Professionals speaking at the 2022 REALTORS Legislative Meetings reported that tomorrow’s real estate industry could experience notable changes from the metaverse and blockchain technology. The Emerging Business Issues and Technology Forum hosted several hundred Realtors. The event was held to offer attendees insight regarding the latest technology trends, ones that will likely bring change to the industry.
Technology leaders like Jane Dzielski, the main analytical lead for Google, started the first session with a speech about data development in real estate. During her presentation, she confirmed that just one out of every ten households moved to a different home each year before the pandemic. She went on to say, “We are now seeing a ton of moving activity. Twenty-five percent of consumers have moved in the past two years, and 24% plan to move in the next year.”
She also reported that even though online searches for second home purchases decreased during the first part of 2020, these searches have escalated by 23% since. Data collected by Google determined that the main reasons homeowners search for a new home were to expand their investments, increase their annual income through renting, and want a vacation home.
The head of marketing for Second Century Ventures, Ashley Stinton, also spoke at the event. She talked about how real estate technology companies see an increase in investments. She stated that more than $31 billion was invested in these companies in 2021.
Stinton said, “These are unprecedented numbers. We’ve seen 12 new prop tech unicorns and over 150 merger and acquisition transactions.” She pointed out that her company’s REACH scale-up plan was designed to form tomorrow’s real estate tech investments.
According to Stinton, her company is searching for and supporting innovative companies, ones that will likely affect how Realtors conduct business. Stinton said, “We then bring these technologies to NAR members so that these companies can work hand-in-hand with the Realtor community as they build out their products and services.”
Meta has confirmed that it will invest $10 billion a year, and it will continue to invest that amount every year for the next ten years. It will do this on the metaverse. Weisman talked about the metaverse and how it will change how society interacts with each other. Metaverse will change how people use the internet and how people purchase and sell homes.
The NAR director of emerging technology, Dave Conroy, spoke at the event. He talked about cryptocurrencies, Non-Fungible Token (NFT), and blockchain advancements. During his talk, he mentioned how these technologies would impact real estate companies and their transactions. He pointed to a Redfin report. The report confirmed that one out of every nine first-time homebuyers, around 11%, sold cryptocurrency to cover their home’s down payment in 2021. In 2020, the percentage was about 9%. In 2019, the percentage of people who sold cryptocurrency for their down payment was just 4.6%. The tide is shifting.
Conroy said, “Blockchains are a new way of thinking about information management.” Blockchains provide companies with a history of events and transactions that they can confirm. When financial companies can confirm a homebuyer’s financial history, they can make more informed lending decisions. Conroy completed his presentation by emphasizing how important it is to decentralize finance. He also discussed its future role in real estate.
Decentralized Finance, or DeFi, defines the type of financial services that take place on blockchains. Since financing is a requirement for home purchases, Realtors should familiarize themselves with new financing possibilities and products that are now available under the DeFi umbrella of financing.
As the most prominent trade organization in the country, the National Association of Realtors represents an estimated 1.5 million members who operate in every part of the residential and commercial real estate sectors.