Over $31B was invested in RE tech firms in 2021. Looking ahead, metaverse and blockchain technology may have a significant effect on the future of real estate.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The metaverse and blockchain technology could have a significant impact on the future of real estate, according to experts at the 2022 Realtors® Legislative Meetings.
Several hundred Realtors attended the 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 that 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.”
Dzielski also said that 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 as a vacation home.
Ashley Stinton, Second Century Ventures’ head of marketing, discussed the recent rise in investment in real estate technology companies, explaining 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.”
Stinton 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.”
“Blockchains are a new way of thinking about information management,” he said. “They provide a verifiable and trustworthy record of events or transactions. This is a critical component of any transaction.”
Conroy concluded the session underscoring 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.”
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