Technology continues to transform the real estate industry in profound ways, from marketing and communications to the distribution of news and outreach to prospective clients. Realtors have so many resources at their disposal, and so many devices through which to issue so many messages. We should take a moment to appreciate the enormity of this revolution.
For, it is just that: A revolution, not only in the ability to garner attention, cultivate contacts, consummate deals and confirm transactions, but a global phenomenon in the very currency of business. I refer, specifically, to the rise of bitcoins and the availability of a universal, peer-to-peer form of money, which is free of centralized control, political influence or national unrest.
The increased acceptance of bitcoins as a form of payment – for rent or office space, or commercial development or urban renewal – is a sign of the real estate industry’s shift from regional markets or zones of domestic competition to a global marketplace, where a Londoner may seek to buy a pied-à-terre in San Francisco and a Texan may pursue a suburban housing project in Istanbul.
The world is flat, as one columnist likes to say, but its language is, pardon the mixed metaphor, a blend of Standard English, colloquial Chinese, guttural German, punctuated by a flourish of French. To the most finely trained ear, the words may sound international. To this writer, the sound is nothing but financial chaos. And landlords and lenders tend to share that opinion, based on their willingness to accept bitcoins in lieu of dollars, Euros, pesos or yen.
In making this statement, let me also issue a point of clarification: Bitcoins primarily mirror the theories of Milton Friedman, the famed Nobel Memorial Prize Winner in Economic Sciences, whose commitment to a mathematically verifiable, assigned value for currency is the foundation for the use of bitcoins.
We can reduce this prologue to a simple question: What does all of this , the names and theories, mean to the average building manager or tenant? It means you have a new and safe, by virtue of the accuracy of mathematics, way to pay your rent, utilities (to those companies now accepting bitcoins) and all manner of other services?
The benefits of bitcoins are, to the initiated, very clear. But that initiation process, for realtors and their clients, must be extremely intelligible. Thankfully, the purpose and usage of bitcoins are reducible to the following words: Because a dollar is worth less than a dollar, and because currency rates can fluctuate wildly, citizens have no control over the amount of money a government prints, the timing with which it prints it and the subsequent impact on the price of every conceivable good and service.
In contrast, a digital currency based exclusively on mathematical fact – equations are a form of eternal truth – gives everyone a clearer sense of the accuracy of pricing. Translation: You can now, with mathematical certainty, know what to charge and how to be paid (with bitcoins), free of outside factors.
What might those factors be? In not so many words: Political brinksmanship, fear or panic, volatility (based on nothing more than rumors and purported remarks, which traders use as a form of divination, sending stocks skyrocketing in one hour and plummeting the next), human error, natural disaster, war and all the other variables responsible for the battle against the intellectual integrity of economics. That dispute is an unwinnable conflict between those who are ignorant and those who are stubborn.
T his choice between uncertainty and clarity is, therefore, one of the chief reasons bitcoins will continue to gain acceptance within the real estate industry. Indeed, the point about clarity has added importance for all realtors because it depends on effective communications. And here, I write with the same earnestness by which I preach.
As the Founder of Buzzdron Media, a digital marketing and design agency, I know realtors receive questions, from buyers and sellers, which demand a clear answer. The questions are also very straightforward: What does the home cost? How much money must I provide for a down payment? What is the average interest rate for a thirty-year mortgage?
To these questions, there should be no ambiguity. Numbers are the answer, period. Applying that same clarity to the method of payment is, for me, someone who admires the beauty and precision of language – and mathematics is a language unto itself – the whole point of communications. Currency is a means of communication, too, but the challenge rests with translating its meaning.
In a world of confusion, clarity – of messaging, commerce and value of payment – is a coveted commodity. Bitcoins offer a solution to all three, while realtors have it within themselves to add a fourth element of clarity: The ability to inform clients, and thus, influence results — for the good of the real estate profession, the best interests of buyers and sellers, and the respect of the industry as a whole.
These bits of advice are the coin of the realm, so to speak. They represent an exciting new chapter for realtors worldwide.
|Hayden Gill is the Founder of Buzzdron Media, an innovative digital marketing and design agency. An expert concerning the use of bitcoins for online transactions and ecommerce, Hayden can be reached at email@example.com|
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