As in Follow up, Part 2
Recently, we posted a blog that was a follow up to previous blogs. Guess what? There’s been even more follow up since then! Hence the title, FU2! What fun!
Blockbuster or Blockheads?
Let’s start with Blockchain. And, before we progress, let me include my absolute favorite quote about Blockchain. “Blockchain is a solution looking for a problem” as quoted in AICPA. And there is this similar blog title, “Blockchain as a solution in search of a problem.” And then, “Blockchain is the answer, but what was the question?” in Medium. And there’s more of same in the Financial Times, attributed to Xero CEO Rod Drury, and on and on.
Yes, that’s right. Everyone thinks Blockchain is the answer, the way to solve the problem, and the technology standard of the future. Unfortunately, no one is quite clear what question it answers, problem it solves, or future it determines. Love it.
Of course the mortgage industry must join this quest. Have we steamrolled our way in, dived head first into the unknown, committed endless money, time, and resources to this pursuit? Nope. The NMP says it best here, “The Mortgage Industry Tiptoes into Blockchain Applications.”
The word tiptoe, of course, always reminds me of a painful childhood memory. I think I was too young to understand spoof, farce, and perhaps the absurd, so I never really got, “Tiptoe through the tulips,” much to the chagrin of my dad, who laughed uproariously whenever Tiny Tim graced a TV program. But I digress.
The Working Widgets
Moody's Investor Service devoted a full six pages to the blockchain solution in a 22 page PowerPoint on “New Developments in US ABS.” While I am slightly hurt they chose not to reference my blogs’ (here or here!) amazing blockchain data inclusion, they did include two pages of related research. Those brats. More on Moody’s report at Finders.com.
But check this out from the National Mortgage News.
Very cool, isn’t it? Here’s why from that same publication,
“Having all loan documents on a blockchain will help deliver information more quickly and directly, simplifying the distribution of data and requiring less support from intermediaries. This also means leaving less room for error when data switches hands.”
And lest you think this is all “pie in the sky,” let me toss these factoids at you:
Have you heard of Home Lend yet? Here’s what its about.
“Homelend is building a decentralized, peer-to-per mortgage lending platform that will have two core goals:
To modernize the aging mortgage lending system to make it more efficient, cost-effective, and customer-centric.
To expand home ownership opportunities for a new generation of borrowers while meeting their distinct lifestyle and needs.
To accomplish these goals, Homelend will use blockchain technology and smart contracts to bring parties together in a decentralized marketplace.”
Check them out at https://homelend.io/ (and go “wow” seeing NO .com .org or .gov!). Get more input and output about that cool URL ending here, even if you are not a resident of the British Indian Ocean Territory .
A California blockchain start-up launched a pilot project this year in collaboration with the City Clerk's Office of South Burlington, Vt. It uses blockchain technology to record real estate conveyance documents. The company is Propy.com.
In April, Ranieri Solutions announced a partnership with blockchain and smart contract company Symbiont to investigate the use of Symbiont’s platform to improve the mortgage industry. Read more in Mortgage Professional America.
See, “Bloquid ICO (BQT Token) “Blockchain Real Estate Asset Trading?” in bitcoinexchangeguide.com. Pronounce the name carefully, then read this: “Bloquid acts just like a mortgage lender with one crucial exception – it leverages the power of blockchain technology and uses cryptocurrencies instead of fiat currency. It gives homeowners a chance to get a stable digital asset by mortgaging their property.” In case you were wondering, bankingtech.com tells us that, “Ranieri Solutions is a financial services technology investment firm founded by securitised mortgage market pioneer Lewis Ranieri.”
Forbes gently offered, “Nine Things To Keep In Mind About Blockchain In Real Estate.” Included are predictions that blockchain will disrupt the title insurance business, add security and transparency to the real estate word, yield a new secondary market, etc.
Internationally, per RTInsights.com, Brazil is piloting Ubitquity’s cloud based system to recording land transactions. Blockchain is ensuring the accuracy of information related to real estate property.
And, please generate your own pithy editorial comments when you read this non-mortgage industry toid: “West Virginia trials blockchain voting app for federal election.”
In short, then, it appears the big brains with the big bucks have started powering through incorporating blockchain into the mortgage, real estate, fintech world.
Amazonian Housing Accomplishments
My favorite recent FUs (yes, yes, Follow Ups!) are attributed to Amazon. Yes, I still want to BE Jeff Bezos.
In our recent blog, we reported that Amazon was getting into home financing. Well, shame on me. They’re also getting into “homes,” in at least two ways, one bigger than the other (pun intended).
Remember our blog on tiny homes? Well, here we go, courtesy of greenmatters.com, “You Can Now Buy Shipping Container 'Tiny Homes' On Amazon.” For a mere $36,000 plus $4000 in shipping (no, Amazon Prime in not available for your new, errr, home, and I don’t think a drone can deliver these 7500 pounds either), you can be the proud owner of a trendy, environmentally helpful, tiny home.
And I wonder if it comes with WiFi. Hold that thought as we delve into Amazon's latest “home venture.”
Alexa, Call Home
To summarize it, I’ll use CNNTech.com’s words and then some fun parts.
“Amazon and home-builder Lennar are opening staged-homes filled to the brim with Alexa-powered smart-home products. Anyone can visit these new "Amazon Experience Centers" to see what it's like to yell at a speaker to open the blinds, or push a button to order more toilet paper from Amazon Prime. The companies are launching the houses in 15 cities across the United States to start.”
Here’s the subtitle of that posting from the same source: “The next house you buy may already have someone living in it: Alexa.” Come on, you have to love this stuff!
Yes, in fact, for all of us who regularly speak to ourselves, we’ll now have someone new to privately speak to -- our walls! Specifically, as USA Today states,“Amazon's Alexa will be built into all new homes from Lennar”! Check out the video and get in line.
So “What’s included?”, you ask. PPPuuuuulllllleeeese. This is Amazon we’re talking about. Just click here and all of these goodies below (and more) instantly appear:
And, of course, this:
And, of course the REVIEWS (on a product/service that is not really even “out” yet!)
I’m absolutely giddy about this!
Here’s more fun. Check the excerpts:
Bloomberg: “Looking to sell its customers on the latest and greatest smart-home technology, builder Lennar Corp. flirted with Siri. Now it’s decided to go steady with Alexa.” [Points for creativity!]
Fortune: “The homebuilding company partnered with Amazon to create “Experience Centers” in their model homes that will allow customers to interact with the suite of Amazon devices — including Dash buttons, Alexa, and Echo — in a more natural living environment.” [More natural than what?]
Business Insider: [Forget powering through!] “Amazon is hurtling headfirst into the housing industry amid plans to use Alexa for smart homes”
Media Post “Lennar, which had previously worked with Apple on its smart-home offerings, announced it was building Alexa technology into new homes last year, installing Echo microphones throughout. (Built-in listening devices everywhere sound creepy to you? Yeah, you’re not alone. Wired recently showed how easy it is to turn Echo into an eavesdropping device.)” [Well, yikes! And I suppose that one is not a very fun comment, although my mind is going wild thinking of the uses, the movie role, the hacking opportunities, the reality show cost cutting, the potential re-release of Bewitched and Gladys Kravitz! -- all from installing Alexa in every new home!]
The Joke’s on ME
Back on track … I had much more, but it appears I am nearly out of space, allotted words, and reality. We know what that means. It's time for jokes! But wait! I need not include jokes this time. ALEXA tells jokes!!
Here are some from Review Weekly
What’s brown and sticky?
Wait for it… a stick!
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger…
and then it hit me.
What did the dog say after a long day of work?
Today was ruff.
Maybe my next job will be writing schtick for Alexa? [No hater comments allowed!]
And here’s the The Alexa Comedy Show which starts with, ”What do you call a seagull that flies over the bay? A bagel” And, “What do you call a snarky criminal going down the stairs? A condescending con descending” … and goes in that vein for 4 minutes.
But it's tough out there! The critics have arrived. Even the beloved Readers Digest wondered, “Which Virtual Assistant Tells the Best Jokes?”. Thank goodness, samples were included, such as:
“Alexa, tell me a dirty joke.”
Excuse us, waiter; this coffee tastes like mud!
Yes, sir. It’s fresh ground.
“Siri, tell me a joke.”
The past, present, and future walk into a bar. It was tense.
“Cortana, tell me a joke.”
Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in the mud, and cross the road again?
Because he was a dirty double-crosser.
“OK, Google, tell me a joke.”
What do you call a can opener that doesn’t work?
A can’t opener.