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Welcome to the Metaverse – where real estate meets virtual reality

Welcome to the Metaverse – where real estate meets virtual reality

In this our latest blog, we explain the Metaverse and what it might mean for you.

What is the Metaverse? 

The Metaverse is a digital universe that combines virtual reality, augmented reality and video. Essentially, it’s the 3D intersection of our digital and physical realities in a collection of constantly evolving, immersive virtual worlds. Drop by and you can navigate these often-dazzling worlds as an ‘avatar’.

How did it come about? 

Since Blockchain, the ‘crypto finance hub’ made it possible to define a virtual thing, so you could then buy and sell assets, including land and property, in the metaverse using NFTs (non-fungible tokens). NFTs have unique attributes and are used to represent ownership of a one-of-a-kind digital asset.

The purpose of buying land in the Metaverse is to either develop it or lease it out to a third-party entity. Another key difference compared to the real world is that anyone can invest.

How big is the market?

Virtual property is being snapped up at spiralling prices, so as a result virtual real estate companies are growing by the day. Decentraland and Sandbox, for example, are both metaverse worlds that sell virtual land to businesses that build virtual buildings. Republic Realm, a company that develops land in the Metaverse, recently paid $4.3 million for a piece of virtual land located in Sandbox. And The Metaverse Group is a leading virtual real estate marketing company that offers buying, selling, letting and consultancy services for virtual properties.

If that wasn’t a sign of the popularity of the Metaverse, companies like Samsung and PwC have purchased digital real estate in anticipation of a future where everyone uses the Metaverse. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Gucci and Samsung also now operate virtual stores, signalling the emergence of a new market for brokering deals.

Although agents and brokers are not yet qualified to support on virtual deals, it’s likely that we’ll soon see the rise of ‘meta property consultants’. And, in theory, real estate personnel might soon be required to advise on both real-world and virtual property acquisitions.

A case in point

Spanish developer Metrovacesa is marketing its residential scheme in Malaga by teaming up with Datacasas Proptech. Potential buyers can tour their virtual buildings in Decentraland, while consulting a virtual salesperson who can help them reserve a home. The recently launched Renovi markets itself as ‘The first NFT marketplace for architects, 3D designers and developers’. The platform gives creators the chance to showcase and monetize their work to a global audience, as well as hosting live auctions, hot bids and top sellers.

Should you jump into the Metaverse?

Whatever you think of the Metaverse, it is only just getting started. Uptake is accelerating by the day and it offers an intriguing new landscape for the real estate industry. There are ways of operating in this virtual space that just aren’t possible in real life, across distance, or even in a zoom meeting. You can present complex and intricate building designs, draw on a piece of paper, go and explore the city together… the possibilities and potential seem limitless.

That said, there are some who claim it is a fad and others who say it is fraught with risk. Firstly, if the Metaverse collapses so does every investor and investment. Second, it relies on cryptocurrency and here there are many environmental concerns, not least from the high amount of electricity needed to power complex algorithms and non-renewable energy sources used for mining.

What’s next for real estate in the Metaverse?

The truth is that nobody knows, but the virtual market is expected to continue to grow and develop.

Whatever the future holds, there is still a place for ‘real’ real estate and still scope to make that more efficient and valuable. This is the focus for us here at Retransform through our real world PropTech solutions such as Rebot, 4see, Valere and Secure – plus our business managed services delivered by real people.

Want to improve your real world assets? Get in touch at today!