Industry Expert: Eric Bryant
This interview is part of a series of conversations with leaders in blockchain for real estate, so our community can learn how blockchain is impacting real estate directly from experts worldwide.
Previously we had the pleasure to discuss blockchain applicability in real estate with Walter Strametz, who is also on the organizational committee of the Blockchain Real Conference and FIBREE World Summit, taking place in Vienna on May 21st, 2019.
“As an Educator, and a Coach, I took it upon myself to learn everything I could about Blockchain with the intention of bringing that knowledge back to the participants in our Industry.”
Eric is a highly accomplished executive with 25 + years of professional experience and has a vast knowledge of market structure and the varied facets of creating and operating a business, with a focus on residential & commercial real estate services and technology. He is a driven, creative and strategic innovator for Real Estate technology. Leading the business side of data exchange efforts to lower costs, improve processes, and increase data transparency and sharing, energized by Blockchain, as it applies to residential & commercial real estate, and it’s pending paradigm shift for our industry.
Q: Eric Bryant, tell us a little bit about your background.
A: Over 15 years of Technical Consulting to the Residential Real Estate Industry in the US. 30 years as a licensed Real Estate Agent. Design architect on a number of tools and services used in the real estate industry today.
Q: How did you get involved in blockchain?
A: As a member of RESO, the Real Estate Standards Organization, I joined a new workgroup titled “Distributed ledger”. After meeting the leaders of the group, and an ensuing discussion about DLT’s a.k.a. Blockchain, I realized what we were experiencing. In my opinion, we were about to enter an “Evolution” in our Industry and, as an industry, we were painfully lacking in the understanding we needed. Because my background is as an Educator, and a Coach, I took it upon myself to learn everything I could about this burgeoning technology with the intention of bringing that knowledge back to the participants in our Industry. I spent 4–5 hrs a day researching the tech and connecting with leaders across the globe. The community was amazingly open and transparent with their knowledge. The people within DLT Tech, to a man, are happy to share. Because of that, I was able to get up to speed relatively quickly, and my suspicions were all verified. We are in for changes we must prepare for now!
Q: How do you see blockchain technology impacting real estate?
A: I can only speak to the Real Estate Industry in the United States, not being as knowledgeable, regarding the industries abroad. In Residential RE, in particular, we will see Blockchain become ubiquitous. Perhaps removing as many as 1/2 of the current intermediaries, and restructuring the remaining 50%. No longer will we see “Commissions” of 6%, costs of Title Insurance hovering around $3,000 for the average home, fees for Escrow, Appraisal, and Notary. Repeated home inspections, sometimes just weeks after one was prepared, simply because the new owner desires to encumber the property. Blockchain’s immutable trail of property history will allow us to feel at ease when researching. The ability of Smart Contract, to act as “Directors” of rules, regulations, and steps to a successful transaction close will increase efficiencies over the current heavily flawed system, by eliminating human error, and more to the point human tampering. Costs will drop significantly, allowing Home Owners to recoup equity faster, and easier. Most importantly. Blockchain allows us the ability to “Tokenize” Real Property Assets. This ability will be the real genesis! Let your imagination run wild, because the possibilities afforded by Tokenization, are endless.
Q: What are you focusing on right now?
A: As I mentioned in the last answer, Tokenization is what fascinates me the most, about Blockchain. When I project what possibilities may come from it, like opening up the Market to millions of new Buyers/Investors, who could never have been here before. The instant liquidity of shares in an asset. The Increase in Market Value that will inherently come from the adoption of basic economic principles like, supply and demand, decreased risk = reduced cap rates and increase buyer pools. However, because Tokenization will not be in the Residential side anytime soon, I am focused on using Blockchain theory, and foundational structure, to design tools and services that replace the traditional Transaction Coordinator and Escrow positions in the transactions. It’s our opinion that Smart Contracts can complete these services more efficiently, faster, and with a significant decrease in the risk of Wire Fraud or Tampering.
Q: Where do you see the greatest difficulty when it comes to bringing traditional real estate companies to adopt blockchain?
A: I can only speak to the US, but I believe our most difficult area of adoption, will be regulation. Our government is typically slow to move, the average age of a politician here is probably 50, and we have very strong lobbyist groups that may choose to work against it. Whenever you introduce anything that will allow for the fair and balanced shift of power, you are going to meet resistance. However, I see the consumer rising up and pushing it forward!
Q: When working with companies or people in real estate, how do you approach those who are doubtful of the current state of the crypto market?
A: Your answers must be passionate, and I find it helpful, to use analogies to draw a clear picture. We are humans, we begin our lives learning through storytelling, and as we grow we hang on to that trait. One of my favorites is “Think of when the internet first came about, we had no idea how it worked, or what was “Under the hood” so to speak. We started to see the tools and services that were being built on top of it, and we judged them. DLT’s AKA Blockchain is the underlying technology that makes things happen, Crypto is just the pornography website sitting on top. They will come and go, but that foundation will live on forever.” The conversation should always be around what this technology does for the people, not how it works, or where it came from.
Q: What are your thoughts on the future of blockchain?
A: Blockchain represents the best opportunity, in my lifetime, to even the playing field for all. In Real Estate it will allow smaller investors, home buyers who were priced out of the desired market, and sellers who struggled to find a large enough pool of buyers to realize more success. In Supply chain, it will allow products to be exchanged faster, with more certainty, and to more people worldwide. It will decentralize the banking industry making it safer and more accessible to all. In Healthcare, it will allow the protections of records so badly needed. The future with Blockchain is a future, we have only held as a dream, prior to its discovery.