RealOpen Founders and CEOs Christian Dumontet and Christine Quinn — also a cast member of Netflix's Selling Sunset — sit down with Yahoo Finance Live to talk about the interplay between the housing and crypto markets and purchasing a home using a cryptocurrency.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: Buying a house with crypto is now a very real possibility. Here to share how they're making that process easier are Christine Quinn-- she's the co-founder and CMO of RealOpen, as well as a cast member on Netflix's successful "Selling Sunset." And joining her is Christian Dumontet, RealOpen co-founder and CEO. A big welcome to you both. A lot of people are wondering with one eye on what we've been seeing with crypto prices. Walk us through this process and how people who want to either buy or sell their houses can benefit by taking this route on RealOpen.
CHRISTIAN DUMONTET: Absolutely. Nice to meet you, Rachelle.
CHRISTINE QUINN: Nice to meet you, Rachel.
CHRISTIAN DUMONTET: So basically what RealOpen does is we allow crypto holders to purchase any home on or off the MLS by presenting an all cash offer to the sellers. We use our trading capabilities, basically OTC desk trading, to provide more favorable pricing with huge amounts of liquidity.
There are benefits in terms of not having to go to cash upfront by being able to show proof of assets. We have something called, basically, a crypto credit score, where we can assess the asset basket that the buyer holds and identify basically through a rearward-looking VIX type of computation based on the weighted basket that they hold, what their likelihood is of movements in that basket.
DAVE BRIGGS: Christine--
CHRISTINE QUINN: And the great thing is, we don't close out until the buyer is ready, so they're still able to participate in the market. As you know, it goes up and it goes down as well. But when it goes up, like it recently is, you want to be involved in that participation as well.
DAVE BRIGGS: And that's what I was going to ask you about, Christine. I am not by any means a crypto expert. I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I know it's volatile. It's been up and down dramatically in recent weeks, $2 trillion trimmed off the market. So how does that volatility impact what you're doing?
CHRISTIAN DUMONTET: I think it underscores the consistent need for diversification. Any part of investment strategy has always been based on diversification. So real estate is a more stable asset class, of course. And you might see some people deciding to allocate more into real estate.
CHRISTINE QUINN: I think this is the best time, more than ever, to actually diversify your assets into real estate, especially. We're seeing a trend where people are saying, I have all these digital assets. And I want to be able to buy something tangible, something physical with them. So that's why we started the company. And we saw a need. And we decided, hey, let's meet it.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: So in terms of how the software works, when people sort of put their crypto in, are they approaching it with cash first in terms of how you look at the cash price for the house, and then you factor in the crypto? How does the software part work?
CHRISTIAN DUMONTET: Mm-hmm, we list the properties in terms of cryptocurrency. And then what happens is, it follows a traditional cash closing process. So we're looking at very quick escrow periods. And at the moment that the cryptocurrency is converted into cash, which is deferred until the very last moment, the pricing is established.
CHRISTINE QUINN: And we find people that want to move extremely quickly. A lot of my clients are in the younger generation, instant gratification generation, newfound wealth. They're looking to close on a house quickly. So traditional real estate brokerages can take anywhere from 30 days to more to close. And we're finding people that can close in one day now with our new service, which is really great.
DAVE BRIGGS: A one-day close. I'm a realtor who's never heard of that one. Christine, what's been the demand like for the product?
CHRISTINE QUINN: The demand has been excellent. The demand is people that Christian have said are looking for diversification, but also the need to want to offload and get something physical and contingent on the inspection process. We can-- yeah, we can close in one day.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: And is this something that you expect other real estate brokerages-- obviously, you left the Oppenheim Group, Christine. Is that something you expect perhaps more traditional real estate companies to try and get into as well?
CHRISTINE QUINN: I think they can try, but I don't think they'll succeed. I think that the platform that we have built, we have patent pending technology. And we consider ourselves an institution. So I believe that we're really the only of our kind. But I do see trends towards traditional brokerages trying to transact in crypto and trying to do that, but it's a lengthy process.
Getting KYC, depending on the exchange, can take some time. And then also there's also some people that are looking to do lending. And that takes time as well. But we're not noticing a trend for our clients. Most of our clients have all their assets in crypto.
DAVE BRIGGS: Christine, we'd be remiss if we didn't ask you about the overall real estate that the data you're seeing. Do you see a softening? Some see a crash coming, prices softening. What do you see overall in the market?
CHRISTINE QUINN: Well, as you know, the market has not been doing great very well. But we're seeing an upward trend right now, which is great. Interest rates, I believe, are going to be increasing sometime soon. So I think it is the best time to buy. And what better-- you know, what better to buy than something that you can actually live in? So I don't see a crash happening. But I do see inflation happening. We are seeing that reflect in interest rates. And I would say the best time to buy, really, is now.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: And Christian, in terms of where the company goes from here, whether it's specific markets that you're targeting or perhaps new products, what's next for RealOpen?
CHRISTIAN DUMONTET: Well, as of now, we're seeing our strongest interest in transactions in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. I think that as we progress, this will no longer be a luxury, high-end type of service, but rather something that addresses all price points. So that expands throughout the entire country. And then we see ourselves entering additional services, whether it be travel, anything really that--
CHRISTINE QUINN: Anything physical, anything tangible. That's really what we're working on. People have asked us, can I buy cars? Can I buy yachts? Absolutely. I mean, we can make those transactions. And we do see ourselves kind of heading toward that trend.
DAVE BRIGGS: All right, you can check it out yourself, realopen.com. Christine and Christian, thank you both. Appreciate it.