A Student of the Real Estate Game


Crypto – Changing how we work and live

May 23, 2021 | Innovation, Multifamily, Technology

Atlas is under construction on a 310-unit multifamily community in Nashville. Over the past few weeks, we’ve redesigned the common areas, eliminating vanity amenities like game rooms and adding more private office space. The pandemic combined with new technologies has accelerated the flexible work model and is giving rise to a whole new creative class of entrepreneurs. With this in mind, we believe there will be more residents working outside a traditional office so it’s critical to include functional and fully equipped private workspaces within new multifamily communities.

The shift to remote/flexible work has been covered ad nauseum and there’s nothing left to add to that debate (err conversation). In this post, I want to discuss the emergence of a new class of worker empowered by crypto.

The passion economy and tools supporting it have evolved and enabled forms of work we’ve never seen before such as podcasters, newsletter writers, video course creators, virtual teachers, virtual professional coaches etc. As we look ahead, this new set of creative entrepreneurs will grow as they now have more power to monetize individuality and creativity thanks to crypto.

If you spend any time on the internet, you can’t avoid the talk about crypto and buzzwords such as tokenization, blockchain, NFT’s, DeFi, DAO’s, Web3 etc. The more time I’ve spent reading about the crypto world, the more confused and bullish I’ve become. It’s crazy how fast the world is moving!  

A lot of people much smarter than I such as Packy and Dror Poleg have been writing about the intersection of crypto and business, but I write to learn, so this is my attempt at understanding how crypto is changing how people work and live.

Crypto as the currency of the internet with blockchain technology enabling creators of all types to monetize their work more effectively. NFT’s and smart contracts are making it easier to compensate all creators according to their economic value.

It’s a fundamental shift enabling a new class of creators. More and more people are making money online, the universe of a “job” is expanding, and people are becoming untethered from large institutions.  

Sari Azout wrote a great piece about the rise of the individual and the unbundling of internet communities. The shift away from ad-funded revenue to creator monetization means that “platforms are now less focused on driving eyeballs and more focused on building tools that make creators money.”  

This is huge.

Creators can now monetize based on the intensity of their fandom, not just the size. Instead of the winner take all version of the internet, we now have creators of all sizes making a living online.

High willingness to pay creators, along with better methods to monetize creative output is a potent combination that will lead to a massive rise in the number of people making money online, and new ways to scale income without scaling time. The opportunities around passive income will become a new keystone of the user experience of these platforms, pulling many creators out of the labor stack and into the capital stack. The mom-and-pop businesses of tomorrow will be the Clubhouse hosts, Substack writers, Twitch streamers, Discord Community Managers, Shopify dropshippers, TikTok stars, etc.

Through Mirror, Sari minted the article as an NFT and it sold for 0.28 ETH (~$530 as of 5/23/21). Implementing what’s known as the Attribution+ model, those funds are split between the authors, individuals whose ideas inspired the piece, the artist who drew the illustrations, and readers who helped spread the word. If the NFT is ever re-sold, the original creators get a cut thanks to the ability to embed smart contracts into the code. The buyer of the NFT owns the original article, the artwork, and gets unique access to the authors. Additionally, they’re owners of an asset that may appreciate in value.   

Packy did the same thing with his piece, Power to the Person. It sold for 2.19 ETH (~$4,150)!

The concept of buying an article as an NFT for $4K may seem crazy to you. However, the ability for Packy to monetize his ideas, compensate those who contributed to the piece and his thinking, and earn future royalties is incredible.

It’s hard to fathom what may look like a ‘job’ in the future.  However, the one thing I know for sure is that many more people can make a living entirely online thanks to crypto.

What does this mean for apartment owners/operators?

 The way residents interact with communities will continue to shift. The blending of work/live/play continues, and residents will come to expect a variety of places to work within the community.

From a geographic standpoint, this new class of creatives are untethered from a geographic location and can live anywhere they’d like and move at any time.

Flexible housing models have sprouted up to accommodate this new lifestyle. Sites like NomadList are making it seamless to find remote jobs, travel, and live anywhere. And we’re just getting started.

If you’re creative, talented, and know how to play the game, there’s never been a better time to be alive.

In my next crypto post I’m going to discuss my experience investing in virtual land. Stay tuned!