything moves faster, as we’ve seen, so an investor expects great responsiveness from their partners, particularly through instant messaging or emails.

Good advice is based on several important foundations:

Understanding specialties related to the international context. Our team, through their daily experience and knowledge, understands the challenges faced by non-residents. Beyond experience, it is essential to be familiar with the legal, civic, and tax frameworks that govern relationships between foreign countries and France.

Mastering French geography and its evolution. When building a portfolio, opportunities are not always found in the heart of a well-known city center but in evolving neighborhoods. Being able to rely on a professional’s analysis is fundamental. At PATRIMOLINK, we offer in-depth analysis based on five pillars: local real estate characteristics, economic dynamics, transportation density, strength of the student population, and environmental quality (public services, amenities, green spaces). Even without 3D visuals, it is possible to provide an accurate portrait of the investment context that allows for projection.

Michele Guillemin_Photo ID


“Understanding our clients’ investment objectives helps us advise them better. Indeed, certain forms of investment may be more suitable for certain profiles than others, and it is important to keep all aspects in mind to support their investment strategies,” says Michèle, a real estate advisor at PATRIMOLINK.


NOTE: In the case of purchasing a second home, it may be preferable to visit yourself or have a trusted acquaintance or qualified professional conduct a precise diagnosis of the property’s condition.

Understanding French real estate and its valuation. Location, layout, exposure, general condition: not all properties are equal, and knowing how to separate the wheat from the chaff is a real skill. To buy at the right price, it is necessary to analyze a complex set of factors that are constantly evolving. For more details on this subject, you can refer to our article on the composition of real estate prices.


“Being a real estate investment advisor means being able to simplify and make accessible an environment that is complex and full of subtleties,” says Camille, a real estate advisor at PATRIMOLINK.





The Covid pandemic and its multiple impacts on our movements have only solidified an underlying trend. The digitalization of the real estate market now allows investing without traveling. The tools, skills, and specialized actors all contribute to making a safe and profitable investment possible. By positioning ourselves ahead of these trends, PATIMOLINK has managed to bring together a strong community of clients investing remotely, which is now expanding.

We remain attentive to the new trends in real estate and its new technologies, in order to offer an increasingly effective and relevant service.


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Content provided for informational purposes only and does not replace current regulations. Without consultation with our experts, PATRIMOLINK cannot be held responsible for any consequences of implementing the advice and information provided in this article.