WASHINGTON (December 14, 2018) – The National Association of Realtors® unveiled a Blockchain Guidance paper on Wednesday afternoon during a webinar designed to keep real estate at the forefront of conversations surrounding the emerging technology. Although blockchain usage is not yet widely prevalent in the industry, NAR has worked to proactively educate state and local Realtor® associations, members and consumers on hurdles that could arise as the technology begins to penetrate the market, ensuring transactions with Realtors® “are accurate, efficient and reliable,” as the Guidance paper reads.
Blockchain technology can be explained by using online platforms to conduct a transaction between two or more people. Whatever the transaction is, all parties involved receive information in a secure way. When all parties agree to the terms of the transaction, there is a recorded “block” that locks the agreement in place indefinitely. This ensures the data cannot be altered unless all parties agree once again to accept changes, which would record the new block. New blocks always include a reference to the previous block, forming a “chain.”
“Blockchain technology is quickly evolving from a theoretical concept into a resource that could become ubiquitous in our industry,” said NAR President John Smaby. “America’s 1.3 million Realtors® will be some of the first professionals to fully adopt this technology, and we want to be sure that our members and local associations are prepared to engage and educate their communities as this change occurs. This week’s event helped shine the light on some of the potential challenges we face as blockchain emerges, and NAR’s efforts continue to ensure that Realtors® will be involved in discussions on blockchain regulation at every level across the country.”
While blockchain is predicted to be a major part of all real estate transactions in the near future, its true impact on the real estate industry remains unknown. However, state governments are beginning to anticipate the impending evolution and some legislatures have already moved to ensure laws are in place to protect consumers and businesses.
“As local governments continue eyeing potential blockchain regulation, NAR’s proactive efforts will ensure policymakers understand how legislative action could impact the real estate industry. And, specifically as blockchain eliminates an intermediary from home sale transactions, our voice is key to ensuring the protection of consumers remains everyone’s primary concern,” said Smaby, a second generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota. “Blockchain technology has yet to affect the market or consumers in any practical way, but NAR’s industry-leading actions will ensure that all legislative or regulatory efforts positively impact real estate transactions and the industry as a whole.”
NAR’s Guidance paper on Blockchain Technology and Real Estate, concerns a technology that NAR believes could significantly affect the real estate industry. The Guidance paper is provided by NAR to help Realtors® at the state and local levels understand the implications of blockchain technology for the real estate industry. The paper provides information and analysis on blockchain technology, and proposes guidance to assist Realtors® in analyzing existing state blockchain legislation, and monitoring and commenting on proposed state blockchain legislation.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.