The blockchain wave is washing over the real estate industry with ShelterZoom announcing that its blockchain-based online offer and acceptance platform for the real estate industry has gone live in the U.S.
According to ShelterZoom, other major international markets — including Canada — are set to go live in the first quarter of 2018.
The company’s first customer, Cyrus Charter of New York, is in full production mode as part of the initial testing phase, which began in November. Additionally, beta rollout has commenced with the first 10 customers, and preparations for ShelterZoom’s second platform, Rent NOW, are underway.
Built to be Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) data dictionary-compliant, ShelterZoom significantly refines and streamlines the process of making real estate offers, thereby reducing paperwork and bringing greater openness to what has traditionally been a fragmented and opaque process. The complete ShelterZoom Online Offer and Acceptance platform includes a powerful dashboard, the Offer NOW widget and a mobile app (available on iTunes and Google Play) that enables buyers and buyer agents to instantly submit offers from online real estate listings with just a few clicks or screen taps.
The ShelterZoom.com website is currently accepting sign-ups for the Offer NOW widget, which can be readily integrated with any affiliate website that features real estate listings with just a few lines of code and at no cost to those who sign up before Jan. 31.
All users can use ShelterZoom.com dashboards free of subscription charge, and ShelterZoom charges a service fee of only $8 for each offer submission after the free beta period, which ends on Feb. 28. The beta for Rent NOW is expected to commence in March.
“As blockchain enters the mainstream, ShelterZoom is well positioned to bring the entire real estate industry onto it. The easy adoption of ShelterZoom’s Offer NOW and Rent NOW widgets by any real estate website means that the industry can truly become innovative. And our highly experienced international team is committed to this journey,” commented Chao Cheng-Shorland, co-founder and director of ShelterZoom, referring to the multinational team led by both Amir Allen Alishahi, ShelterZoom’s other co-founder and director, and her.
“Standardized, interoperable, transparent, and secure offers are the future of the business. That’s why we are so excited about rolling out to early adopters, including both small and large brokerage firms, multi-listing services, our first WordPress real estate theme affiliate, Estatik, and our first Australian company, Arena Property Agents,” Cheng-Shorland said.
Using ShelterZoom, users can track and aggregate — as well as accept, reject or counter — offers in real time, while buyers and buyer agents can track offer statuses through their own ShelterZoom dashboards. In addition, all parties in a transaction can receive push or text notifications throughout the offer process and instantly chat with one another according to established protocols via a modern, user-friendly interface.
Sergey Fradkov, ShelterZoom technical advisor for iDealMachine, said there will be rapid adoption of blockchain technology by marketplaces, organizations and entire industries.
“Blockchain and related cryptocurrency implementations will enable new business models and streamline interactions between participants,” he said. “They will also enable new participants to quickly establish themselves in the industry segments and create many new business opportunities.”
Richard Mohr, MLS industry advisor, pointed out that ShelterZoom has identified a part of the real estate transaction that can benefit greatly from increased transparency and a streamlined process.
“Crafting their technology to be RESO-compliant and built on top of a blockchain platform separate them from all other entrants in the real estate technology industry as a company that is truly building for the future,” he said.
ShelterZoom’s second platform, Rent NOW, shares a similar architecture with Offer NOW. It has a widget that can be installed on any real estate rental website. The widget enables a prospective tenant to instantly submit a secure rental application on a property, which then generates an Ethereum smart contract. ShelterZoom’s complete online renting and leasing solution also comes with dashboards for landlords, agents and tenants, as well as an online chat function for all parties involved.