This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Real Estate series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and real estate.
In this interview we speak with Chao Cheng-Shorland, CEO and co-founder of ShelterZoom, to understand how her company is using blockchain to transform the real estate business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind ShelterZoom? Why and how did you begin?
CC: Allen Alishahi, co-founder of ShelterZoom, and I saw a deep need in our respective industries—real estate and international business—for a way to streamline negotiations and contracts in a manner that is safe and secure. We saw a need to bring the same level of ease that already exists online with buying and selling retail goods to transactions that have many more layers, such as buying or renting a home or negotiating a complex contract.
2. Please describe your use case and how ShelterZoom uses blockchain:
CC: Our technology, built on blockchain, lets users manage contracts and other agreements so that they can be interoperable and interconnected. In terms of real estate, the components within each piece of structured documentation that comes with an individual property—from construction permits to sales transactions to insurance claims—can now “talk” to each other and be ported from one transaction to another. That brings a greater level of data-mining and analytics to contracts.
3. Could you share a customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
CC: Real estate agents can now manage an entire sales or rental transaction completely online. From making the offer, to all the counter offers, and the final document signatures—it can all happen in one continuous, time-stamped, electronic thread. Furthermore, the many pieces within the contracts—from the parties involved, to the terms, to the financials—can be analyzed across numerous transactions to help brokers, agents and the industry as a whole analyze the data contained within a negotiation.
4. What other blockchain use cases in real estate are you excited about?
CC: Supply chain management is one of the most important functions in business today. The application of blockchain to managing each piece of the supply chain brings about enormous potential for cost-saving, fraud-prevention and better management overall. I
5. Where will ShelterZoom be in 5 years?
CC: Since our platform can be used in nearly every industry we plan to expand to several different verticals and be up and running in each of them. Our top priorities are the ones that rely heavily on contract-based negotiations, which includes both public and private sector organizations.