In this new type of land ownership, real estate professionals will have to consider changing or adapting the way they sell or market real estate. Here, three pros share their insights and predict what’s next.

Metaverse real estate sales top $500 million today and are projected to double in 2022. As a non-fungible token (NFT), virtual real estate is a digital asset that can be bought, sold, rented and built on with both virtual and augmented reality experiences.

These VR/AR experiences allow individuals or businesses to bring in revenue on these digital assets in a multitude of ways. But local real estate professionals are still struggling with exactly how and which method to use.

Just as with traditional real estate, location is everything, the economy surrounding a piece of land is important, and how the land can be used to provide the best return for your money is key.

Unlike traditional land, virtual real estate NFTs have the ability to offer unlimited layers of income potential in all directions including: virtual landlord, advertising, e-commerce, shared revenue, pay per experience, physical land purchase access, community membership access, event access and so much more.

In this new type of land ownership, real estate professionals will have to consider changing or adapting the way they sell or market real estate. In the National Association of Realtors 2021 Technology Survey, 30 percent of respondents listed virtual reality as one of the emerging technologies to be used in the next 24 months in their business.

Key terms:

  • Metaverse: A shared virtual world that is accessed through virtual reality headsets, augmented reality-enabled wearables, phones or computers.
  • Digital real estate: A subset of digital assets, intangible land that exists in virtual worlds and just like physical land is sold as plots (identified as a virtual land NFT).
  • Token: Represents a single piece of virtual land, a non-fungible token that can be built on top of with virtual or augmented reality experiences.

3 real estate professionals share their vision

In 2022 and beyond, investing in virtual land in a metaverse won’t just be a trend, it will become a competitive advantage for both the real estate professional and the investor.  That means becoming more knowledgeable on the topic, the projects, the utility and the ability to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds with real estate NFTs.

We tracked down a few agents who are not only excited about what the future holds, but who are also invested heavily in this shift and were willing to share their thoughts on how the metaverse and virtual land ownership, sales and rentals are already changing their perspective on the future of their business.

‘The metaverse is only going to help sell physical real estate’

Tony Rodriguez -Tellaheche Prestige Realty Group

Where do you see the metaverse (specifically virtual land NFTs) integrating into your physical real estate business?
With the use of augmented and virtual reality on the rise as a result of increased interest in the metaverse, I see the gap between digital and physical real estate merging more and more, especially when it comes to designing and building new construction projects.

The metaverse is only going to help sell physical real estate as the integration of augmented reality and virtual reality technology will make the selling process smoother with the use of virtual walkthroughs to visualize the design of a homes.

Do you see virtual land in the metaverse becoming a regular part of your physical real estate business marketing plan?

I absolutely see virtual land in the metaverse being integrated more and more into my business marketing plan. It’s similar to how we integrated social media platforms into marketing plans for selling properties; now this new next step is leveraging the metaverse and virtual tools to promote selling physical real estate.

Do you see yourself holding client events in the metaverse now or in the future? 

I definitely plan on holding client events in the metaverse in the future, especially in the KEYS metaverse, which is currently under construction. Once the KEYS metaverse is created later this year, after they mint a collection of 8,888 meta mansions on March 18, there are endless opportunities for client events in this space, from engaging different architects, entertainers and much more.

Hosting events in the metaverse is just another way to connect with clients and establish long-standing relationships, just as you would in an in-person setting.

Do you have a specific project you are leaning more toward using?

I have partnered with the $KEYS Token as one of the exclusive luxury real estate brokers for its Meta Mansions NFTs, the first product in the $KEYS blockchain ecosystem. This collection is comprised of 8,888 realistic, 3-D rendered digital homes that will be exclusively available to individuals who are KEYS Token holders.

$KEYS Token acts as an entry point for people all over the world to unite and transcend traditions that are basically impossible in the real world. I am very excited to partner with them because I was intrigued by how blockchain technology can change the way we transact with more speed and transparency while reducing costs and friction.

What challenges do you see coming with traditional real estate that virtual real estate will solve? 

When it comes to virtual real estate, there are no limitations like those in physical real estate, such as building costs, budgets or even gravity, so these challenges can essentially be eliminated. Technical design that may not be feasible for physical properties can be executed with digital real estate; the sky’s the limit for architects and designers working in the digital space.

What innovations are you exploring with virtual real estate / metaverse that will possibly change the direction of your business?

I believe NFTs will change the direction of the way real estate is transacted in the future and in fact, it is already happening. Real estate transactions 10 years from now will look very different than today considering how the metaverse and NFTs are still very new, yet are having a significant impact on the industry at large and my personal business. It’s exciting to think about where the future of the real estate industry will go once NFTs and the metaverse are widely adopted.

‘Opportunity to add value beyond existing systems’

Avery Babb, real estate broker, International Realty Firm

Where do you see the metaverse (specifically virtual land NFTs) integrating into your physical real estate business?

Great question. As a commercial broker, there are many, very compelling use cases.  The OVR (Over the Reality) metaverse, as an example, allows a developer of physical real estate to purchase the digital OVR layer for a site and utilize that space to view aspects of the development in real-time or the spatial web address could be a metaverse sales office furnished with interactive floor plans and experiences for potential end users.

I see myself as a developer for the most part. However, I suspect that as the metaverse develops and more use cases become apparent, I may shift to lease my virtual lands. I also see a percentage of my portfolio will be to buy and flip for profit.

Do you see virtual land in the metaverse becoming a regular part of your physical real estate business marketing plan?

Yes, this is an exciting opportunity to add value beyond existing systems and further engage our respective client base. Besides, it’s fun to innovate and have fun.

Do you see yourself holding client events in the metaverse now or in the future?

Definitely! We live in a digital era that affords us a host of solutions to many common analog challenges. For example, the metaverse allows for us in a fun way to engage each other across traditional boundaries, such as countries and languages.

Imagine extending the option of a metaverse meeting to your client on vacation halfway around the world and being able to interact with his life-like digital avatar. Or having the client of a pre-construction condominium be able to walk through a 3D model of their floor plan as if in the finished physical unit. Very exciting!

Do you have a specific project you are leaning more toward using?

Yes, at the present I see a very strong use case for the OVR platform and believe that augmented reality (AR) will play a significant role in the metaverse.

What challenges do you see coming with traditional real estate that virtual real estate will solve? 

The web2 metaverse, also known as the internet, was revolutionary and afforded innovation to our industry, while the web3 metaverse is just coming into existence. As adoption increases, the web3 metaverse will offer a level of engagement to the real estate industry and many sectors by disrupting the linear approach and eliminating the stop-gaps during information exchange.

Although it will take some time to see traction and full adoption, the metaverse provides digital solutions to analog challenges. Imagine a digital personalized artificial intelligence assistant scheduling your appointments or doing a showing on your listing in a digital copy of a property and explaining its features and benefits and that of the surrounding community to the buyer agent and clients.

From an immersive, interactive experience with avatars within a metaverse office, while the client is on vacation in Europe to viewing various properties with your client from your office metaverse hub, the sky is the limit from commerce to networking.

What innovations are you exploring with virtual real estate / metaverse that will possibly change the direction of your business?

There are so many opportunities. I’m very keen on the prospects of augmented reality and how it can be leveraged in the metaverse office setting to add value to the agent and client experience.

‘We plan on building space in the metaverse to host events’

Stephen Ortiz, real estate agent, Indie Realty Group

Where do you see the metaverse (specifically virtual land NFTs) integrating into your physical real estate business?

I see virtual land integrating with our business through the use of real estate NFTs and the utility that will come with that in various ways. One of the many examples of this is the Fly Fish Club, the world’s first NFT restaurant. In this example, a non-fungible token is purchased to gain access to the physical restaurant as well as culinary and social experiences inside the New York City restaurant.

This same experience could be used for entrance to a real estate property auction at registration time. Right now, I consider myself an investor in virtual land in the metaverse looking to build something on it and use it for myself and my business.

Do you see yourself holding client events in the metaverse now or in the future? 

Yes, we plan on building space in the metaverse to host web3 awareness events and to share the benefits of operating in this space to other agents in and outside our organization.

What challenges do you see coming with traditional real estate that virtual real estate will solve? 

I see the interest rates skyrocketing and the lending institutions tightening up their lending guidelines, thus making it harder to close deals. Virtual real estate will make it easier to close on deals.

What innovations are you exploring with virtual real estate / metaverse that will possibly change the direction of your business?

I am exploring the use of NFTs and various utilities within my own real estate listings.

For more information check out my video interview with Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche and The Meta Mansions By Keys Metaverse.

Cheryl Spangler is an associate broker with eXp Realty LLC and YouTube influencer on virtual land in the metaverse, on the podcast “Good Side of Crypto.” You can follow her on YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.

realtors | technology
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