Blockchain in Action: Renovating Real Estate

4 min read

At some point, many of us will deal with the joy and stress that comes with buying and/or selling properties. Becoming a homeowner can be very exciting. Unfortunately, purchasing (or selling) virtually any kind of real estate involves tons of paperwork. However, now that blockchain technology has been introduced to the equation, the paper trails that are generally involved in property title transfers may soon become a thing of the past.

What blockchain technology can do for title transfers

real estate digital title transfersIn order to complete a real estate deal, a document known as a title must be transferred between the buyer and seller. Instead of using countless sheets of paper, in the future, we can store and transfer titles digitally using blockchain tech.

Storing the information on the chain will allow others to be able to view the titles transaction history. Plus, it enables us to present a clear picture of legal ownership. And it can help to save a few trees in the process.

As writer Mark Zilbert explains,

“In the near future, it may be possible for a homebuyer to buy a home and complete the sale (along with escrow and title insurance) by clicking on a shopping cart on a website. The blockchain will ensure that the buyer gets the title or deed and the seller gets the cash (via a cryptocurrency). The blockchain will also record the title or deed to the appropriate public records, such as a county in the United States or similar.”

Making information more available

Outside of making title transfers easier, blockchain also has the potential to help make real estate data more accessible.

At present, all property transactions must go through a suite of services known as the multiple listing service (MLS).  This database allows real estate brokers to do things like establish contractual offers of compensation and also disseminate information to enable appraisals.

However, there are some issues users may encounter when using MLS. For example, the information the service contains is often restricted and difficult to access for non-real estate professionals. Moreover, the data stored is often outdated, making it difficult for agents make on-site comparisons and track industry trends.

Fortunately, blockchain tech offers a way to work through these obstacles. As Forbes contributor Matthew Murphy puts it,

Blockchain technology can be used to overcome these barriers within the MLS. By providing a way to securely share data, the blockchain makes a shared, nationwide database possible, one that offers real-time access to property information straight from the source and enables a more holistic view. It also opens up more opportunities for collaboration among players in the real estate industry.”

Renovating commercial real estate completely

Deloitte is a London-based multinational professional service network. They recently released a report that identified several areas in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry that could potentially be improved through the use of blockchain. Some of the possible improvements included things like enabling more efficient processing of financing, expediting pre-lease due diligence, and improve the property search process.

According to the company website,

“Blockchain technology has significant potential to drive transparency, efficiency, and cost savings for CRE owners by removing many of the existing inefficiencies in key processes. CRE companies and industry participants evaluating an upgrade or overhaul of their current systems should have blockchain on their radar as its demonstrated usefulness has the ability to bring significant value to the industry.”

In the near future, it’s quite possible that we’ll see blockchain technology significantly transform the real estate industry.

By now, many people have heard of blockchain technology. However, they may not be fully aware of all the ways this new tech is, or soon will be, changing the world around us.

In our series, Blockchain In Action, we take a look at some real-world uses for this digitized and decentralized public ledger. We discover how it can potentially help various industries become more profitable, increase efficiency, and, perhaps most importantly, make our everyday lives easier.

For more awesome articles by Jacques Martin, check ’em out here