Interview With Remy Jacobson - Founder and CEO of RealT

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

SafetyDetectives recently interview Remy Jacobson, CEO of RealT, who spoke about he embarked on a journey to revolutionize real estate through tokenization. His vision, born from a background in real estate and a fascination with blockchain, became a reality in 2018. RealT democratizes real estate by allowing investments as low as $50, boosting liquidity, and offering transparency through blockchain. With nearly $100 million in property, 1700 units, 380 addresses, and 16,000 global users, the market response is promising. Remy’s advice for those entering the tokenized real estate space: embrace regulation, consult legal experts, and simplify technology. With estimates pointing to a $16 trillion industry by 2030, Remy Jacobson’s journey showcases blockchain’s transformative potential in real estate.

Can you talk about your journey and what motivated you to establish RealT?

I’m Remy Jacobson, co-founder and Co-CEO of RealT ( We are the largest real estate tokenization platform in the world today, having tokenized over 1700 units and 390 property addresses.

My brother and I are the founders of RealT. We came from the world of real estate, and in 2010, we started investing in Bitcoin and read the Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, which was, for us, a revelation. Since then, we’ve always had the dream of having an open ledger for real estate transactions.

This became more of a reality in 2016 with the emergence of Ethereum and smart contracts. By then, the era of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) had begun, and we looked at it in an interesting way, but legal hurdles stood in our way.

In 2018, our lawyer called me and said, “You know that thing you want to do with tokens and real estate? Well, there is a case in Delaware that allows you to do it.” However, our bigger vision was to give access to real estate to anyone who wants to invest in real estate.

Whether you invest $50 or $5 million, and you have a cap of 10% just to make it easy to understand, you’ll get the same return – not the same amount of money, but the same return. On top of it, the liquidity of real estate has always been a big issue for investors. Historically, you buy real estate and hold onto it for between five to 10 years, needing to find one buyer or one seller. RealT has created a secondary market where you can buy real estate on Monday in the form of a token, keep it on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, sell it on Friday, and collect your rent while sleeping on your couch.

To push it further, what was real estate without lending? But to encumber a property’s income per property and have all the token holders – because RealT puts a few thousand token holders for a property – be encumbered on the mortgage was too difficult. So we created, with the help of Aave which is another protocol, a lending platform where you could use your token as collateral and be the master of your own destiny by borrowing against your token, backed by the real estate without encumbering the property.

So, the vision and motivation to create RealT were access to real estate, access to liquidity, and the aim to revamp an industry that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years.

What are the primary benefits of tokenizing real estate assets?

  • Accessibility: You could start investing in real estate for $50 a token, making it more accessible to a lot more people, than if we’re talking half a million, million or $5 million transaction.
  • Liquidity: You could buy in and buy out at any given time during the day. RealT has a very active secondary market.
  • Speed of Transaction: execution of normally a real estate to sell a piece of real estate would take you between 30 to 95 days if you’re lucky. Here you can do it in two clicks.
  • Transparency: Everything is registered on the blockchain, making it completely transparent. Everyone can see much you paid and how much you sold it for because of course, there’s a bid and ask.

How has fractional ownership impacted the traditional concept of property ownership?

It gives it more velocity, makes it faster, and more dynamic. However, it is not big enough yet to have had an impact into the broader real estate realm. But that will be coming in the next few years.

What kind of trend do you see coming with fractional ownership?

Principle ownership and tokenization, like Larry Fink of BlackRock said, is the way of the future. We estimate that the real world tokenization assets will be a $16 trillion industry by 2030.

How has the market responded to the idea of blockchain-based real estate investments?

So far we have:

  • Close to $100 million in property
  • 1700 units
  • Over 380 addresses
  • Approximately 16,000 active customers in 154 countries.

So, I would say that it’s responding pretty well.

Do you have any advice for individuals looking to enter the tokenized real estate market, either as investors or entrepreneurs?

Sure, here’s some advice:

  • Don’t be afraid of regulation, work with regulation.
  • Contact your lawyers, your biggest expense as a start up needs to be legal in that space
  • There is a framework that’s in place traditionally that works with tokenization. And the laws evolve.
  • Look at your tech and look at making it as simple as possible.

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About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.

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