Digital transformation is constantly changing the way we look at real estate. Blockchain technology has the potential to find new answers to the changing needs of the related stakeholders.

In recent years, the real estate industry has become increasingly involved in digital technology. Some of these new technologies have had a huge impact on the way we create and interact with real estate.

Building information modelling (BIM) allows us to create a virtual 3D model of a building that involves all planners, engineers, builders and, to some extent, users simultaneously. Thanks to the managed coordination of all stakeholders on one platform and one design, we are able to reduce mistakes significantly during the execution process, and subsequently continue to use the resulting virtual model for asset and facility management.

Virtual reality (VR) allows us to create photorealistic virtual models of a house, apartment or office space. Thanks to this technology, the look and feel of a building can be experienced by all stakeholders, and potential buyers or users are able to visit an object at any time, from everywhere in the world. We are able to transmit a realistic feeling of the built space and thus close deals faster.

Platform economy
Portals such as Airbnb or WeWork allow us to find space to live or work worldwide through a simple standardised process. The process is handled in exactly the same way here as anywhere else, thus democratising access to real estate.

These are just some of the changes digitalisation has had on real estate. Numerous further technologies, such as IoT and 3D-printing, etc., will also shape the real estate industry, today and in the future.

Blockchain technology has the potential to increase trust and unequivocal traceability within these digital technologies, and to deploy even more added value by linking them together. An example is the use of smart devices in combination with shared homes, where smart contracts on the blockchain are the backbone of transactions between hosts and guests, and, for instance, can be used in access systems to homes. Another is the use of blockchain in combination with BIM in order to reference materials within a building for future urban mining when the building is recycled.

It’s just the beginning; there’s still much to be explored.

Guest Blog by David Hossli, CEO, Alfred Müller AG