Overstock is making a push into real estate

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Overstock CEO: Bitcoin a 'form of sound money'

On-line retailer Overstock just lately hitched its wagon to bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies. And now the corporate is hoping to money in on one other risky market: actual property.

Overstock introduced Monday that it’s relaunching Houserie, an actual property property administration website it purchased in February. The positioning might be geared towards landlords with providers like background checks for potential tenants and hire fee administration.

Overstock stated Houserie will develop into a part of a broader O Actual Property platform that may launch in September and embody extra info for renting, shopping for, and managing properties.

“Overstock has linked clients with premium house items, serving to them construct their dream houses; now, we stay up for increasing these providers in the actual property trade,” stated Seth Moore, Overstock’s senior vp of technique, in an announcement.

It is unclear if traders will applaud the transfer.

It is not as if Residence Depot (HD), Lowe’s (LOW) or Amazon (AMZN) is making an attempt to handle properties. The actual property enterprise is far totally different than promoting house furnishings.

However Moore stated in an e mail to CNNMoney that Overstock was not taking over actual property danger with the transfer.

“To be clear, we aren’t proudly owning these houses,” he stated.

Moore stated the location will assist people who find themselves trying to find a brand new home or are within the strategy of relocating, whereas additionally promoting them furnishings to match their new house “extra seamlessly.”

This is not the primary time Overstock has made a transfer into the actual property enterprise. It arrange an actual property search website in 2008, solely to shut it down in 2011.

However the renewed push into actual property is yet one more instance of how Overstock is making an attempt to diversify past retail, notably by bitcoin.

Associated: Neglect bitcoin. Right here come the blockchain ETFs

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne is a cryptocurrency bull. Overstock was one of many first retailers to simply accept bitcoin. The corporate owns a enterprise capital unit known as Medici Ventures that has invested in companies specializing in blockchain expertise and in addition owns a crypto buying and selling platform known as tZero.

Shares of Overstock (OSTK) have been using the bitcoin wave for the previous 12 months. The inventory is up greater than 135% over the previous 12 months however it has plunged practically 40% to this point in 2018.

Overstock’s bitcoin strikes have additionally made the inventory much more susceptible to assaults from brief sellers, traders who revenue when a inventory goes down.

Brief sellers borrow a inventory and promote it, with the hopes of shopping for it again later at a cheaper price and pocketing the distinction.

Overstock has typically been a favourite inventory for shorts to focus on. Byrne was even featured in a “60 Minutes” phase in 2006 about brief sellers.

And again in 2003, after Overstock reported sturdy vacation gross sales, Byrne informed CNNMoney in an interview that “when alternatives come alongside the place we are able to knee the shorts within the groin, that is all the time good for enjoyable and amusement. That is simply icing on the cake.”

CNNMoney (New York) First printed July 23, 2018: 9:08 AM ET

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