In an effort to increase financial equality, a blockchain-based real estate platform will soon offer users the ability to invest in digital square feet of property in the nation’s most desirable neighborhoods.
As part of the launch of the investment vehicle, Parcl has partnered with NFL star Ndamukong Suh’s charity, the Suh Family Foundation, to offer a down payment on a home worth up to $200,000. A winner will also receive one year’s worth of mortgage and tax payments.
Parcl and Suh hope the platform and giveaway will help level the playing field for those investing in a top asset class or owning a home. Suh has seen firsthand the exponential rise in house prices since signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. While currently a free agent, Suh has called Tampa his home for the past three NFL seasons. .
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index recently reported that Tampa Bay home values rose 34.8% for the year ending March, and Kellan Grenier, co-founder and COO of Parcl, said that the Superbowl winner was a strong advocate for financial equality.
“He (Suh) is very focused on the issue of homeownership…or the inability of more and more people to get into the real estate market,” Grenier said. “Ndamukong was very interested in what we were working on and our mission, which is to provide real estate to everyone, lower barriers to entry and give everyone access to this market in a liquid way. – in a way that they simply cannot today.”
The first collaboration with Suh was through the Parcl owners association gift. The company has minted non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of 7,777 unique home combinations from four cities – Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Miami. Owners receive early access to the Parcl protocol, invitations to real-world events, higher ROI, and staking benefits.
Grenier said proceeds from the NFT sale are funding the giveaway, which was closed to contestants on June 3. Participants uploaded short videos to social media site TikTok, sharing how the housing crisis has negatively impacted their lives. Parcl and the Suh Family Foundation will choose five semi-finalists this week, and NFT owners will vote for the grand prize winner next week.
Parcl will also help the winner secure their loan structure, make the offer and close the home.
“Hopefully we’ll be done this summer,” Grenier said.
While based in New York, Grenier said about half of the company’s employees work nationwide. His data also shows a 35% increase in home prices across the Tampa Bay area, which he called “shocking.”
“We talked about it a lot internally,” Grenier said. “Part of our job with Ndamukong and his team is to bring attention to this and help brainstorm some solutions.”
Parcl hopes to democratize real estate investing by lowering barriers to entry. This includes reducing capital and time required and diversification and liquidity. Grenier called real estate the world’s largest asset class while remaining the most inaccessible.
A lack of supply has increased inflation, Grenier said, and therefore down payments require a significant portion of a potential buyer’s income. Often people are completely excluded from home ownership.
“And so what we did was look at all of the options that were available for people to get exposure to the real estate market, beyond just buying a house,” Grenier added.
Grenier said real estate investment trusts operate on the stock exchange but limit investors to pre-screened portfolios. There are also other fractional ownership platforms, but he said they are generally only open to accredited investors, invest in specific properties or developments and lack liquidity.
Grenier said Parcl has created tracking indices for “essentially” every city and neighborhood in the country to address issues commonly seen in other real estate investment platforms. Eventually, the company will expand internationally. He said Parcl collects transaction data in real time to create a representative price.
“We believe that every neighborhood has a price,” Grenier said. “And if every neighborhood has a price, we should be able to create a liquid market around that price.”
The prices power smart contracts and users can invest in the index using blockchain technology. With no minimum investment required, Grenier said users could buy “a digital square foot” of real estate in any neighborhood Parcl offers for as little as one cent, based on a value determined by the index.
The Parcl protocol is built on and backed by the Solana blockchain, and its proprietary valuation index – Parcl Price Feed – tracks underlying price movements. Grenier said users can “cash out” at any time, and after two testnets or betas, the official platform will launch next month.
Grenier said Parcl will focus on metro areas with the highest quality data available, starting with New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix and Seattle. From there, the plan is to provide the ability to invest in all 32 NFL cities, including the Tampa Bay market.
“It kind of resonated with Suh,” Grenier said. “These are large metropolitan areas, with enough people to support an NFL franchise.”
Grenier said many people involved in Web3, blockchain and cryptocurrency believe that real estate, as the most recognizable global asset, should also be the easiest to invest in and understand. He added that even if people don’t understand the underlying technology, they should understand the growing value of places like SoHo or Miami Beach.
“In effect, all you’re doing on the Parcel protocol is exposing yourself to price appreciation or depreciation in those neighborhoods,” Grenier said. “And we just use cryptography to bring that to you.”
For more information about Parcl, visit the website here.