Blockchain Home Registry, built by the team behind Torri Homes, aims to offer consumers incentives for supplying real estate data.
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Blockchain Home Registry is a national property data resource for agents and consumers.
Platforms: Browser; iOS app
Ideal for: Brokerages; agents; homeowners; lenders; inspectors
Top selling points:
- Incentivized home data input
- Extensive home information reports
- Wide range of use cases
- Puts agents, owners in control of data
- Data sharing options
The company’s use of Blockchain to secure home data may cause those who aren’t aware of its benefits to be hesitant to submit data. It’s an unfortunate stigma of a highly proven and beneficial technology, but, the company may want to consider how it’s used in their marketing.
What you should know:
Blockchain Home Registry, or BHR, is designed, as the company puts it, to “assemble the world’s real estate data and make it accessible.” Consumers can claim their home by entering its detail, ranging from appliance types to neighborhood amenities.
In return, they’ll be issued an NFT securing their right to the information and justifying their compensation should someone want to access their home’s data. Use cases span agents use for marketing, home warranty companies, appraisal firms, risk evaluation, insurance underwriting or auto-refinancing mortgages, for example.
Agents can use BHR in turn to produce extensive Real Reports on each home submitted, whether for comps, marketing, opinions of value, etc. The over-arching goal of the software is to put control of housing data back into the hands of the people who actually own it.
I admit to being more enamored with the concept than the product itself. The two are not always one and the same. There’s a smart team behind BHR, the guys who built Torri Homes, a web-powered real estate brokerage. Like me and countless others, they found the multiple listing service model to be a woefully antiquated middle-man barrier clinging to an idea that’s crumbling under their grip. But to its credit, it did manage to position itself as the industry’s go-to entity for property information, and collectively, it’s never let us forget it.
Of course, title companies have a lot of property info, too. Thus, BHR partnered with a big one to help users of its software build comprehensive property profiles for when they “claim” their home. Zillow has a mechanism for this, too, but I’ve never once been able to correct a couple of mistakes on my home’s information. And also, the goal is different. Zillow turns its data into leads for agents, whereas BHR offers direct incentives to consumers in the form of, eventually, actual compensation. Users are given $Home Rewards for supplying their data, and those points will lead to payments and can be used as such to unlock future features.
The company is still working on the related minutiae, but I do take some issue with the idea that I can bypass using rewards and outright pay for my home’s Real Report. It kind of detracts from the owners’ altruistic bent on “making home data accessible” and instead suggests it’s available to whoever wants to pay for it. I’ll accept the counter that entering data to earn rewards only makes my report more valuable. And to agents who want a report for marketing purposes, $50 is pretty cheap and deductible.
However, owners can lock down their homes with a BHR-issued NFT. It’s not some silly artwork or obscure image, but rather a legitimate digital token denoting ownership. Entering information is easy, using a collapsible series of categorized menus with headings like “Interior,” “Features,” and “Exterior.” The home reports contain all kinds of ancillary data that drive value, such as market trends, ownership history, location analysis, climate and weather and some value estimates from, smartly, a range of sources. BHR said it wants as many opinions of value as possible.
The company told me that future data to be made available includes, permit history, zoning, Airbnb/VRBO/rental potential, appliance detail/recalls, broadband speeds, insurance claim history and solar potential.
Where does Blockchain come in? Well, as of now it’s being used as a primary safeguard for BHR’s servers, in the same way ShelterZoom and Propy leverage it. The data exists in a secure, “traditional” environment while being made redundant in the blockchain.
It should be noted that blockchain is not some form of esoteric vaporware, and it deserves defending when associated with crypto exchanges and other such shady dealings. Those are uses for blockchain. In fact, once mainstream, there are few better uses for it than real estate transaction record keeping.
Using the BHR, overall, is easy stuff, reflecting the company’s desire to make data easy to input and easy to share. The reports are extensive and useful, offering a much more streamlined process than manually tracking down its various components. I dig, too, how it involves consumers in its mission, the forgotten entity when it comes to proptech plays centered on real estate data. And with the home becoming increasingly valuable as a source of business information, it’s important that real estate not forget who really owns it.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.