Taylor Parrino made history last month by representing a buyer for a home in Gulfport with the property listed as a non-fungible token. She is pushing forward with the created momentum and publicity by launching another auction for a condominium in Tampa. 

The bids will start at $185 000, but many expect them to rise much higher due to the excitement that has been building up. It is a result of the combination between conventional real estate auctions and the use of non-fungible tokens. 

The real estate market has been notorious for inefficiencies and problematic practices that lead only to consumer dissatisfaction. Parrino believes that non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies have the potential to transform the market for the better by removing traditional mortgages and closings. 

Parrino is one of the first real estate agents to specialize in this niche, but she’s part of a broader movement in Tampa bay that seeks to become a technological hub and integrate cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into their buying and selling operations. 

Perrino has decided to take it one step at a time, beginning with educating people on non-fungible tokens and marketing them to critical demographics. “So people understand what we’re doing,” says Parrino. 

A realtor in Tampa, Andrew Daniel, describes this new technology as a decentralized version of the traditional clerk office. Non-fungible tokens are seen as uniquely effective in proving authenticity because they are automatically recorded on the blockchain, and the proof of ownership cannot be easily manipulated.

Many real estate agents describe the current industry as slow and inefficient. To have a home sale, you require a ton of inspections, documents, signatures from qualified people, and title searches; it’s a huge time investment and requires a lot of fees. 

The scheme through which some image a change in the market would involve turning one Tampa condo’s ownership into a company that owns the property, and all the rights are written on the non-fungible token. This way, the current owner is selling a company, not the house, but they own the house through the company. 

Parrino points out to the owner who now has the property in Gulfport, Florida. They bought it using Bitcoin and plan to live in the home, but unlike traditional operations for transferring ownership, the transaction using blockchain technology happened instantly. 

It’s not only time that was saved but fees and financial costs that were avoided. Leslie Alessandra, the former owner and CEO of Tampa-based blockchain company Defi Unlimited comments that using ethereum is much cheaper than traditional closing costs. 

With the assistance of Propy, a Silicon Valley-based company assisting realtors in transferring ownership of a property through blockchain technology, the upcoming Tampa condo, and 10 more properties will soon be launched in the market. The real estate firm’s strategy is true to the nature of NFTs as the homes they purchase have a unique history or architecture or are at an attractive location.

Balaji Padmanabhan, a professor in South Florida’s Muma College of Business, notes that the growing real estate and crypto “ecosystem” is just the starting sign for the upcoming boom in innovation that will transform the way we purchase homes and many other sectors in the future. 

It’s not just Balaji, many local leaders are beginning to notice the changes in Tamba bay and are actively encouraging the innovation. Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, comments that “the next era of business will be defined by the ways we leverage technology to our advantage and the real estate industry is no different,”

Daniel is a certified crypto real estate agent who got his credentials through Propy. He comments that his agency is enthusiastic because they feel it’s the perfect moment for such innovation. 

“We’re here in the right place at the right time,” says Daniel. 

As somebody who has spent his life in Tampa and has seen how the home market has stagnated throughout the years, he says, “It’s nice having grown up here and seeing the growth that we’ve been experiencing.”

Much like Parrino, Daniel comments that “There is a big learning curve and a lot of education needed to be put out there. That goes with any new technology,”

According to many leading entrepreneurs in the crypto and NFT world, the general public is still misinformed about what non-fungible tokens are, and even if they can grasp the concept, they are very often focused on the wrong aspects.

Even though NFTs are a unique way to express yourself artistically, many focus too much on mainstream collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, labeling them “silly monkeys” and “odd animal avatars” instead of recognizing the immense strength NFTs offer by being proofs of ownership. 

Even though there is a lot of information and skepticism regarding NFTs, many remain optimistic that the public will see their beneficial uses. Padmanabhan comments that young people are especially likely to embrace technology since they accept technological change more smoothly and quickly. 

Furthermore, he points out that they have less blind respect for traditional institutions and are much more critical, making them likely to look for alternatives. 

“If you can create a digital equivalent of that house and store it on the blockchain, you can get all the advantages of decentralization and speed,” says Padmanabhan. 

“Does it have to be done this way today? Ideas like this need to be tried out.” 

Even if the concept fails, there is a lot of worthwhile effort to be recognized by all the entrepreneurs and innovators in Tampa who are actively challenging boundaries and trying to make the market more effective.