In a shifting real estate market, the guidance and expertise that Inman imparts are never more valuable. Whether at our events, or with our daily news coverage and how-to journalism, we’re here to help you build your business, adopt the right tools — and make money. Join us in person in Las Vegas at Connect, and utilize your Select subscription for all the information you need to make the right decisions. When the waters get choppy, trust Inman to help you navigate.
A real estate photo and video service company is offering a new way for agents to promote their clients’ homes — by appealing directly to crypto enthusiasts.
Agents who use HomeJab may now ask for a free, real-estate-backed NFT (non-fungible token) that offers the owner an inside track toward purchasing the home, the company announced in a statement to Inman.
These non-fungible tokens are unique digital markers on the blockchain that can be bought and sold, and even made to represent a separate virtual or physical asset.
But while some real estate professionals have taken elaborate measures to conduct entire home transactions via NFT sale — such as by creating an LLC whose ownership is determined by who owns a corresponding NFT — HomeJab’s product is less ambitious in scope.
Buying the HomeJab NFT amounts to making an instant offer on the home, HomeJab Founder and CEO Joe Jesuele told Inman in an email. It doesn’t transfer the title on its own.
“We want to add in a new way for crypto enthusiasts to use their portfolio to submit quick offers,” Jesuele wrote. “I think this is the most scalable way to onboard as many real estate pros and homeowners to blockchain.”
Jesuele described the new product as “a step in the direction of decentralization,” and an opportunity to market a property to crypto enthusiasts — not an overhaul to the entire homebuying process.
In part, this is because setting up a unique LLC for each home — thereby enabling the ownership to be tied to the ownership of a unique NFT — is not practical across the volume of HomeJab’s clientele, Jesuele wrote.
Instead, the HomeJab process works like this: A real estate agent asks HomeJab to mint the free NFT. A crypto holder interested in making an offer on the real-world property purchases the NFT using assets from their digital wallet. HomeJab then receives 1 percent on the NFT sale, which is sent to the title company. Then the title company works with all parties to facilitate the closing of an otherwise traditional sale.
Jesuele said HomeJab’s decision to use the NFTs as more of a marketing tool is an extension of its existing business model — offering photo and video services to help real estate agents promote listings. HomeJab isn’t a for-sale-by-owner site, he said.
“Therefore, our service becomes a way for the traditional real estate industry to engage with the crypto community,” Jesuele told Inman in the email. “Anyone who hires us for a photo shoot can get a free NFT listing. A bridge to the future?”
It’s not the company’s first foray into the world of NFTs, and it likely won’t be its last. After taking this step, HomeJab is planning to build new features that explore other ways NFTs can serve a function in real estate transactions.
One such idea is creating a way for NFT owners to rent their properties out by exchanging an NFT for a defined period of time at a specific price, Jesuele said. After that period passes, ownership of this rental NFT could automatically revert to its original owner, he said.