Metavers: which realities for the real estate sector? Hervé Parent, real estate business accelerator

Metavers is presented as the next digital revolution that will impact our lives. Is this a real topic for real estate professionals?

Metavers is written in the plural!

For Wikipedia, a metaverse is a virtual world in which spaces are accessible via a headset or screen. This term is also regularly used to describe a future version of the Internet. Another definition conceives the metaverse as the set of virtual worlds connected to the Internet and perceived in augmented reality. These metaverses can be social networks, video games, commercial platforms, corporate networks or even video conferences. People are represented by avatars.

Many metaverses have been developed since Mark Zuckerberg announced in October 2021 that Facebook would devote a large part of its activity to developing a metaverse, called “Horizon Worlds”. For his part, Microsoft has launched Mesh for Teams, a solution that allows you to appear as an avatar in Teams and which also gives you the possibility to meet in a dedicated virtual space. More specifically with regard to real estate, two metaverses, Decentraland and Sandbox, have enabled 16,000 sales equal to $229 million of virtual properties in just a few months. In addition to these majors, dozens of metaverse projects have launched in the past year.

Two views of real estate on the metaverses are possible. The first vision is that of the investor who buys a virtual property on one of the platforms that allow it.

The second is that of the real estate agent who will use a metaverse to market real estate, as he already does on an classifieds site or on a social network.

Several metaverses are presented as cities within which land can be acquired and a building constructed. Some brands, especially luxury or sportswear brands, have taken the plunge, either to protect their brand by preventing a pirate from getting ahead of them, or to sell their products. Thus, we will see avatars dressed in Gucci or wearing Nike. The excitement created by the metaverse launch spawned a first wave of virtual real estate purchases.

On this emerging market appear real estate agencies such as Metaverse Immobilier which is “a (Swiss) consultancy firm that supports its clients in the purchase, sale and rental of properties in the various metaverses, mainly on Decentraland and The Sandbox”: metaverse-immobilier . tech. Tiliaverse, an American agency, is also a good example of a meta real estate agency.

The idea is simple: the metaverses will make it possible to present an avatar or a digital twin of the property for sale in its environment, in its neighborhood, all in a virtual form in which the client will have become accustomed to evolving, even to living exclusively .

But until then, one can simply use a metaverse to show a 3D representation of an asset. The most important project is Versity, the real estate metaverse of Agences de Papa.

It will be operational in a year, but a visit to the site already allows you to understand the concept.

The first questions came quickly from the experts underlining that a global metaverse, the famous web 3.0, requires a technical and software infrastructure that does not yet exist and that we will not be able to implement for several decades.

Then the meta real estate bubble burst, and on Decentraland and Sandbox, there was a 97% drop in real estate transactions, as well as an 80% drop in the average land price. At the same time, cryptocurrencies – where transactions are made in the metaverses – have seen their prices plummet.

But the most disturbing thing was published by the newspaper Les Echos, which reports that Horizon Worlds, the metaverse of Mark Zuckerberg, suffers from quality problems and worse, the development teams do not use it. In fact, the former Facebook metaverse is not convincing and its audience is extremely low with only 300,000 users, mainly located in the United States. Worrying, when you know that Meta claims to have invested 13 billion dollars in the development of his metaverse of him …

Finally, there seems to be a gap between the communication that claims that the metaverse exists and that we will all live in it tomorrow and the reality of an interesting innovation, which however remains at the stage of an invention to be developed and then released. It will be adopted first by a geek audience then, perhaps later, by the greater number.

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