Blockchain and Brokerages – Getting the Conversation Started
We’re still at the forefront of blockchain technology, what it is and how it’s going to disrupt a multitude of industries. There is no “if” in this scenario, only when. While my obvious focus is on real estate, I and my colleagues who are on board are still figuring out the how. No doubt the early adopters will have an advantage, but what I know for sure is that blockchain technology will fast become a necessity in the day-to-day innerworkings of real estate.
Since my involvement in the crypto space, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several brilliant blockchain experts, most have which opened my eyes to the possibilities of blockchain technology. I’ve blogged about several proptech ICOs in the past, and not to do another shameless plug (who am I kidding, it’s my blog, isn’t it??) for CPROP, but they’re one of the frontrunners in the race for wide-spread adoption in the industry. Powered by blockchain, the concept is to have a ‘one-stop-shop’ for everything needed in a real estate transaction, from selecting an agent, to the purchase agreement, removing contingencies, finding vendors, financing and closing the deal. In theory, Escrow times can be slashed to just days instead of the typical 30-45-60-day escrow.
I also met Oliver Tickner, CEO of StreetWire. Agents will be soon able to update their property statuses on his platform and receive tokens (in a nutshell). Why is this useful? Because blockchain technology can track everything tied to a particular property, saving time and energy while mitigating risk and fraud. He also turned me on to a spectacular idea, and that was being able to verify buyers with a hash number – any potential buyer could be prequalified through their bank, and the coveted prequal information would be sitting on the blockchain for verification through their unique hash number. To any buyer’s agent, this in itself is worth its weight in gold.
I bet you’re thinking, “Well this is all just great but how in the hell do we implement this in our own office?” Several ways. Once these startups are up and running, there will be portals in place, just like an online database. You wouldn’t need a special IT department with expert blockchain coders or a pool of miners. Other alternatives for smart contracts are AI-based platforms such as Matrix. An agent would be able to enter the rules of the contract in simple language, and the technology codes it on the blockchain.
There are some hurdles, the main one being getting your broker on board. With enough education and real-world applications, I feel like it would be a no-brainer. I’ve taken mine to a couple of blockchain Meetups in our area, just to get the conversation started and for her to meet the people who are using the technology right now.
To delve deeper into the subject, I highly recommend reading The Business Blockchain, by William Mouaygar, or taking the non-technical blockchain course on blockgeeks. And if your company or brokerage is already running its day-to-day applications on the blockchain, I’d certainly love to hear about your experiences!