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Metaverse & Blockchain Are Hottest Emerging Trends In Real Estate

Katie Jensen
May 25, 2022
metaverse

In 2021, over $31 billion was invested in real estate technology companies.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Prior to the pandemic, only one in 10 households moved each year. Yet, in the past two years, 25% of consumers have moved and 24% plan to move in the next year.
  • Nearly one in nine first-time buyers (11.6%) sold cryptocurrency to help finance a down payment in 2021, up from 8.8% in 2020 and 4.6% in 2019.
  • Meta has committed to investing $10 billion per year, for each of the next 10 years, just on the metaverse.

Experts at the 2022 Realtors Legislative Meetings say metaverse and blockchain technology could have a significant impact on the future of real estate. Several hundred realtors attended Wednesday’s Emerging Business Issues and Technology Forum, which provided insight into the top emerging tech trends that are expected to have the biggest impact on the real estate industry in the coming years. 

Jane Dzielski, Google's principal analytical lead, kicked off the session with a presentation on data trends in the real estate sector. She said prior to the pandemic, only one in 10 households moved each year. 

"We are now seeing a ton of moving activity," Dzielski said. "Twenty-five percent of consumers have moved in the past two years and 24% plan to move in the next year."

Also, while internet searches for buying a second home dropped in the first half of 2020 (-9%), they have surged since then (23%). According to Google’s data, the top reasons that homeowners cited for purchasing a second home were to diversify their investments, earn money renting, and use a vacation home. 

Ashley Stinton, Second Century Ventures' head of marketing, discussed the rise in investment in real estate technology companies, saying that over $31 billion was invested in 2021. 

"These are unprecedented numbers," Stinton said. "We've seen 12 new prop tech unicorns as well as over 150 merger and acquisition transactions.”

She also noted that SCV’s REACH scale-up program plays an active role in shaping the future of real estate technology investment. 

"We find, support, accelerate, and scale the innovative companies that are going to have the highest impact on Realtors' businesses," she 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 committed to investing $10 billion per year, for each of the next 10 years, just on the metaverse," Dan Weisman said. "The metaverse is going to change how we interact as a society, how we use the internet in general, and ultimately how people buy and sell homes."

National Association of Realtors Director of Emerging Technology Dave Conroy discussed how cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and blockchain technology will influence real estate businesses and transactions. He cited a Redfin report that said nearly one in nine first-time buyers (11.6%) sold cryptocurrency to help finance a down payment in 2021, up from 8.8% in 2020 and 4.6% in 2019. 

"Blockchains are a new way of thinking about information management," Conroy said. "They provide a verifiable and trustworthy record of events or transactions. This is a critical component of any transaction."

Conroy concluded the session by stressing the importance of decentralized finance and the role it could play in real estate in the future. 

"Decentralized Finance, or DeFi for short, refers to financial services that exist on blockchains," he said. "With financing being a key component of the transaction, Realtors should become familiar with the new tools that are becoming available in the DeFi landscape."
 

Published
May 25, 2022
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