Do You Understand Blockchain Technology?

Two industry vendors capitalize on Blockchain technology. Is it the next big trend?

Before one understands how companies are using the blockchain, one has to understand what it is. Originally developed as a secure way to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, according to Wikipedia, is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data.

Why is it Important?

What does that mean to you? According to Joel Leslie, a partner at Propify, a blockchain-based real estate marketing solution, “Brokers play an important role in the property process, specifically to the buyer. What the blockchain will do is provide visibility and transparency to the process. Real estate professionals and brokers will be able to find out exactly what is happening to a property at any given point in time. The blockchain can vouch for the trust of the data.”

Propify promotes property content via a non-portal model. The platform provides transparency across the entire property listing process, facilitating the safe and secure marketing of real estate and the secure communication between the consumer, agent and peers.

Data Quality

The key is that blockchain is a protocol-first technology, meaning that all the data is encrypted and can’t be changed or altered. So, once it’s in the blockchain (good or bad), it’s quality information. “The way our system works is that we have two blockchains working in tandem—one for the broker and one for the property asset. We match those together throughout the system, and it outputs data in the most accurate form possible. It’s 100 percent qualified, and anyone can look at the data and each block (which represents a property’s change) and see where the information came from,” says Leslie.

Another product, ShelterZoom is also using blockchain technology to ensure the quality of its data. Built to be Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) data dictionary-compliant, ShelterZoom refines and streamlines the process of making real estate offers, thereby reducing paperwork and bringing greater openness to what has traditionally been a fragmented and opaque process. The complete ShelterZoom Online Offer and Acceptance platform includes a dashboard, the Offer NOW widget and a mobile app (available on iTunes and Google Play) that enables buyers and buyer agents to instantly submit offers from online real estate listings with just a few clicks or screen taps.

According to Sergey Fradkov, ShelterZoom technical advisor and General Partner of Startup Accelerator iDealMachine, “We’ll see rapid adoption of blockchain technology by marketplaces, organizations and entire industries. Blockchain and related cryptocurrency implementations will enable new business models and streamline interactions between participants. They will also enable new participants to quickly establish themselves in the industry segments and create many new business opportunities.”

Time will tell if this technology will bring about a slew of new disrupters and innovative marketing companies, but it will, no doubt, impact everything from title search and appraisal to digital marketing and the mortgage qualification process.