By: Joyce A. Ramirez
Teru Sumida had a vision. In fact, it was an epiphany of sorts.
The 43 year old top executive was looking out of his office window one day imagining a world in which real estate transactions can be done at the push of a button.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Sumida has always been an innovator at work. Since arriving in the Philippines 16 years ago, he has founded various companies from online gaming to real estate. His first venture was an online gaming company called Zipang Group Inc., one of the first licensees of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).
Three years later, he sold his online gaming business for a multi-million dollar deal to an undisclosed buyer.
By 2008, he established Capitarise Corporation, a real estate management and consulting firm that mainly caters to Japanese nationals who would like to invest or even retire in the Philippines.
In its first five years alone, Capitarise sold more than 2,500 properties and was able to establish an exclusive partnership with Megaworld Corporation. And it was because of his vast experience dealing with the slow and rigorous process with real estate transactions in the Philippines, that Sumida saw a way to make the system less complicated as well as ensure the protection of both buyer and seller.
In 2018, Sumida established C Estates Inc.
“C Estates is a disruptive and game-changing platform that I designed based from over 10 years of experience in the Philippines’ fast-paced real estate industry,” explains the Chief Executive. “The idea behind C Estates is to make the process of buying and selling less complicated for investors.”
Utilizing blockchain technology, C Estates is positioning itself as a revolutionary marketplace leader where users can buy and sell either a fraction or whole of any property.
“Blockchain technology will promote more transparency and more efficiency in any kind of transaction,” Sumida says. “The system is best matched for the real estate industry.”
In essence, the blockchain is a digital ledger that’s shared across a decentralized network of independent computers, which update and maintain it in a way that allows anyone to prove the record is complete and uncorrupted. It is able to achieve this with a special algorithm embedded into a common piece of software run by all the computers in the network. The algorithm consistently steers the computers toward a shared consensus on what new data to add to the ledger, incorporating all manner of economic exchanges, claims of ownership, and other forms of valuable information.
Each computer then updates its own version of the ledger independently but does so by following the all important consensus algorithm. Once new ledger entries are introduced, special cryptographic protections make it virtually impossible to go back and alter them.
Each owner are either paid in a digital currency, which incentivizes them to work on protecting the system’s integrity, or they do their work as part of a commitment to a consortium agreement.
The result? A group of individuals, each acting to protect their own, joining together for the good of all and creating a permanent record that everyone can trust and not managed by a single, centralized intermediary.
“C Estates enables authentic trading. It does so by eliminating red tape from all sorts of transactions. Because it has the capacity to inspire trust and transparency, property owners, buyers and mortgage lenders can engage in the platform without fear of corruption, human error or theft. C Estates could herald a new age of open data and transparency in the Philippines’ real estate industry. And with the positive, multiplier effects that this kind of open sharing has on networks of trading, more engagement should create more business opportunities for everyone.”
SETTING THE STANDARD
C Estates, which hopes to set the global industry standard for real estate transactions, uses the process of tokenization that has long been used by financial institutions on monetary assets.
Tokenization is the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with a computer generated number called a token. As an example, tokenization is used to prevent credit card fraud. Here, the customer’s account number is replaced by computer generated “tokens” so that information can be passed through various networks needed to process the payment without the bank details being exposed. The actual bank account number is held safe in a secure token vault.
The platform also provides numerous advantages, chief among them is a buyer’s ability to select a wide array of properties from different owners and contact them directly. Sellers can also list their properties for sale in the marketplace, once verification and validation has been completed.
And because it’s a tokenized platform, those who also wish to lease out their properties can easily announce the unit’s availability in the C Estates marketplace.
“Tokenized properties can either be transacted using traditional payment such as credit card/debit card, bank transfer or wire transfer. In addition to these methods, property owners can also opt to receive payments through cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) among others,” the Chief Executive explained.
Sumida adds, “We are not, however, focused on the primary market like most property developers who pre-sell condominiums that are still under construction or about to be constructed. Buyers in that primary market usually have to wait five years until completion. Our focus is on the secondary market or properties that already exist because these are more attractive and can generate income right after purchase.”
Initially, C Estates’ plan is to focus in the Philippine real estate market targeting properties that are under the Condominium Certificate of Title (CCTs). These are properties that can be owned by foreign investors.
In the short term, C Estates will have these properties listed and marketed to the global real estate investors keen on buying property in the Philippines. This initial phase will enable C Estates to establish itself as a key player in the Philippine real estate industry.
“Once our audience reach competitors of traditional services, we will then be positioned to offer additional services such as crowdfunding, time sharing and land banking.” Sumida added.
The next phase is to be able to cater to Transfer Certificate of Title (TCTs) which are properties that can only be owned by Filipino nationals. C Estates is also planning to provide mortgage and home loan financing services and eventually expand the business to nearby countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam) in preparation for the ASEAN integration.
C Estates recently joined the 3rd Global Blockchain Summit held in Dubai and also made its debut at the 2019 RISE Conference in Hong Kong.
Visit https://cestates.io for more information.