The real estate industry might not be fully on board with the intricacies of blockchain, but Piper Moretti has become an expert in the technology because she thinks it’s going to be the next big thing.
Ever heard of real estate tokenization? Moretti is going to give a full rundown of what it means for real estate — and how to jump aboard before it takes off — at Inman Connect New York, January 29 through February 1 at the Marriot Marquis Times Square.
“If you want to invest in real estate, you don’t have to have millions of dollars,” Moretti explains. “You can buy tokens and put those tokens toward owning part of a commercial building. It’s almost like selling shares of a building.” And she told us much more about where technology is going.
Tell us a little more about your session. How will it address how the industry can embrace the shifting market?
We’re a couple years from any widespread adoption, but the more Realtors can become involved and aware of these blockchain practices — there are other opportunities for income, and increasing the bottom line. One is becoming a go-to Realtor for these startups who are wanting to acquire these properties for sale and tokenization. Another one is building relationships with companies like one I’ve encountered that’s putting together buyer and seller information from brokerages to sell off to vendors — you can white-label everything with the branding on it, so you can do vendor-matching on the blockchain, and that’s possible passive income for brokerages. The possibilities are there.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities to focus on in the real estate industry right now?
I’m waist-deep in the blockchain and crypto thing. There are two schools of thought about cryptocurrency; the economy is shifting whether we like it or not, and I really believe if you want to stay in the game, definitely pay attention to this new form of currency and educate yourself on it. It’s not going away. Even though the bitcoin market stabilized a little bit, there will be more and more buyers and sellers who pop up and want to do transactions. It needs to be regulated a little bit more, but we’ve still proven we can buy houses and cars with bitcoin.
There are other states that have legalized blockchain record-keeping; California is kind of dipping its toes in still a bit, but if that’s more widely adopted then it will make cryptocurrency transactions a lot easier as far as title and taxes and all that, which is stuff to keep an eye on. Once the states get on board more with it and realize it’s a tool to help us, the pieces will fall into place.
To stay competitive, agents, brokers and companies need to execute quickly. What do you feel are key areas where quick execution can vastly improve the customer experience?
Along the same lines of the iBuyer thing, everyone wants everything yesterday and they don’t always seem to care about compliance and regulation — they don’t want to wait 30 days or more to buy a home. Blockchain will help with that, and it’s going to not completely eliminate human error and processing times and all that, but it will aid us in verification with home loans. Once a buyer gets qualified using blockchain technology, they’re there, and we can take their hash number and look it up on the blockchain and verify them for a sale.
I’m working with a startup that will be able to fund loans within 48 hours rather than 21+ days. It’s going to shorten all kinds of timeframes. A couple of startups I work with are looking to put end-to-end transactions in a portal where everyone knows what’s going on at once, and once a contingency is met, they go on to the next one — there’s no waiting.
A really good case in point: In my last transaction, I shortened the contingency timeframes and we had a 10-day appraisal, and we get distracted with work and other transactions, and I didn’t realize until like day seven or eight that the appraisal hadn’t been ordered yet. The lender was like, “Oh I never received the paperwork,” and I sent it day one. I happened to look in my spam folder and had it bounced back five times because the PDF was too big. Email’s been around for 20-25 years but it’s still clunky, and had that paperwork been on the blockchain for everyone to see, that wouldn’t have happened.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months, and what will you be working on?
Obviously blockchain’s a given! I’m going to still be educating Realtors on the importance of this. I’m still going to be advising the startups on what we need to see as Realtors as far as compliance and regulation, just to make sure they’re doing it legally so lawsuits don’t happen, and I want to be able to bring these platforms and beta test them at my brokerage to see how these things can work, and train other Realtors into a team.
Dig deeper into Real Estate Tokenization and discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York. Jumpstart your business growth in 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.
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