You’ve undoubtedly been hearing a lot about the metaverse, especially since Facebook rebranded as Meta in October 2021. In this blog post, we’re talking all things metaverse and real estate and answering your questions about this exciting but unfamiliar technology.
In the simplest terms, the metaverse is a digital environment that’s like the physical environment we live in now. It will most likely be a place you can explore just like our current universe: you’ll be able to meet friends at your favorite hangout spot, go “traveling,” shop, look at art, go to concerts, and more.
In more complicated terms, what the metaverse really is hasn’t been defined yet. According to Wired magazine, talking about the metaverse today is be like discussing what the “internet” was in the 1970s when the building blocks for a new form of communication were being built, but no one really knew what that form of communication would look like in reality. The same is true of the metaverse.
What space will it occupy? Where will it be stored? Who will control it? These are all questions we don’t have answers to yet. So, stay tuned!
The building blocks of the metaverse are evolving and maturing. As technology advances, so too will these building blocks’ applications and usability in the metaverse, and new technologies will emerge.
The existing building blocks include:
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated 3D environment users can explore and interact with. They usually interact with VR by using wearable technology, like a headset and headphones, that provides an immersive VR experience. They can also use controllers to help manipulate the environment they’re exploring.
The most common VR applications currently relate to video games, but the technology is finding applications in all sorts of industries where exploring a virtual environment could be useful, from virtual school field trips at world-famous museums to applications that allow architects to “see” the inside of a building they’ve designed before it’s even been built.
In contrast to the immersive world that is VR, augmented reality (AR) brings aspects of the digital world into the physical one. It might allow you to see something that isn’t really there or provide extra information about something you actually can see. The viral game Pokémon Go is a popular example, while other new applications include using an app to see how a piece of furniture might look in your home or testing makeup on your face without going to the store.
Experts are predicting transactions in the metaverse will be conducted using cryptocurrency. You’ve probably already heard of the most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum. Perhaps you’ve even purchased some. Cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies (they aren’t tied to physical assets, like gold) that exist on the blockchain, a distributed ledger technology. They’re not maintained or controlled by central authorities like governments or banks.
The short answer is…we’re still figuring it out!
Megan Thee Stallion, one of the most popular musical artists today, recently announced an entirely virtual concert tour, which suggests there is a future (and big market) for entertainment in the metaverse.
Millions of people already gather in virtual spaces to play games like Fortnite. Companies and investors are betting that consumers will be spending a lot of time in the metaverse one day, and they’re starting to stake their claim. In 2021, an individual famously paid $650,000 for a virtual yacht.
Does this mean that consumers might one day buy houses in the metaverse? Maybe. There are already companies promising to sell or lease virtual real estate, and one digital parcel in Decentraland already sold for $2.5 million. To be continued!
Do you need to start making plans to open your own virtual brokerage in the metaverse?
Not just yet. When you do, you can count on us to let you know. Experts agree that what we will all eventually know and recognize as “the metaverse” is still many years and billions of dollars of investment away. So, for now, you can rest easy.
Even though you don’t need to take action right now, you might be thinking what some of the applications of the metaverse might be for real estate. Let’s let our imagination run wild and explore some possibilities together:
During the pandemic, virtual tours took over to keep consumers and agents safe.
But picture, one day, visiting a digital twin of a property you’d like to buy. You can walk around it exactly like you would if you were there, but in a virtual space. You can redecorate it in just a few clicks with renderings of your actual furniture to see how it’ll look. You can put a virtual addition on it to see what it would look like. All from your agent’s office (or your own VR suite at home).
This could be particularly useful in the luxury market, not only because high net worth individuals might be likelier to be early adopters of the technology, but they’re often touring homes thousands of miles away from where they call home.
Imagine meeting with your loan officer, title company, notary, attorney, and any other stakeholders involved in your transaction in a virtual meeting room in the metaverse to complete all closing formalities in a virtual space? You could legally sign all closing documents, meet with all the parties involved, and complete the transaction from anywhere.
Visualize having glasses you could wear that would show you which homes are for sale in a given neighborhood and display key information about them? Some apps are already providing features like this, and more are on the way. AR will make it even easier for homebuyers to find the information they need when they need it to find the right property to put an offer on.
There’s no question: the technologies powering the metaverse will also revolutionize real estate. Constellation1 is the source for real estate technology. We gather intelligence on a continuous basis to make sure we stay up on all the latest developments and advances in real estate technology.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to our front and back office experts for all of your brokerage technology needs. We’re here to help you find the perfect solutions to take your business to the next level.