Virtual worlds have become part of several industries, including healthcare, knowledge work, and aircraft maintenance. If you've neglected the potential power of the digital world, that could hold your business back. Ignore these new marketing tools at your peril.
Virtual reality (VR) technology continues its steady movement into more and more areas of life. Associated with stunning visual experiences and multi-sensory tactile effects, VR platforms have earned notoriety for their flexibility and complexity.
Virtual real estate has been part of the landscape for longer than some realtors know but has grown in sophistication in recent years. This technology could become a crucial part of marketing for realtors, if well-explored.
If you're ready to start exploring the real estate metaverse, keep reading. We'll look at how real estate professionals can put VR to work for them.
What Is Virtual Real Estate?
When talking about virtual real estate, people often blur together two distinct concepts. The first deals with the ownership of digital goods, such as NFTs and properties in online games like Second Life, Final Fantasy XIV, and World of Warcraft. The second has more to do with visualizing homes and commercial spaces before building them or showing off the benefits of an existing property.
This article discusses both but focuses on the latter. The former has a major role to play in the future of commerce too, but other articles cover this sense of virtual real estate in more detail.
Why Has It Taken Off?
Both types of virtual real estate have a long and storied history. This boom has been a long time in the making.
Even before VR technology reached its peak, multiplayer online games got such a reputation for quality virtual housing that they started earning awards for it. People would put down real money to have their characters have a house they liked.
Likewise, virtual tours and walkthroughs of real or imagined buildings have a history outside of gaming. In 1994, England's Dudley Castle had an exhibit that allowed people to move through the castle as if it were 1550.
While these technologies have had a long time to mature, the COVID-19 pandemic further encouraged their development. Limiting contact with buyers meant finding new ways to satisfy their curiosity. The virtual tour, then, fills a visual real estate void left by the pandemic.
At the same time, blockchain technologies like NFTs have made the process of trading digital goods clearer. Blockchain registers provide an immediate answer as to whether those involved own the goods they offer. The creation of NFTs has also highlighted the potential for ownership of digital things in general.
VR Walkthroughs as Marketing Tools
Walking through a home without having to get in a car or even put one foot in front of the other has a strong appeal. People want to know more about their new homes. They don't always want to leave their current ones to get that data.
During a VR walkthrough, customers can move through a simulated replica of the home or apartment. A realtor or other professional can attend the same walkthrough and answer questions as they arise.
Even a simple virtual tour consisting of 360 photos and basic interactivity can help market a property. Customers stay on pages with even the simplest online tour component several times longer than a less interactive gallery.
VR Tours For Developers and Property Managers
Say your building hasn't been finished yet. Maybe you're putting up a building that might attract a lot of international tenants. Some of those tenants might have specific questions that might otherwise wait until construction finishes.
For developers and property managers, a VR walkthrough can help them get ahead of these things without a lot of fuss. Questions like "How roomy is the convention hall?" get easier to answer with a simulated walkthrough. Likewise, you can show off spaces to potential tenants around the world.
Metaverse Real Estate
In online environments, properties can have worth the same way they do in real ones. People use these spaces to live, play, and work. Realtors can get involved and use all the same skills they do in real life.
Though digital assets could theoretically be duplicated as many times as desired, some maintain scarcity. Blockchain systems, NFTs, and other models allow online home designers to maintain control over how many times their goods get duplicated. An agent can deal with these transactions the same as with physical goods.
Digital venues have similar value propositions to real ones as well. Savvy marketers can use these to host virtual concerts or digital conventions. Product launches can occur entirely in the digital space.
Getting Started in Metaverse Real Estate
Getting started in the world of Metaverse real estate comes down to research. The model eliminates the need for many of the middlemen often seen in physical real estate.
The primary value an agent can add comes from knowledge. If you know a specific platform like Decentraland or Second Life intimately, you can pass the value of that knowledge on to others, and people will pay for that skill.
Stake Your Claim
If you're looking for marketing tools or new assets to broaden your horizons, virtual real estate can play a major role in the future trajectory of your business. As an agent, you can remove some of the middlemen you're used to dealing with in virtual real estate or reach more buyers with virtual tours.
We'd love to work with you on this every step of the way. Feel free to reach out if you've got ideas on where to go with your digital presence.