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Author Image Robbie King

Robbie King

Jan 20 2023

Commercial Real Estate and the Metaverse

Office blocks at night
Categories: Metaverse real estate, Commercial real estate.
For years, businesses have had use for commercial real estate in the Metaverse. They just didn’t know it. As the 21st century blossomed, so did “digital” real estate; businesses were able to engage new customers via their websites, without the limitations of physical location, store capacity, opening hours, etc.
But online commerce, by and large, still couldn’t offer the same kind of consumer experience that face-to-face, brick-and-mortar commerce could. And in an ideal world, any business would’ve loved to create a hybrid customer experience. One with the convenience of online but with the richness of face-to-face. Today it’s looking like that’s not such an impossible task, and in the following blog, we’ll outline the many ways in which commercial
real estate in the Metaverse
could be a gift to a business’s bottom line.


Retail space

Four metaverse avatars looking happy
Image Source: Rec Room

In the Metaverse, consumers can try on virtual clothes, interact with digital replicas, and in theory, take part in a similar group shopping experience to real life. Outfits could be bought for a user’s avatar and/or have the real-life version shipped to them. Brands are already jumping on this opportunity with things like
metaverse fashion week
.
Plus, as we’ll cover in more detail below, metaverse activity can aid physical commerce by recording buyer habits. Things like stock and store space allocation can be guided by metaverse data.


Supporting physical real estate

Owners and prospective investors can look at human behavior in the virtual world and let it guide their decisions in the physical world. For example, different virtual office layouts could be experimented with, testing for what’s most ergonomic before building a physical version. This leads us to the topic of
digital twinning
: essentially the process of creating a digital clone.
While the Metaverse isn’t strictly required for digital twinning, it does make it more accessible since people are already in a virtual world and have avatars that can interact with it, etc.
Digital twins could be created for everything. From retail stores to entire office blocks. They allow developers to create a lifelike, digital sandbox. Here they can experiment and optimize everything from security to customer experience without wasting too much time or money. They’re also great for offering digital tours of a building/product to prospective buyers considering the real-life version.


Ad space

Where there are people, there will be ads. The web certainly proved that. The Metaverse will be no different. High-traffic land will foster high-value advertising space. There are already dedicated
metaverse billboard
businesses.
Plus, billboards in the Metaverse have the potential to be a little smarter than their real-world equivalent. This will of course be metaverse platform-dependent, but owners could, in theory, track user interactions such as how long they’re viewed for. Or even gather data on who’s viewing them. All are well beyond the capabilities of your average billboard on the high street.


Event space

Concerts and other large gatherings can be both a logistical nightmare and a health and safety issue. With events in the Metaverse, venue owners and promoters have one less thing to worry about. They could even make the capacity uncapped if they wish.
There will also be more scope for creativity. Events like the
Travis Scott concert
in Fortnite prove that what an event might lack in “reality” can be made up for in out-of-this-world showmanship. The customizability of the Metaverse could be a key factor here too. For example, you could attend a
metaverse gym
class but with a slightly more flattering avatar if you’re feeling self-conscious.


Office space

Right now we have a conflict between employees that want flexibility via remote work and some employers that need their physical office presence. The Metaverse could be the missing piece of the remote work puzzle by allowing the best of both.
If we manage to seamlessly integrate remote metaverse workers with office workers, either via AR or VR, then we have a win-win situation. Ideally, this would allow remote employees to have their metaverse water cooler moments and culture building, all from the comfort of their own home. There are also many operations, compromised somewhat by remote work, that the Metaverse could brighten up. Onboarding and training being top of the list.


Education

The internet has already
democratized education
. The Metaverse has the potential to be the next phase of this. For those that miss the classroom atmosphere, it can re-create that, and introduce other, more
immersive learning
practices.
The Metaverse can also open up more disciplines to remote/hybrid learning. For example, hands-on, physical disciplines would’ve previously been confined to in-person workshops. But with digital twins, a physical product design class could, in theory, conduct more or even all of their education remotely.


The land can be leased

Even if none of the business ventures mentioned above are part of your world, you can still profit from commercial real estate in the Metaverse as a landlord. If the metaverse real estate you own is big enough, well located enough, already has certain features built on it, etc. then there could be plenty of demand from other entrepreneurs. It won’t have the maintenance costs of physical real estate so it could be a great source of passive income.


Final thoughts

We’re looking at a fair few unknowns with regard to commercial real estate. Things like VR/AR headset quality, and how Meta and other big companies’ metaverse plans pan out will determine exactly where commercial real estate in the Metaverse goes.
Considering the possibilities outlined above, the Metaverse has too many good ideas to be ignored. And whichever way those ideas come to fruition, it’s VerseProp’s goal to make sure you capitalize on them before anybody else.
Our platform, launching in Q1 this year, is designed to be your number-one tool for metaverse real estate sales and leasing. And with our advisory platform, also launching in Q1 of 2023, we hope to make your decisions as well-informed as possible. Contact us at social@verseprop.com if you have any questions. And if you haven’t already, click below to sign up to our mailing list. That way you’ll be the first to hear about our launch dates, as well as receive our latest educational content delivered straight to your inbox.