First came real-world real estate, then virtual real estate. Now, an even newer category is attempting to combine the two.
One Sotheby’s International Realty is working to bridge the gap, designing a mansion with Voxel Architects that will exist in the brick and mortar of reality as well as the ones and zeros of the metaverse.
“We believe that the metaverse is the next evolution of social connection and will play a role in the future of real estate in one way or another,” One Sotheby’s President Daniel de la Vega said in a recent Forbes article. “Selling a real-world mansion through the metaverse is something no one has done before, and we feel this concept will create a very unique customer experience.”
Construction on the Miami mansion is set for completion by the end of 2022. A virtual version of the mansion will also live in The Sandbox, one of several blockchain-fueled metaverses that have been gaining in popularity in recent months.
In these online metaverses, users can buy and sell virtual plots of land, with some going for millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency.
This virtual land is sold as a non-fungible token — a unique marker that represents the digital asset. The buyer of the virtual mansion’s unique token — or NFT — will also come to own the physical mansion in Miami.
The physical home will be an 11,000-square-foot residence with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms in “one of the city’s most prestigious neighborhoods,” according to the Forbes report.
The virtual mansion will be a close replica of the real-life version. The plan is for both to be auctioned off together sometime this year. Michael Martinez of One Sotheby’s will be the sales agent for the transaction.
After this project is completed, the Florida brokerage might not be done either.
One Sotheby’s and a company named Meta Residence have obtained more than 40 acres worth of virtual land for future projects, Forbes reports. They’re considering using this virtual land for commercial, marketing and gaming projects.
Meta Residence founder Gabe Sierra believes this type of transaction will become more commonplace in the future.
“In the future, we think it will be commonplace to have a metaverse extension of your home,” Sierra told Forbes. “As experiences become more and more immersive, the lines will continue to blend until reality and the metaverse are nearly indistinguishable. Over the next several years, you will see NFT technology used more and more to transact real world assets.”
This isn’t the first virtual real estate transaction, but it claims to be the first with a real-world component.
In previous deals, buyers have forked over multimillion-dollar amounts of cryptocurrency for entirely virtual plots of land — with no accompanying real-world asset.
While this remains a relatively young category of transaction, other prominent agents have been staking out projects within these metaverses, including Tal Alexander and Oren Alexander of Douglas Elliman.