CIP-41 CIP for a Real Estate Guild from @MaxRealEstate & @DAOvolution - Glass Properties

CIP(39) for The Inaugural Real Estate Guild
Authors: @MaxRealEstate & @DAOvolution

Here is the full CIP with some existing comments that I think we should carry forward in this Discourse.

And here is a Preface that speaks to the culture I hope to be apart of at CityDAO:

“Idea Labs” vs. “Echo Chambers” | Other CityDAO Real Estate Guilds that are Complementary (or Competitive) | “Offboarding” (Firing) of Guild Facilitators:

We seek to foster Idea Lab Culture not Echo Chamber Culture in any CityDAO Real Estate Guild and in CityDAO broadly (here is a podcast clip about “Idea Labs” vs. “Echo Chambers” from Lex Fridman interviewing Tim Urban of Wait But Why).

To that end, here is the story of how this CIP for this Inaugural Real Estate Guild came into being:

On or around March 1st, @MaxRealEstate posted in Discord this draft CIP for a Real Estate Guild, seeking feedback, and numerous people provided feedback, including @Da3vid, @gugz, @dfmerin, @chance, @scottfits.

On or around March 3rd, @DAOvolution posted in Discord this different draft CIP for a Real Estate Guild.

@MaxRealEstate read @DAOvolution’s draft, we met and discussed each proposal, and chose to merge the proposals into one final draft CIP for an Inaugural Real Estate Guild.

The Real Estate Guild that we lead will be an Idea Lab. Characteristic of Idea Lab culture:

  1. We think anyone could post a CIP at any time proposing another CityDAO Real Estate Guild that is complementary (or competitive)
  2. We think a guild leader could be subject to offboarding at any time.
  • A proposal could propose offboarded, propose a replacement leader or disbanding of the entire guild with a return of the budget, etc.

Why is the Guild needed?

At the present moment, CityDAO LLC owns real estate (Parcel 0), and that real estate needs some ongoing management: an Operating Agreement, liability insurance, property tax payments, ongoing expenses, cap-ex improvements (?), and potentially the lease or sale of Parcel 0, etc.

While the future direction(s) of CityDAO are to be determined, we are confident that real estate operations will be core to the mission.

CityDAO’s website has a lot of aspirational language about real estate, such as:

  • “The DAO for decentralized asset ownership” (I assume it means real asset ownership)
  • “It all starts with collective governance of a real parcel of land in Wyoming on chain.”
  • “Parcel 0, the first piece of land on chain…”
  • “CityDAO is building a network of assets on chain, starting with a single parcel of land in Wyoming. Each parcel of land is an NFT that can be owned collectively by the DAO collectively or by individuals. It is a DAO… meaning it is managed by the community.”
  • “Legal. Help us navigate intricacies of DAO law and property rights and zoning.”
  • “Development. Come help us build the future of real estate ownership on chain with Solidity and Web3.”
  • “Land use. How should we use, govern, and control our land? How can we employ mechanism design for public good?”

With these aspirations in mind, we offer our combined experience as a resource for CityDAO and CityDAO’s Real Estate Guild, experience with real estate transactions, real estate development, real estate litigation, real estate data, and real estate technology.

@MaxRealEstate & @DAOvolution propose to lead this inaugural CityDAO Real Estate Guild.

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What is the Guild’s mission?

For now we believe that the mission of CityDAO’s Real Estate Guild is to help CityDAO execute on real estate matters, in concert with other guilds or 3rd Parties (CityDAO may stipulate those matters and may provide funding, human resources, etc.).

This question of “What is the Guild’s mission?” relies on the answer to the larger question of “What is CityDAO’s mission?” That is the biggest question for CityDAO right now.

Quoting from @DAOvolution’s draft proposal:

“A Vision for the Future

Aren’t we the ones who are walking away from Omelas? Perhaps we are not sure yet what sits outside the walls of the physical cities we are walking away from, but we are walking swiftly, and we are confident we are on the right path.

The purpose of any CityDAO guild should be to ensure that the ethos of the community - the idea of democratizing access to land and a self governed city on-chain being built without the problems of modern society - is held at the forefront of with respect to any and all key decisions.

“Needs over wants”

The wants might be your daily requests. They can be emails from others at work or they can be the things someone is asking you to do - or maybe they are the things you want to do, because there is a benefit in it. The wants are desirable - but not necessary.

The needs on the other hand are different - The needs are a “should” proposition. The needs are the things you should always be doing to act in your own best interests. The needs usually do not go viral on social media and are not things we often choose to think about because they are not cool, fun, or popular… But they are necessary.

The wants of the CityDAO community are important - Of the utmost importance. However, unlike the needs, the wants can be readily expressed using the governance processes, voting mechanisms and CIPs - e.g. through the democracy that has been intentionally designed into CityDAO.

The needs are much tougher to capture however. With the diversity of interests we find in the CityDAO community (as in the case of physical cities), there is a lot of noise, and it can be hard to funnel out the signals. Everyone has their own subjective biases and opinions. The needs can only be truly expressed through an understanding of the big picture - where CityDAO is today and where CityDAO wants to be in the future. The needs are actually very simple and objective for any matter once it is clear where the community would like to be in the future.

In the short run, CityDAO needs citizen leadership who has responsibility for ensuring that CityDAO’s mission to democratize use of and access to land remains at the forefront of our strategies, and in particular, CityDAO’s real estate strategy. We don’t yet know what CityDAO wants because we have not asked. With respect to Parcel 0 for example, it may be quite unlikely that the community would endorse VC ownership - but we do not know because the community has not spoken yet.”

Quoting from this forum post from February 1st, 2022: @MaxRealEsate - my professional experience, and my vision for CityDAO:

“A City DAO [could build] public goods at the intersection of local government and Web3.”

“I think CityDAO has an incredible opportunity to produce the open source primitives needed for a city or county to operate on Web3. I am most familiar with the real property systems and want to work on those.”

“I propose this as a direction rather than CityDAO purchasing more real estate (ironic from a guy who’s expert in real estate transactions). CityDAO’s treasury will not go far if CityDAO chooses a capital intensive operating model. The current treasury balance of $6,128,503 USD buys a lot more open source software and legal docs than it does real estate.”

Another word on real estate acquisitions: at the very least, CityDAO should be choosy about which parcel(s), if any, to buy, after forming a clear acquisition thesis, understanding of zoning classification(s), the permitted use(s), the business model(s), potential capital expenditures, likely operating expenses, and expected net operating income, etc. (not to mention debt service, as applicable). If CityDAO chooses to develop real estate it should do so in the spirit of Tony Goldman.

@MaxRealEstate: I’ve lost a lot of money in real estate that I like to call “tuition” and I don’t advise CityDAO expend any “tuition” to learn how to operate in real estate. In the alternative, CityDAO can rent my brain.

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Near-term roadmap:

  • Finalize the CityDAO LLC Operating Agreement
  • Engage David Pope, CPA for the CityDAO LLC tax return
  • Execute on other real estate matters of CityDAO, to be determined

We can determine these other real estate matters via consensus (the consensus mechanism to tbd).

Medium-term (to quote my forum post again):
“Here are some primitives needed for real estate rights to transact 100% on Web3:

  1. “Tokenized Real Estate” The legal docs and smart contracts that enable tokens to govern a real world legal entity like an LLC that owns real world assets like real estate such that token holders are the legal beneficiaries. All of this in compliance with Securities law.
  2. “Smart Leases”. This is the legal docs, smart contracts, and payment systems that enable a digital lease between Lessor and Lessee to be recorded on chain, assignable on chain, etc.
  3. Web3 mortgage financing (I work on this at MakerDAO)
  4. Web3 Recorder of Deeds
  5. Web3 title insurance
  6. Web3 compatible Register of Wills
  7. Web3 compatible Municipal Court

Other real estate matters for debate:

  • (Optional CIP) the sale and lease-back of Parcel 0
    • I have identified a venture capital firm who I think would be willing to buy Parcel 0 AND lease it back to a Parcel 0 DAO on a 99 year lease, having all rights that can be conveyed by a lease. They might pay $100K (what CityDAO paid for it). So CityDAO could cash out completely and retain complete use rights. Plus CityDAO would have a venture partner to build the Parcel 0 community (to the extent that the Parcel 0 DAO wants it).
    • We can consummate this sale and that leaseback with the most crypto native deed and lease possible (a “smart lease”)
  • (Optional CIP) fund LandTitleDAO
    • The What: An open source data collection system (open source CoreLogic) & an open source eRecorder (open source Simplifile)
    • The Why: Disrupt the $96B (1% of $9.6T annual in real estate transactions) title insurance market (a legal or “security” budget that buyers overpay for, thanks to a regulated duopoly) with an open source data collection system & an open source eRecorder
    • Twitter:
    • Discord: Discord
    • Slide Decks:

Quoting again from DAOvolution’s draft Real Estate Guild proposal

“Some random, initial real estate ideas for community consideration:

Key Philosophical Decisions. We need to engage the community to help us make some initial key decisions:

  1. Will each Parcel be managed separately (by a guild/community vote)?
  2. In terms of dedication of resources - Is there a fundamental inquiry relating to the community ethos that we are not considering as equally as the commercial aspects? (Really - are we trying to create private rights or a public good? Or both?)

Real Estate SubGuilds. After Parcel 0, CityDAO could create real estate subguilds and provide for an open community governed process for adding additional subguilds as the need arises.The first could simply be:

  1. “revenue-generating” commercialized operations intended to help CityDAO make money
  2. “non-revenue generating” such as conservation, recreation and leisure, art and philanthropy
  3. “hybrid revenue generating” such as agricultural, riparian, energy, etc - where revenue is not the initial intent but very well may be realized
  • Possible Strategies involved with new Parcel Selection and Use:

Propose an objective “scoring system” comprised of variables that include (but not limited to):

  • city/county/state tax incentive availability

  • analysis of local political climate / state regulatory regimes

  • Local cultural vibe

  • ease of access (roads, airports, proximity to “civilization”)

  • looking into land use development plans (often draft in 25 year intervals) to identify parcels that will not be looked at “market” - because not subdividable or marketable yet, but will be usable by the time CityDAO wants to develop. (i.e… An opportunity to take advantage of the legal effect on the real estate market in terms of timing, given proper research)

  • Possible Revenue Generating Ideas:

  • commercial operations - if CityDAO’s eventual goal is to turn a profit using parcels - commercial operations are significantly more viable than residential/leisure-based. CityDAO can organize a Request for Proposal to solicit bids and to select a like-minded broker as a key CityDAO relationship based on the party that best aligns with the CityDAO ethos. (for background - brokers do the search and legwork for an interested party in commercial real estate, versus buyers agents in residential real estate, who for clarity, are not the buyer’s friend and care only about sellers - since thats where the money is)

  • Might eventually consider cannabis operations (might be too heavily regulated, but up for debate over cost benefit given the amount of work, - CityDAO may find crypto-allies in state legislatures that have already overcome similar social considerations with legalized cannabis however (not WYOMING))

The best citizen leaders in CityDAO will be people that most citizens will never really notice. People who will keep the messages clear and concise for the community consumption while taking into account the diversity of community and neighbor interests - but who otherwise get out of the way - and (for real estate) to solely follow a path of ensuring every key decision respecting CityDAO land use is driven by the community and whose sole personal interest is to ensure that all real estate practices are handled in a manner that is consistent with CityDAO’s best interests. This role would be fiduciary in nature and would require someone capable of objectively working through dynamic issues. Someone who will not be motivated by anything other than ensuring that the community is provided with accurate, unbiased information respecting the land use options, strategies, and third parties with whom to engage.”

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Why is the proposed Guild Facilitator qualified for the position?


Here’s my Linkedin:

Here’s that forum post @MaxRealEsate - my professional experience, and my vision for CityDAO

I work full time in Web3 on the team at The RWA Company where we are helping MakerDAO onboard real world assets as collateral for Dai loans.

I run a weekly meeting of a RealAssetsDAO group in LexDAO’s Discord where we discuss legal structures for tokens to own/govern real world assets.

Since 2011, I have developed and transacted real estate. As Glass Properties (an homage to Golman Properties) I built 2149 Catharine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, which is the home to Ultimo Coffee “Best of Philly, Coffee Shop, 2012”. I founded Forward LLC to increase quality of life in Philadelphia by activating uninhabited space – please read Forward’s mission. My work at Forward taught me about real estate acquisitions, negotiations, municipal data, liens, title issues, probate, and the civil courts in Philadelphia. Subsequent work I did for a parcel boundaries data company now called Regrid taught me how to license nationwide standardized public records data-as-a-service to businesses and nonprofits, big and small. I landed in Web3 after DeFi summer when I decided I wanted to build in this space and started what is now LandTitleDAO, a compilation of ideas that I first put together in 2018.

For fun, I’ve co-produced an improvised musical, produced numerous concerts, events with Akpo, and murals like and A Sanctuary For Birds Of Whatever Feather. I love helping talented people bring beautiful, fun things into the world.


“In my day job working as an attorney in corporate America, and in particular in the supply chain industry, I possess a great breadth and depth of legal and real estate experience. My real estate experience includes working on high level property and land-related projects including automated warehousing system developments, build-to-suit projects, significant commercial lease review and negotiation (up to 1M sqft), experience with county/state tax incentive programs, insurance and risk programs, and environmental law. I have worked on commercial real estate projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico and I have worked on many residential real estate projects in the United States for myself and my friends.

I believe I have the relevant experience combined with a dream-big mentality, and I have a highly motivated “civil servant” mentality about CityDAO and my opportunity to add value wherever possible. I have over ten years of fiduciary experience combined with a “best interests of the community” mentality. I am a long-time athlete and outdoors-person who is used to overcoming significant adversity in the pursuit of a goal, and I have a community-first mentality. I want to help build a winning team.

To be clear - If I should serve as the guild lead I would really not be a “leader” at all per se - simply a humble and energetic project manager with responsibility for overseeing that the CityDAO mission, vision, and values are reflected in CityDAO real estate operations and land use considerations, but otherwise empowering the community to decide how to select and operate physical assets. I will help institute fair transparent practices on behalf of the CityDAO community that will be designed to help protect the best interests of CityDAO while ensuring that the community is steering the ship. I can and will use my best efforts to safeguard the Real Estate processes of CityDAO in an open, transparent manner - and I will never push the community or its citizens towards projects or people who are motivated solely by profit.

I would like to throw my hat into the ring to be the inaugural leader of the real estate guild. I would welcome the opportunity to put my words into action and to help build the infrastructure for a sustainable CityDAO real estate strategy.

I thank you for taking the time to read and consider this proposal.”

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Does the Guild already have members ready to join?

There have been 1,375 clicks of the real estate emoji (how many are from bots?)!

I think it could be helpful for me to sketch out all of the potential roles that could be apart of a real estate guild in the future:

Potential Job or Role and a description:

  • Needed now:

    • Property Manager (candidate: Josh the attorney from Chicago/Wyoming)
      • CityDAO LLC hires an independent contractor to manage the parcel
      • OR we incubate a Community Manager for a Parcel 0 DAO who does the job
  • For traditional real estate operations, here are roles that could potentially exist:

    • Acquisitions (sourcing new deals, negotiating agreements of sale, closing the deals)
    • Finance (underwriting deals, lining up the debt and equity)
    • Asset Management (who thinks about existing assets: the bookkeeping, Accounting, leasing, refinancing, improvements, and disposition)
    • Construction (a general contractor is typically a hired as a 3rd party independent but a person needs to manage any/all contractors)
    • A budget for Architecture & Engineering by a 3rd party independent contractor
    • A budget for legal by one or several specialized attorneys with expertise in one or more of the following domains
      • Real estate contracts (Agreements of Sales, Mortgages, Leases, Construction Contracts, etc.)
      • Probate & Estate
      • Real estate litigation (Quiet Title Actions, Orphans Court Matters, Eviction/Ejectment/Possession, Adverse Possession, zoning & use, etc.)
  • For real estate software projects on blockchain:

    • Data hunters & sleuths who find the data at the municipality
    • Data engineers with geospatial data expertise to ingest and standardize data
    • Maybe full stack web developer(s)
    • Probably blockchain engineer(s)

I propose setting up this guild with a limited initial budget, a limited initial mandate, and limited initial team. I think CityDAO’s Real Estate Guild can grow incrementally as needed.

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Budget / Funding needed:

SUMMARY TOP LEVEL BUDGET for QUARTER 2 of 2022, now until June:

$50K & 6 ETH + Retroactive Reward at quarter end

  • Operations (like insurance), Projects (discretionary), and team rewards: $25K

  • Web3City Labs: $25K (with all Citizen NFT holders having the option to get Web3City coins)

  • Parcel 0, Property Manager: 6 ETH

  • Parcel 0 DAO, Community Manager: 25% of Parcel 0 DAO Drop Tokens (with CityDAO being paid back its cost basis of $100K if title is transferred or some payment in kind equivalent if a ground lease for below market value is entered into)

  • Retroactive Reward at quarter end: To Be Determined By Citizens


FOR Real Estate Management & Development (6 ETH)

@DAOvolution as Property Manager responsible for liability insurance, property tax payments, etc. Quarterly: 6 ETH
@DAOvolution as Community Manager for Parcel 0 DAO, managing Parcel 0 NFT Drop, Parcel 0 DAO consensus, etc. 25% of Parcel 0 DAO Drop Tokens (with CityDAO being paid back its cost basis of $100K if title is transferred or some payment in kind equivalent if a ground lease for below market value is entered into)

FOR a City of the Future Built On Web3 Rails

  • Budget of $25K, with all Citizen NFT holders having the option to get Web3City coins

  • 100% of the $25K will go into LandTitleDAO, with Citizens eligible to earn $DEED (and CityDAO to get $DEED)

  • The $25K will fund the Minimum Viable Product data collection system (Earthify). Product Spec Here.

FOR Operations (like insurance), Projects (discretionary), and team rewards: $25k for the Inaugural Real Estate Guild, to, at the option of the Guild, pay contributors to the guild, or deploy into Parcel 0 (i.e. pay insurance, erect a totem), Parcel 0 DAO, or Web3City Labs projects like the open source eRecorder.

Our Bonus, or “Retroactive Reward”: of Citizen NFTs as determined by CityDAO in accordance with some “Retroactive Reward Funding Mechanism” that CityDAO will need to sort out (i.e. If CityDAO thinks we did a phenomenal job, CityDAO can Reward us with 25 Citizen NFTs or something).

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Multi-sig members:

This should be a Gnosis safe with numerous KYC’d members, doxed to the community. I will need to recruit into the Guild and for the multi-sig.

One leader (who can be fired) but a multi-sig to force the need for consensus. Possible multi-sigs include:

  1. @MaxRealEstate , Max (in South Bay Area, CA)
  2. @DAOvolution , Josh (in Chicago, IL, and in Cody, WY)
  3. @scottfits
  4. ?
  5. ?
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Real Estate Guild legal structure:

This Real Estate Guild could be be incorporated as a WyoDAO LLC with non profit status or as another not for profit type legal entity like a South Dakota Trust.

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Real Estate Guild Governance:

This is a useful model to consider:

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Why propose a Guild if you are not asking for any budget or funds from CityDAO? Whenever funding is required, then a new CIP will need to be proposed for a vote anyway. Or will the funding request be put in before this CIP goes to a snapshot vote?

What’s the advantage of having a guild be registered as an LLC? Would that lead to too much fracturing? Shouldn’t guilds be thought of as internal departments?

Something like LandTitle DAO, why couldn’t that be folded into the work of CityDAO? Why would CityDAO fund another DAO?

Personally I don’t know what the budget would be used for. If we intend to make any real estate transactions I assume we’d want a community vote first. I would think the real estate guild’s role is to provide ideas and options for the community to consider, and to execute the real estate actions that the community decides on per its voting mechanism. The real estate guild for example would/could lead the transaction, and be the principal point of contact with real estate brokers and other real-estate-related third parties.

In commercial real estate, each property is held in a separate legal entity, to insulate the parent company/owner and other buildings from the liabilities of any one of them. What Max proposes is a viable strategy supported by the industry and its legal considerations. Just need to execute this “subDAO” strategy (or whatever we are calling it) carefully

I agree folding it in would make some sense

I agree, a separate legal entity for each property is a good idea, we spin one up when we need it, but the real estate guild being a separate LLC is what I don’t understand yet.

@Da3vid it is a better guild process for this to get a green light vote before we put in the 10 hours or so of work on a budget. To underwrite CityDAO’s needs requires writing a scope of work (takes work to write, and I want to make sure I’m not wasting my time).

Proposed Scope:

  • @DAOvolution to be designated Property Manager for Parcel 0 and Community Manager of Parcel 0 DAO (DAO launch terms to be approved by CityDAO vote). A full Parcel 0 / Parcel 0 DAO proposal is forthcoming. Rough rough draft proposal here.
  • @Shopo as Junior Manager because he lives even closer?

I’d like to really nail development of Parcel 0 before we do anything on any Parcel 1.

@scottfits do you believe in Harbinger Taxes? CityDAO shouldn’t squat on a parcel that some other party would pay more for and utilize. Parcel 0 DAO is part of the solution. Let’s get this right first, then barrel onward.

  • Fund LandTitleDAO to do eRecorder.Wiki &
    → needs scope of work for eRecorder.Wiki (vision statement here) @Favian this is the DeedsDAO concept. Maybe you’d be down to work on this?
    here is product specification for an MVP, a Data Union, Version 0, for $25K or so

Alex, if I am doing business, I want limited liability protection and to observe corporate formalities (and I have advocated CityDAO prioritize the same).

I also thought the Real Estate Guild would exist within CityDAO to help the DAO propose which properties to buy, lease, sell, etc. and be the point of contact, but that these ideas would be presented to the citizens for a vote. It’s good to have separate LLCs for the properties, but I thought they would be sub-DAOs within CityDAO.

I think part of the reason for a budget is to fund the facilitators for their time and to provide bounties for citizens who want to enter the Guild to learn about real estate and contribute. Maybe even for non-citizens who can’t vote in the Guild but want to be learn about real estate. I hope that each Guild serves more than just a profit-making purpose, but also fits within CityDAO’s ethics and values of providing education and opportunities to those who seek to learn.

I prefer not to conceive that we are “wasting our time” so much as that we are “investing our time” by crafting a guild proposal judiciously. Also, I would assume a reasonable likelihood that you’d be compensated as a facilitator for your time retroactively.