A lot of people are still confused about what the metaverse is, and even more confused about what it’s going to be. Despite the initial rush to buy up metaverse property, there’s no doubt that the buzz has cooled off among many industries. Why? The short answer is that there’s no utility attached to NFTs; The world is still figuring out the best purpose for them, the smartest ways to profit from them, and how they truly move the needle (if at all) when it comes to enhancing user experience and driving sales for brands. Many industries are finding that virtual ownership simply isn’t bringing any ROI.
Look at it this way: Does Gucci need a store in the metaverse? What does it do for the company’s bottom line? Maybe not much, and that’s why the “gold rush” we saw from companies when the metaverse first launched has screeched to a halt. Do consumers really want to come in to a physical boutique and put on some Oculus goggles in order to have a VR shopping experience? I’m sure some do! But most probably just want to feel the fabric, try on the clothes, and walk around in some actual, physical shoes—and VR, while fun, isn’t necessary for that. In fact, it just creates another step (or barrier, depending on how you look at it) between the customer and the purchase. Using tech should make things easier, not more complicated. There are still a lot of kinks to iron out before the metaverse integration becomes truly worthwhile and seamless. But here’s the good news: Where other industries are still struggling to find the best use for the metaverse, real estate has a clear and immediate payoff from it.
Remember when I said that using tech should make things easier? In this case, it does: Having a client put on a pair of Oculus goggles to tour several homes in an hour, or to do a walk-through of a property that’s 10,000 miles away? Now that’s making things easier. That’s a clear utility we can measure. The metaverse has the potential to bring a listing or even an entire city to a buyer vs. bringing a buyer to a listing. VR saves clients time, expands how much you as an agent can show them, and in many cases makes the need for train rides, drives, and flights obsolete. Whenever technology makes a process more efficient, it’s worth implementing.
So, should you consider getting your agency (or yourself) involved in the metaverse? I say Yes. Selling real estate virtually is still relatively new, and selling real estate using virtual reality is even newer, but the metaverse offers a clear utility in our field. It would be wise of agents to take it seriously and start getting involved now—after all, who knows what the future will bring?