Door Token
Search…
Tokenizing Property

Understanding Data vs. Deed / Title

When discussing the future tokenization of Real Estate, the primary focus of many thought-leaders in the market has been on property deeds and transactions. The idea of moving Property Deeds and proof of ownership to a blockchain certainly makes a lot of sense, but of course, it requires a lot of people (including the government) to truly embrace the movement for it to happen. The first step is massive regulation change and then the Government would need to set a path forward in embracing the technology.
A property deed is a written and signed legal instrument that is used to transfer ownership of the real property from the old owner (the grantor) to the new owner (the grantee). A title is a document that shows legal ownership to a property or asset.
Door is focused on the Data, not the Deed or Title. There is more utility and value to the property owner in controlling their property data and being able to generate passive income and control the use. Putting property deeds and titles on the blockchain only benefits the government and title companies making the data they need to verify ownership easier to access and verify. And since the average ownership of a home is 7 years and only 5% of properties sell each year, it would take 20-30 years of transactions to move deeds/titles off of each county's legacy system into a pure blockchain implementation if they did it organically.

Listing Data on the Blockchain

There are approximately 6 million real estate transactions each year in the United States. A real estate transaction drives the primary revenue for multiple stakeholders including real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, title companies, banks, and many other service providers. The current way listings are stored and shared is via MLS (Multiple Listing Services).
A multiple listing service (MLS) is a database established by cooperating real estate brokers to provide data about properties for sale. An MLS allows brokers to see one another's listings of properties for sale with the goal of connecting homebuyers to sellers. Under this arrangement, both the listing and selling broker benefit by consolidating and sharing information, and by sharing commissions.
Due to the complexity of the real estate transaction, there are two current disruptive forces that are gaining momentum in the market. The first is being driven by iBuyers (companies that offer to buy the house to make it seamless for the seller). The second is online services that simplify the process from listing to loan. Despite these gaining traction, a majority of homes are still sold in a traditional manner with a real estate agent. Due to the dependence on brokers to facilitate complex transactions, the tokenization of transactions will most likely be primarily focused on the listing data itself. Blockchain can streamline and integrate the 300+ MLS services that currently operate in the U.S. and provide some clear benefits to the marketplace.
In order for tokenization of property listings to work, there would need to be support for the real estate broker and agent community. Currently, agents can choose to publish their listings to multiple sources including websites like Zillow.com. It is foreseeable that agents would be willing to publish listings to a decentralized blockchain as well if there was an inherent benefit and did not conflict with their standards. In fact, there have been many projects supported by the National Association of Realtors to provide better solutions in maintaining property listing data.

Benefits of Blockchain

The challenge with any new technology when it is being introduced to a well-established industry is the driving force of adoption and resistance due to fear. In the case of real estate data, there is a growing fear that real estate brokers and agents are being replaced by businesses like Zillow.com. It is very unlikely anyone will build a competitor to the Zillow experience, however, Agents (and Property Owners) can look at better ways to protect and license their data. This would allow for a fair distribution of payment for value.
Here are highlights of the advantages of adopting the blockchain and corresponding challenges.
    1.
    Decentralized - The biggest value proposition in building a blockchain solution would be removing any single entity from controlling or abusing the data. One could argue that real estate data has been monopolized in the past decade by companies like Zillow.com. The only way to reverse this course is to provide a decentralized model for stakeholders to adopt and drive new consumer behaviors.
    2.
    Integration - There are currently 300+ MLS (databases) in the U.S. Although standards have been created for API (Application Programming Interfaces) there are still major integration issues that cause data latency, duplicate entry, and overall bad data.
    3.
    Economics - Currently the property owner and the agents do not profit from their data. When an advertiser pays for the information the revenue flows mostly to the aggregator (Zillow.com) and then via licensing fees to the MLS. Decentralized models would allow for more flexibility on the fair distribution of data fees.
Last modified 3mo ago