Overstock was one of the first major online retailers to accept cryptocurrencies. After hitching its wagon to bitcoin and other cryptos, Overstock hopes to cash in on another volatile market by launching its own real estate platform.
Earlier today, Overstock announced the launch of a real estate platform called Houserie. Technically, Overstock is re-launching the platform: the company acquired Houserie back in February.
The platform is catered towards landlords who need to purchase services like background checks for potential tenants. Houserie will also offer rent payment management, among other services designed to make things easier for landlords and tenants.
Overstock’s Houserie will be just one part of a broader push into real estate for the large online merchant. A full Overstock real estate platform called “O Real Estate” will launch in September 2018. That platform will contain more information about renting, buying, and managing properties.
“Overstock has connected customers with premium home goods, helping them build their dream homes; now, we look forward to expanding those services in the real estate industry,” explained Seth Moore, Overstock’s senior vice president of strategy, in a statement as reported by CNN.
It’s unclear if investors will applaud the move. Typically, a push into a volatile market like real estate is greeted with skepticism by investors. However, Overstock is emphasizing that it is not taking any actual real estate risk with the move. The company will not own any of the homes featured on its platform.
Overstock’s push into real estate shouldn’t come as a surprise for those keeping a careful watch of the company. In 2008, Overstock launched its own real estate search site. That site closed down in 2011.
Could Bitcoin Play A Part In Overstock’s New Real Estate Platform?
Bitcoin has already been used to buy real estate. However, Overstock’s new real estate platform could wholeheartedly embrace bitcoin for all real estate transactions, opening up entirely new markets for the crypto industry.
Overstock was one of the first major retailers to accept bitcoin. Overstock’s CEO, Patrick Byrne, continues to be a major supporter of cryptocurrencies. As CNN explains, Byrne is a “cryptocurrency bull”.
Overstock’s commitment to crypto doesn’t stop at bitcoin. The company also has a well-known venture capital division called Medici Ventures. That firm invests in blockchain startups and similar initiatives. Overstock also owns a crypto trading platform called tZero.
The company has also seen its share prices surge along with bitcoin. Over the past 12 months, Overstock’s stock (OSTK) is up over 135%. However, this rise has been dampened over the first half of 2018, dropping 40% since January. This volatility has made Overstock a favorite target for short sellers.
Nevertheless, the company continues to be one of the biggest public supporters of bitcoin. CEO Byrne recently called bitcoin a “form of sound money” and continues to believe in the future of cryptocurrencies.
If Overstock launches a real estate platform that accepts bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, then it could be huge for our favorite industry.