C Estates Inc.’s CEO Teru Sumida hopes to set global standards with his innovative tokenized platform
In a career distinguished by eventful forays in online gaming and real estate, innovation has always been key to Teru Sumida’s success.
As managing partner of the Japan-based Zipang Group Inc. from 2004 to 2009, he helped guide the company’s Zipang Online Casino operations to a strong foothold in the Philippines that included its appointment as one of the first licensees of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.
Following his fruitful stint at Zipang, the Kyoto-born Sumida then shifted his sights on the country’s equally booming real estate industry. In 2009, he founded Capitarise Corp., a property management consulting company that pioneered cross-border transactions and is now considered a one-stop shop for foreign investors who wish to own property in the Philippines.
“To date, Capitarise has sold more than 2,500 properties to its exclusive foreign clientele in partnership with Megaworld Corp. and supported by the Philippine Retirement Authority,” Sumida shared in a recent interview with The Manila Times.
With Capitarise already in place, Sumida now has the backbone he needed for his next related venture. While he understands that buying and selling real estate property in the Philippines can be a lucrative undertaking, he is also very much aware of its pitfalls and challenges.
“Before a sale of a given property can be closed, the transacting parties have to take several, often unnecessary steps starting with the need to process documentation,” Sumida pointed out.
With his new company, C Estates Inc. (https://cestates.io), the 43-year old chief executive officer intends to not just dramatically improve this tedious and often frustrating system; he also hopes to set the global industry standard for real estate transactions in the Philippines and in the rest of the Asean region.
“Through our pioneering real estate tokenization platform, C Estates, Inc. will make real estate transactions easy and accessible for everyone. With the use of blockchain technology, we are positioning C Estates as a revolutionary marketplace leader where users can buy and sell either a fraction or the whole of a property,” he declared.
For Sumida, the technology is particularly “best matched for the real estate industry as it will promote more transparency and more efficiency in any kind of transaction.”
He said the key lies with tokenization, a process that is being used by financial institutions on monetary assets.
“Tokenization is the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with an algorithmically generated number called a token,” Sumida explained. “As an example, tokenization is used to prevent credit card fraud. Here, the customer’s account number is replaced by computer-generated “tokens” so that information can be passed through various networks needed to process the payment without the bank details being exposed. The actual bank account number is held safe in a secure token vault.”
Sumida further noted that in addition to securing and protecting all sensitive information on its database, tokenization also ensures quick and efficient transfer of property ownership and in the process avoid human errors on public records.
“There are numerous advantages to using this platform. A buyer now has the ability to select a wide array of properties from different owners and contact them directly. Sellers can list their properties for sale in the marketplace, once verification and validation have been completed,” he added.
And because it’s a tokenized platform, those who also wish to lease out their properties can easily announce them in the marketplace.
“Tokenized properties can either be transacted using traditional payment such as credit card/debit card, bank transfer or wire transfer. In addition to these methods, property owners can also opt to receive payments through cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether among others.”
As a real estate company, Sumida says C Estates is utilizing decades of expertise and disruptive technology to offer the best customer experience and satisfaction in doing real estate transactions.
What differentiates the C Estates from other players in the industry is that it will not focus on the primary market like most property developers who pre-sell condominiums that are still under construction or about to be constructed.
“Buyers in that primary market usually have to wait five years until completion. Our focus is on the secondary market or properties that already exist because these are more attractive and can generate income right after purchase,” he explained.
Asked to define his company’s market, Sumida said C Estates’ initial plan was to target properties that could be owned by foreign investors under the Condominium Certificate of Title.
In the short term, C Estates will have these properties listed and marketed to global real estate investors interested in the Philippines and establish the company as one of the key players in the industry. “Once our audience reach competitors of traditional services, we will then be positioned to offer additional services such as crowdfunding, time sharing and land banking.” Sumida added.
For its next phase, C Estates plans to cater to Transfer Certificate of Title which are properties that can only be owned by Filipino nationals. In addition, the company is also planning to provide mortgage and home loan financing services and eventually expand the business to nearby countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam) in preparation for its Asean integration.
With Sumida’s vision that provides for an ecosystem that complements buyers, sellers, brokers, developers, cryptoinvestors, property managers and banks and government, C Estates is determined to show how its tokenized platform can indeed make real estate easy for everyone.