Bringing Real Estate Data On-Chain through Blockchain Home Registry

Look anywhere, and you’ll find that getting hold of reliable real estate data is a major headache.

Bringing Real Estate Data On-Chain through Blockchain Home Registry

Look anywhere, and you’ll find that getting hold of reliable real estate data is a major headache. Fortunately, blockchain technology is well underway to solve this problem.  Like peanut butter and jelly, blockchain seems to be exactly what this market, valued at $43 trillion in the US alone, and needs to evolve. If the real estate industry incorporates the immutability, transparency, decentralization, and efficiency that characterize blockchains, it will surely operate far more efficiently while generating liquidity. 

As an asset class, real estate is widely considered as the safest but one of the most illiquid assets. Every transaction involves slow processes, a slew of third parties, and a mountain of documentation. Best case scenario, buying and selling a property takes weeks. And that’s in the United States, where said processes are clearly established and the registry is relatively reliable. In other parts of the world, chaos reigns, registries are in the hands of corrupt politicians, and real estate data is a luxury few can afford.

A lot has to happen on the regulatory side, but if the real estate industry implements blockchain technology, it will greatly reduce the potential for deception, cons, frauds, scams, and rackets. Any blockchain is immutable and the data is available for all parties involved to check out. Both buyers and sellers, financial institutions, and real estate agencies have 24/7 access to the transaction history and other relevant information. Plus, if the middleman is no longer in the picture, fees will be significantly lower and the process much quicker. Such is the power of trustless transactions.

If it takes hold, a decentralized data depository like Blockchain Home Registry (BHR) could really help buyers make better decisions with greater information and sellers to disclaim and be as transparent as possible, streamlining the transaction process in a secure and trusted way. And if the masses accept BHR as a reliable source of immutable data, it will open up a whole market for retail to invest in and borrow against its properties. The process will take seconds because it will inherit DeFi’s ease of use.

Torii Tackles Real Estate Data

The Blockchain Home Registry is the brainchild of Torii, a technology-focused venture-backed real estate company that uses AI to simplify the home buying process. They claim to have “helped consumers buy and sell hundreds of millions of dollars in homes across the country.” On their about page, they make their intention to disrupt the industry very clear, “Torii was born out of frustration for an ineffectual and archaic system. By combining innovative technology with a better process powered by our passionate team, we've built the easiest home buying experience around.”

Torii’s interest in blockchain technology surprises no one, but the scope of the Blockchain Home Registry project does. Are they on the right track or being too ambitious? The company announced the new service by saying, “it’s shocking that you can own your home but not have easy access to its data. There is a wealth of data related to your home that you must pay for. Some of this data is completely inaccessible to homeowners. That’s why we’re building BHR.”

How Does Blockchain Home Registry Work?

First of all, this project is promising because it solves a real problem and provides a useful service. The fact that the BHR has less than a thousand followers on Twitter presents an opportunity and not a problem. If the service catches on, people who invest early in the project’s $HOME native coin will be greatly rewarded. 

Will it catch on, though?

Let’s start at the beginning.  The website defines the Blockchain Home Registry as “the Web3 standard for the future of home ownership, allowing the real estate industry to modernize collaboratively, while empowering consumers to own the data behind their most significant asset.” Those grandiose statements seem ambitious, but the Torii team has a plan that just might work.

In practice, the documentation explains that BHR “allows all owners of homes to claim a unique, verified non-fungible token (NFT) attached to their physical real estate. This NFT provides the Homeowner with privacy-controlled access to a permanent, transferrable, historical record of their home.” To gather the data, the Blockchain Home Registry will deploy incentives to get institutions, buyers, and sellers to fill out forms and send them pictures and documents. 

One of such incentives is the Add-to-Earn program, in which the Blockchain Home Registry will give rewards in the form of $HOME tokens to people and institutions that contribute home data. They also promise that you’ll have full control over the data you provide and access to other monetization methods in the future.

To claim a home in the Blockchain Home Registry, owners will need to fulfill KYC and AML procedures plus provide all kinds of relevant documents to prove ownership of the property. Remember that all of that information will end up in a vulnerable database, even though BHR will probably protect it to the best of its ability. As soon as the owner claims a property, he or she will have access to a dashboard through which to upload and update the home’s data.

What Real Estate Data Goes On The BHR?

In the project’s initial press release, Torii CEO James Rogers wrote, "the real estate industry has always been highly fragmented and overly protectionist. It's time for that to change, and BHR creates a really powerful flywheel effect to achieve that where everybody involved wins." They will reward both institutions and regular people who upload information, plus provide a marketplace for them to sell relevant data. 

Among other things, the Blockchain Home Registry wants to track: deeds, inspections, appraisals, valuations, maintenance history, photo history, ownership history/past residents, and ownership history of their BHR NFT. They really want institutions and relevant players in the space to embrace the initiative, so Torii encourages them to participate by making “support for third-party integrations to build an entire ecosystem” a priority. That’s according to the project’s documentation, which also details exactly what “third-party integrations” the company is expecting:

“A sampling of what could be built includes instantaneous borrowing and refinancing, seamless transfer of home ownership, the elimination of costly repetitive tasks like title checks and appraisals, and software built to save industry professionals time and money.”

That sounds great on paper, but expecting others to build on your platform is a big ask. The Blockchain Home Registry would have to gain serious momentum for people and institutions to start uploading information, and it needs ten times that amount of energy to get people to help you “build an entire ecosystem.” It can be done, though. Several stars will have to align for it to happen, but it can be done. If you believe Torii’s got what it takes to make this miracle happen, consider investing in their $HOME token.

About SmartBlocks

Mark Fidelman

Here at SmartBlocks, we believe it’s time to democratize currency and make it available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.