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Collaborate and Compete – The Winning Strategy in Digitising Real Estate

Michael Reuter

2 October 2019

Before globalisation, there were thousands of separate markets all over the world. Regional corporate champions could dominate geographically defined target groups. Even in technology, there were borders – countries with citizens using advanced services enviously watched by people in other parts of the world. Globalisation changed all that: Today, everybody communicates via mobile devices, consumes news in realtime and orders products online sent from the opposite side of the planet.

Consumers always adapt fast. Businesses often need more time to cope with new expectations regarding their service and product quality. Additionally, many businesses don’t consider themselves able to compete at an international, let alone global scale. There are many regional champions that increasingly feel under pressure by international competitors, often much bigger. And even though the international competition could not match the local quality of products or services, it feels that smaller European companies are losing ground.

However, there is a simple and effective strategy to strengthen one’s own position and remain competitive at the marketplace even when being a small or medium-sized company: Collaboration. Connecting with other local champions – even with competitors – is not only the most effective strategy to solve the globalisation challenge, it’s very easy when making use of existing technical and social technologies, such as Distributed Ledgers DLT and governance models for distributed networks.

Blockchain, the simplified term for Distributed Ledger Technologies, is a great foundational technology for collaboration. Its distributed nature, high security and data integrity allows for collaboration even in otherwise anti-trust sensitive cases. A governance model in place, including a smart incentive scheme triggering a fair and healthy use of the network, is the best prerequisite for a combined collaboration and competition model. Typically, businesses rely on certain technological standards. These could be developed in a collaborative way. Even some middleware, i.e. applications making use of standardised infrastructure, can be cooperatively developed. Then, businesses can create their proprietary applications on top of these collaborative and cooperative layers.

Models like this, i.e. combinations of collaborating and competing, are being created all around the world. With RAAY RE, we have learned from our technology parent Datarella: we have joined FIBREE , the Foundation for International Blockchain and Real Estate Expertise, in order to collaboratively develop standards of distributed systems for the real estate industry. And, since we don’t want to play a role of a bystander, we have applied to take over the role of the Munich Regional Chair, responsible for organising FIBREE-related activities in the greater Munich area and adding to FIBREE’s educational mandate throughout Germany. In the FIBREE Working Group Tokenisation, we have started a conversation with the goal of creating a simple guide for the tokenisation of real estate assets. If interested, feel free to join this conversation! Let’s collaborate and compete!