The worldwide real estate market has long been a key barometer of the global economy’s health. However, on a practical level real estate is not a liquid asset. Moreover it is cost prohibitive for most everyday investors.
Headquartered in Singapore REAL (or Real Estate Asset Ledger) endeavors to change this by fueling a real estate investment movement designed to remove roadblocks that have long prevented ordinary investors from acquiring real estate profits.
Through the use of an Ethereum-centric smart-contracts platform which employs blockchain technology, REAL is able to boost access to global real estate investments by lowering barriers to entry, leading to increased market liquidity and transparency. The platform seeks to reduce friction in the real estate investment process by bringing together property owners and potential investors.
With REAL, investments are not limited by geography or the size of one’s wallet. Through the crowdfunding platform, which will launch in November, individuals will have access to lucrative investment properties throughout the world with no minimum investment.
Fostering New Frontiers
Property owners and developers have the opportunity to tokenize their assets and list them on the REAL crowdfunding site. This opens up a wide swath of opportunities for participants to invest in listed properties utilizing what are known as REAL tokens. These tokens can also be exchanged for economic rights of a property — through a process called REAL Property Participation ( RPP). RPPs can be traded and/or sold to others on the platform.
Investors are able to profit from rental income and value appreciation returns delivered via a smart contract and paid with ether, the cryptocurrency native to the Ethereum network. Investments can be easily tracked through REAL’s online portfolio manager.
A November Launch Targeted
(REAL) is set to launch its full-fledged real estate investment platform in November of this year, allowing any user worldwide the ability to invest in a fraction of a real estate asset with REAL Tokens. This release will be led by a team of founders and advisors possessing extensive experience in the real estate services industry, with both residential and commercial properties. The company will initially target opportunities in Spain, the Caribbean and the U.S.
As Enrique Dubois, co-founder and CEO of Real Estate Asset Ledger Pte. Ltd., said: “Our crowdfunding platform allows anyone to benefit from global real estate investments without the usual complications associated such as excessive bureaucracy, lack of trust and lack of liquidity. Through the use of blockchain technology, we intend to take this concept to the next level by facilitating liquidity, transparency and global access.”
His business partner Bernardo Hernández has a long history as a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, co-founding idealista.com, the largest real estate portal in Spain. He has also held senior marketing and product positions at Google.
“My partner and I have always been big real estate enthusiasts and technology entrepreneurs,” said Dubois. “So we wanted to facilitate real estate investments at a global level.”
Dubois noted that all transactional activities that flow through REAL, from property buying with third party value appraisals to renting and selling, will be recorded on the blockchain so that anyone can audit and verify the information. Also, he said, by accepting cryptocurrency users will not be subjected to dealing with banks, which can be cumbersome.
The “REAL” ICO Token Sale
While REAL’s token sale will officially begin on August 31, investors contributing greater than 100 ETH will have the opportunity to participate in a 24-hour pre-sale on August 24. During that period, investors can acquire tokens at the rate of 220 REAL per 1 ETH until the investment cap has been reached.
DuBois wants investors to keep in mind that REAL tokens are 100 percent asset-backed, minimizing the price volatility associated with most cryptocurrencies. He said that REAL endeavors to further reduce fluctuations by using upwards of 90 percent of the funds raised to boost real estate asset acquisition while establishing a REAL token price floor. In the end, he sees REAL tokens as a great way to diversify one’s crypto-portfolio.
Asked about REAL’s long-term vision, DuBois concluded: “We hope to be managing hundreds if not thousands of properties worldwide, distributing the profits to thousands of users worldwide. Our efforts will also allow for P2P transactions and whole properties purchases for day-to-day use. Ultimately we want to disrupt the disruptors (existing real estate crowdfunding platforms) and become a world leader in this space. We believe the context and timing is right and that we will eventually achieve this.”