What is the project?
Rex aims to use recent advances in peer-to-peer data distribution and blockchain technology to provide universal access to real estate data and to streamline the transaction process of property sales and leasing.
In the near term, Rex aims to create a decentralized, global Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of real estate properties. The team has chosen to build Rex on the Ethereum blockchain to provide universal access to real estate data, and to streamline the transaction process of property sales and leasing using smart contracts. Rex also plans to adopt the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) protocol to enable decentralized dapp creation and distribution. In order to incentivize database growth, verified brokers and property owners will be paid in REX tokens for each property they list. REX can be used to promote listings on the platform, and, in future project iterations, be used as currency in real estate transactions.
Later phases of the project include implementing a peer-to-peer transaction layer, where users can buy, sell, and lease properties using REX tokens via smart contracts, as well as introducing tokenized, “fractionalized” property ownership and trading on an exchange platform called the RexDex. Tokenized ownership allows properties to be divided into shares and bought, sold, or traded on an open market exchange.
The Rex white paper acknowledges that there are regulatory hurdles to implementing the later phases, including Ethereum based smart contracts being recognized by courts as legal, enforceable contracts; banking regulation adopting language applicable to crypto lending; and working to gain participation from relevant oversight organizations. These government oversight organizations are numerous and include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which regulates the mortgage industry (USA only); the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which oversees the issuance of assets, possibly including a tokenized real estate property; the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which would be responsible for taxing tokenized assets, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). All of these organizations play a part in the business dealings of tokenized ownership and would need to be involved in talks about how to tokenize the real estate industry. The Rex team plans to overcome these regulatory hurdles in jurisdictions with less regulatory oversight before bringing tokenized ownership to more heavily regulated markets such as the United States and Australia.
How does it work?
Initially, 20 percent of REX tokens will be set aside to incentivize participation in the Rex network through listing rewards. Once the rewards pool runs dry, fees collected by the Rex network may be used to incentivize users, though the white paper states that fees may decrease even to zero. Ultimately, the Rex team hopes that listing rewards will not be required once the network matures. Once uploaded to the network, listing data is open source and freely available to all network users.
Anyone on the platform can build listing “Curation feeds” to help other users browse available properties. This curation function might resemble how brokers handpick properties for prospective clients or services might provide brokers with specialized portfolios of properties. When enough people subscribe to a curator’s feed, the feed can generate income for the curator through advertising placement and listing promotion.
Registration is required to become a “Verified User” of the Rex platform, and includes providing Rex with your name, contact info, real estate license (if applicable), and real estate firm (if applicable). Only Verified Users are eligible for the Listing Rewards. Additionally, listings submitted by people other than the owner, broker, or landlord will require evidence that the listing broker or landlord has authorized them to submit listings on their behalf.
Once registered and verified, the user uploads their listings and submits them for Listing Rewards. Listings will publish immediately, with a 2-week delay before listing rewards are granted by the smart contract. If the listing is not flagged by other platform users as ‘spam’ during the 2-week period, the listee will automatically receive the Listing Reward. If the listing is flagged, the listee and the flagger enter an arbitration period, mediated by Rex. The winner of the arbitration period is granted the Listing Reward, and the loser will have their reputation downgraded, and may also lose their status as a Verified User, preventing them from listing or flagging properties on Rex. The arbitration process is not defined in the white paper.
What is the token being sold?
REX tokens will be used as follows:
PHASES 1 & 2
- Listing Rewards: Rex will create a DAO and set aside 20% of REX tokens for Listing Rewards, which will be paid via smart contract for each verified listing uploaded by a registered property owner, real estate broker, or firm. Listing Spam Reducer fees (see below) will also be used to supplement the Listing Rewards. If the initial 20% of REX tokens runs out and the Listing Fees cannot cover the incoming Listing Rewards, the payout will be reduced or halted altogether.
- Listing Spam Reducer (LSR) Fee: There will be a fee for listing properties on the Rex MLS, payable in REX tokens. This fee is intended to limit gaming of the Listing Rewards contract, and will always be smaller than the Listing Rewards. Additionally, each new verified user will be issued 5 REX tokens to subsidize their first listing fee. Details around exact listing fees are still undisclosed at the time of this writing.
- Curation Feeds: Anyone will be able to curate property listing feeds on the platform. Feeds that amass subscribers will have the ability to charge REX tokens for advertising space and listing prioritization.
- Market Sponsorships: REX tokens can also be used to sponsor geographic regions (paid search results).
- Professional Profiles: Brokers and landlords can pay in REX tokens to create professional profiles, which are searchable in the Rex database.
Exact fees and rewards for the above have not been disclosed.
PHASES 3 & 4
- Transaction Services: Users pay in REX tokens to utilize pre-built contracts for transactional purposes
- Tokenized Ownership: REX tokens will be utilized for trades and settlement services on the RexDex (Rex’s internal exchange). More info about Tokenized Ownership will be released in the coming months.
How is the token distributed?
Founders and Angels will have a two year vesting period at no more than 1,000,000 REX a year. This is to ensure price stability of the REX token.
What is the project status?
The Rex team created an early proof of concept in March of 2016, which helped them secure seed funding (amount undisclosed) that will be put toward building a design and development team in house.
Rex will also launch a pre-alpha product in July 2017, where users can see basic platform functions using test listings, upload new test listings, view search and map functionality, and interact with a digital wallet prototype. They’ve also published a user manual for the pre-alpha product on the Rex blog.
The REX token sale is set to go live starting July 31, 2017 at 4:00pm UTC.
The team is also working to build out their alpha product by January of 2018, which will include a small subscription fee (to cover Ethereum gas fees for users). They are also presently meeting with major real estate firms in China, the United States, and Australia, to establish 2-3 partnerships by February 2018.
Who is the competition?
Who are the blockchain competitors?
There are a number of blockchain projects that are attempting to disintermediate and tokenize the real estate industry.
- Ubiquity helps title companies, municipalities, and “custom clients” track and record a clean record of ownership to increase time efficiency, confidence, and transparency of title searches.
- Singapore-based REIDAO is creating tokens backed by real estate so that properties can be fractionalized and traded on an exchange (similar to Rex’s phase 4: Tokenized Ownership).
- Propy is an existing online real estate listing service that is planning on integrating solidity smart contracts into their network. Their service is broadly similar to Rex’s phase 1 and 2 plans. Propy is holding a token sale in July.
Who are traditional competitors?
There are thousands of associations that each maintain their own MLS. In the United States alone, there are roughly 1400 local associations/boards, and 54 state and territory realtor associations (though this number is shrinking due to mergers), which each govern their own MLS practices. Canada, for contrast, has 101 local associations and 11 state associations. These associations closely guard their proprietary MLS listing data, often charging high listing subscription and access fees. The National Association of Realtors keeps a directory of United States associations and their staff/officers.
Newer web-based companies such as Zillow or Redfin in the United States (many similar companies can be found globally) offer a consumer-friendly GUI for searching property listings, and pay a premium to license MLS data from the local and state associations, supplementing their database with feeds and direct uploads from professional brokers and firms (who in turn pay subscription fees to list on the platform and for lead generation).
The large number of competing organizations in the MLS space doesn’t necessarily diminish the opportunity for Rex to create a new MLS platform. Although the MLS platforms all compete for attention and traffic volume, the brokers and property owners would still benefit from having an additional listing outpost, especially one like Rex that intends to pay them for their listing data (in the form of Listing Rewards) rather than charging them to be a part of the network.
Who is the team behind the project?
The Rex team is fully transparent about their identities and has an in house blockchain development team lead by co-founder Russell McLernon. Co-founder Stephen King has years of experience working in the real estate industry.
- Principal & Co-founder Stephen King is an entrepreneur with a focus on real estate and blockchain technology. Since 2013, Stephen has lead the King Realty Group in Princeton, NJ, where he also founded the Princeton Ethereum Meetup group. Stephen graduated from the University of Denver, CO with a dual degree in International Business and Real Estate.
- Principal & Co-founder Russell McLernon is a technology strategist with 15+ years experience in enterprise software development. Russell began to focus on blockchain related development projects in 2010, and has since created one of the first mobile wallets for Ripple, and built a decentralized DNS and vehicle listing service on NXT.
- Social Media Specialist Lauren Biedenharn has a background in fashion, real estate, and marketing strategy, and is handling Rex community development, on-boarding, and social media. Lauren manages REX TV on YouTube, and is a licensed real estate broker in Los Angeles, CA.
- Jr. Contract Software Developer Luke Gallagher joined the Rex team in February 2017. He graduated from Western State Colorado University with a dual degree in CS and Math.
|Incorporation status||REX Technologies GmbH, Zug, 2017|
|Team openness||Fully transparent|
|Blockchain Developer||Russel McLernon|
|Technical White Paper||Yes|
|Available Project Code||Yes|
|Role of token||Payment and access rights|
|Token supply||266 million|
|Distributed in ICO||133 million|
|Emission rate||No new coins created|
|Consensus method||Proof of Work|
|Sale period||July 31st, 2017 to August 25th, 2017|
|First price||proportional to participation|
|Investment Round||First public offering|
|Token distribution date||2 weeks after crowdsale|
|Min investment goal||$1 million|
|Max investment cap||$12.5 million|
|How are funds held||Smart contract|
|Minimal Viable Product||Pre-alpha already live|