This project is at the idea stage only, I do not yet have any clue how to implement it but it feels like something that could really work well for NEM and help replace a bad, broken system. Let me introduce the problem as I know it in the Philippines, I am sure it exists in other countries too, but this is the country I know:
A renter is looking to rent a house or a condo unit so he starts searching ads online from different sites, Facebook, Olx, Mitula, Rentpad, and more. Almost every poster he contacts is a broker! And the brokers are…pardon my view on this…they are the scum of the earth. Arrogant parasites that have joined together to control the real estate business in a way that pushes rent costs up every year. They squeeze renters for as much as they can get, and they take huge cuts from owners. And all they do is draw up contracts, entertain viewers, and handle payments. Post-dated paper checks are the most common form of payment that a broker collects. Usually they do everything incompetently, manipulatively, and corruptly. These are people who make a living out of standing in the middle of two parties who want to do an honest transaction and try to manipulate both parties into giving them as much as they can take.
A lot of owners don’t want to deal with them, and a lot of renters can’t stand them. So how easy is it to replace them with a smart contract? Pretty damn easy I think.
I am not a coder. Not even close. But I will just layout the strategy in layman terms. Owner posts property to the blockchain. It gets listed with other similar (For Rent or For Sale) (Location) properties, classified and advertised, accessible to renters who go to the website to seek a rental. Automatic monitored “self-showings” might not happen for a while, with smart lock and web cam, but possible in the future. Owner might have to show the place or get someone (not a broker please!) to show the place.
If renter wants to rent, the details are filled in the app, contract automatically drawn up and notarized. Payments are arbitrated by the smart contract. And so on.
As I said, I am not a coder, and this is just the spark of an idea, inspired by, obviously, my own experiences and frustrations with these brokers.
Would love for anyone with some technical background (or not, doesn’t matter) to chime in with their own ideas about how this could work.