How does real estate work in The Metaverse?

by | May 11, 2023 | Featured, Real Estate, Technology

People are constantly building their presence in the digital space, but the COVID-19 outbreak fast-tracked this movement. Students attended online classes, employees collaborated through virtual meetings, and friends hung out in chat rooms. In a modern world, this seems to be the peak of living online — that is until the metaverse came into the picture.

One can describe the metaverse as an iteration of the internet wherein humans can enhance their life experiences. It could also be defined as a platform that seeks to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds using virtual and augmented reality.

Either way, it’s a promising idea and a growing number of people are starting to live it. How? Well, it all boils down to acquiring a property in the metaverse. This aspect raises another question: How does one get real estate on the platform?

This article aims to answer that question as it discusses how real estate works in the metaverse — from determining the right metaverse platform to closing the deal.


The Process of Purchasing Metaverse Property

Buying real estate in the metaverse is similar to acquiring property in the real world. You’ll have to find the location that you want before paying for it. The glaring difference is that this would-be property of yours only exists in the digital world. Here’s a quick rundown of how real estate works in the metaverse.


1. Choose Your Metaverse Platform

Location is important to acquiring digital properties as it is to purchase real estate in the physical world. So, if you’re looking to buy digital properties as a form of investment or achieve your long- andshort-term financial goals,ensure that the platform you choose has the potential to deliver significant interest.

You can look to the so-called Big Four — Sandbox, Decentraland, Somnium Space, and Cryptovoxels — of the metaverse real estate industry to start your search for the right platform. These platforms collectively own a total of 268,645 parcels which are considered some of the most expensive parcels in the market.

Owning about 62% of the market, Sandbox is currently the top dog of the virtual real estate industry. It has over 160,000 LANDs and more than 165 partnerships including big-ticket names like Adidas, Playboy, Warner Music Group, Atari, and Snoop Dogg.

In Sandbox, you can freely customize your digital assets as well as build and monetize your gaming experiences — which you can then convert and sell as NFTs.
Second to Sandbox is the Decentraland Metaverse, an Ethereum-based blockchain launched in 2020. It has more than 90,000 plots of land where users can build scenes and 3D elements such as cinemas, offices, malls, and other entertainment establishments.

Coming in third as the most popular metaverse platform is Cryptovoxels. Its environment is similar to Minecraft where you can customize your lands using monochrome blocks. As of May 2022, and it’s expected to grow to 70,000.

The last of the Big Four is Somnium Space, a metaverse platform built entirely by its players. It’s one of the most accessible platforms out there as it allows users to join through a downloadable VR client on mobile and a browser-based version for desktop.

There are over 5,000 parcels available on Somnium Space, which you can purchase using the platform’s decentralized currency CUBE. Aside from building your own space, Somnium Space also allows you to import objects like avatars and monetize your digital assets.


2. Understand the Currency

Unlike properties in the physical world, real estate in the digital space is acquired using cryptocurrency. That means you must have a digital crypto wallet before starting your digital land purchase.

The token buyers use to purchase property in the metaverse depends on the platform they want to buy from.

Ethereum (ETH) is the most popular cryptocurrency used to purchase a virtual property. You can use it to buy digital plots of land in major metaverse platforms like Decentraland and Somnium Space.

Decentaland also uses MANA as a means to purchase land, gain entry to virtual events, acquire digital assets, and more.

If you’re looking to be one of the big leagues in the Sandbox metaverse, you would need a significant amount of its native utility token — SAND. You can also use NFTs to make a land purchase in this metaverse platform.

Other known cryptocurrencies traded to acquire virtual properties are $COLR tokens (for the Cryptovoxels world), AXS (a type of Ethereum token used in the blockchain-based game Axie Infinity), and GALA (a cryptocurrency used in the Gala Games ecosystem and for purchasing digital assets like NFTs).


3. Pick Your Parcel

Now that you’re familiar with different metaverse platforms and the currencies used for each of them, you can now choose which parcel/s of land you want to buy.

Consider your purpose for purchasing a parcel. Do you want to use that space to put up an advertisement for your business? Then you should look for areas that are poised for development.

The same consideration goes if you want to interact with brands and other metaverse users since places with development potential are where people will naturally congregate to.

Other things to keep in mind are the price, size, and resources surrounding the parcel you want to purchase. You can also hire a virtual real estate agent to help you find the right metaverse plot for your needs.

Once you’ve chosen the plot you like in the metaverse of your choosing and have sufficient funds in your crypto wallet, confirm your order in the metaverse’s marketplace or a third-party site.

You will then receive a unique piece of blockchain code as proof of ownership for your digital property.


A Word of Caution

Technological advancements are pushing the boundaries of the property market. It’s especially palpable in how virtual and augmented reality trends in real estate are modernizing the industry and presenting it with new growth opportunities.

However, investors and other interested parties should maintain a healthy amount of skepticism for this new frontier. Its novelty is still riddled with uncertainties and risks that, if taken lightly, may cost you your investments and dwindle potential benefits.

Ensure that you’ve done thorough research before investing in metaverse real estate. Part of that study should include the risks that come with it in contrast to the profits you can attain.

Bash Sarmiento

Bash Sarmiento

Guest Author

Bash Sarmiento Writing