Propy’s Weekly Webinar runs every Wednesday at 1 PM PST.
Propy’s Adam Brown talks with three crypto certified agents about their local market, and what’s happening with crypto in their areas. Join David Candelora, Ryan Rust, and Nick Gumpert for this fast-paced conversation and learn how they are navigating the changing market and educating their clients about crypto and blockchain.
Background on Speakers
David Candelora started his real estate career as an investor in 2003, when he started a property management company before opening his brokerage, RE/MAX Showcase, in 2018 in New Haven, CT. He believes keeping up with technology is very important and helps realtors leverage their services. Technology also makes an agent’s day more efficient so they can get more things done, or have more time to themselves, so that’s important to him as well. He says his motto is “Bigger, better, and faster.”
Ryan Rust also started his career as a real estate investor in 2005, and became an agent in 2011 in the Wichita, KS area. He says he’s made a name for himself by staying ahead of the curve, which has provided value to his clients. Web 3.0, blockchain, and crypto have caught his attention, and he’s been very focused on learning how real estate will be impacted by these technologies.
Nick Gumpert is a new agent with RE/MAX Top Producers in Monrovia, CA. While he doesn’t have an extensive background in real estate, he does understand it from a consumer perspective. He bought his first condo in 2009, and in 2014 was able to purchase a townhome. Leveraging the equity in his townhome allowed him to purchase a single-family home in 2020. He learned about Propy from the CEO of RE/MAX, and became a Crypto Certified agent. He’s currently mentoring another agent on how to leverage crypto to get into a home.
Market Update for Connecticut
David explains that the Connecticut market is still a strong seller’s market, with the majority of properties under contract within two or three weeks, typically at list price. He’s not seeing as many multiple offers as before, and buyers now have time to get inspections done, and don’t need to waive appraisals, or make all cash offers, as it was previously. Being located between New York and Boston, he says they have a serious lack of inventory.
Many of the newer agents in his area have only been in the business for two or three years, and they’ve never done an FHA loan, so David says the more experienced agents have to walk them through the appraisal and inspection process.
Adam states that in his 25 years in the industry, the past three years have been the first time he’s seen the market so hot no matter where you are in the country. He was recently talking to a broker in Colorado who said that 65% of her agents have been in the market for three years or less. That broker is concerned that her agents will think that the last three years were normal, and won’t know how to handle a typical market.
The Midwest Market
Ryan explains that in the Midwest, prices typically stay steady and don’t get too high, or drop too low. He started to see his market shifting to a seller’s market approximately six years ago. For the last three years, his area has been out of inventory. When interest rates increased, activity slowed down a little, but now it’s getting busy again. People still want to buy houses, but there isn’t enough inventory, either with existing home sales or new home construction, especially in the lower price points.
Over the years, Ryan adds that he spent thousands of dollars in marketing to figure out how to better position his listings to sell. While he didn’t need to apply those strategies during the last three years, he knows that as the market normalizes, it will become important again. Agents who know the business well, and who have more experience and good tools to work with are gaining ground over newer agents. Newer agents are going to have to work harder, and some won’t stay in the business.
Price reductions are Becoming Common in LA
Nick doesn’t see a big slow down in the LA market at this point, and says that if a property is in a desirable location and priced right, it will sell within a couple of weeks. What he is starting to see, however, especially in the outer suburbs, is about 40% of the listings with price reductions. Buyers are able to transition more quickly in changing markets, because they are looking to the future at what kind of a deal they can get. Sellers, however, are remembering that their neighbor received $100,000 over list price four months ago, and don’t realize that the market dynamics have shifted in that time frame. Because of the rising interest rates, buyers are being more selective, and aren’t willing to pay top dollar for homes that aren’t in desirable areas, or in less than great condition.
Using Crypto Certification in Marketing
Nick explains that he’s created a marketing calendar, and is posting 1-2 times a week on all social channels to create more clarity around the topics of crypto and blockchain. He’s also been on some podcasts about crypto, and is sharing that content to gain exposure. Because crypto is such a new space, many people are hesitant about it, and are reluctant to discuss the idea of accepting crypto in a transaction. There are so many crypto currencies out there, and people don’t know what’s legitimate. He wants people to think about crypto as just another currency, no different than exchanging your US dollars for Pesos when you travel to Mexico.
Ryan explains that when he first learned about how blockchain was streamlining processes in real estate, he pivoted his marketing and social media efforts to focus more on blockchain and crypto. He’s very bullish on blockchain technology, and believes that this is where everything is headed in the future. He states that this is the biggest curve he has seen in his real estate career, and he wants to stay ahead of it. He takes every opportunity he has to post about it on social media, YouTube, and talk with other agents. Even though the Midwest is not as progressive as California, he is starting to see some builders saying they will accept crypto.
David said that Connecticut is behind the times when it comes to crypto and blockchain. He’s been focused on helping educate people about the differences between crypto and blockchain, and how they work together. He sees how smart contracts will be able to streamline the process of buying a home, and will make everything faster, easier, and more transparent for all parties involved. However, it will take time to get people to understand what these new technologies are all about, and how they can enhance the home buying experience.
NFTs and the Metaverse
Nick explains that he’s had a lot of conversations about NFTs and the metaverse, but no actual transactions. There are several people in Southern California that are holding conferences and get-togethers for agents, lenders, and title reps to discuss these topics.
Ryan shares that most people that he talks with are not familiar with blockchain, and he wants to explain it in simple terms so they can better understand it. Frequently, he will start a conversation about cryptocurrency and tell the person that there’s trillions of dollars invested in cryptocurrency, and for people to invest that much, they must be pretty comfortable that it will be around. From there, he can explain that the smart contracts on the blockchain is the technology behind why people feel safe to invest in crypto.
Smart Contracts in Real Estate
David believes that one of the biggest spaces right now is in limited partnerships, because they are making real estate and investing accessible to everyone. He states that the old way to invest was a challenging process, and a certain percentage of funds raised where to pay legal fees, background checks, and attorney’s fees. With smart contracts, the process is more streamlined, and once a person passes the KYC part of the contract, the smart contract moves on to the next phase. Just like you don’t have to buy an entire Bitcoin, with smart contracts in place, more people will be able to start investing, and can start as low as $100.