How a DAO turned a Tokyo abandoned house into a profitable investment property
On October 31st, Kenbiya, a Japanese based property portal focusing solely on investment properties, reported on the use of a blockchain-powered decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) for operation and management of a shared house in Kagurazaka, Tokyo.
This marks a first in Japan where a DAO is implemented to operate a profitable share house in a previously abandoned and vacant property.
Amid rising concerns about vacant houses, DAO-Type Shared Houses aim to transform vacant properties into income-generating assets.
Gaiax pioneered this specific DAO concept using blockchain technology, successfully implementing it at the Roopt Kagurazaka DAO in Tokyo, a first in Japan.
The DAO model empowers members to democratically make decisions, reducing maintenance costs and improving profitability.
Kagurazaka DAO has attracted over 430 members, boasting an 80%+ occupancy rate since December, 2022.
Unlike traditional organisations where decision-making typically follows a top-down structure with a president at the helm, executives, and department heads overseeing operational units, DAOs decentralise decision-making to involve all participants in a consensus-driven process.
A pioneering player in the DAO business, Gaiax, known for its involvement in the sharing economy and other ventures, has introduced the first-ever DAO-Type Shared House - Roopt Kagurazaka DAO in Japan, leveraging blockchain technology.
The project is operated by Makigumi, which aims to utilise vacant houses to attract people back to their hometowns.
Roopt Kagurazaka DAO exterior. The main building is on the left, and the residential building is on the right (from the recruitment information on the website)
The shared house, a two-story wooden building over half a century old, consists of a residential building and the main house.
The residential building has 10 beds with a common kitchen and living room while the main house serves as a coworking space. Both structures were renovated in 2020.
The majority of residents are in their twenties, primarily students aspiring to start businesses. Some individual entrepreneurs and engineers also utilise the space.
Since its launch in October, 2022, the project has turned a previously unprofitable property into a profitable one.
From left: Yuji Ueda from Gaiax, Kaihide Tsukasa, resident representative, Kyoko Watanabe from Makigumi, Yusuke Hiroto from Gaiax, courtesy of Kenbiya.
Operated democratically by all DAO members on an immutable blockchain, this unique model allows users to determine rules and guidelines for building management.
The process involves discussions and voting among DAO members to decide on operational rules and budget allocation, with potential members required to purchase NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) to join.
In the case of the Kagurazaka shared house, 240 NFT shares, each priced at 30,000 yen, were issued, with more than 170 tokens sold as of early October.
Beyond the revenue generated from shared house and co-working space usage fees, the introduction of DAO has significantly increased profitability, almost 1.7 times higher compared to before DAO implementation according to Makigumi.
Courtesy of Kenbiya.
DAO members handle various tasks associated with shared house operations, including publicity and community building, leading to cost reductions. Members have contributed approximately 205 hours of work, equivalent to four years' worth, by taking over cleaning tasks that were previously outsourced.
Self-directed community initiatives, such as plant pruning, door and screen repairs, and cleaning, have created a self-sufficient and active community environment. Efficiency has improved, with Makigumi staff visits to the shared house reduced from about 30 times per year to approximately three, while property conditions remain easily monitored.
In the DAO model, member proposals are accepted to enhance operations. Unlike traditional shared houses where owners handle tasks like selecting and purchasing furniture and appliances, establishing rules, cleaning communal areas, purchasing consumables, handling inquiries, and rent collection, DAO members autonomously decide and manage these responsibilities.