by Kalin Bracken*
Since 1969, when the US Department of Defense’s ARPAnet delivered the first message from one computer to another, the internet has evolved at lightening speed. Initially it was a place where we could primarily consume content. It consisted of static read-only webpages linked to other static read-only webpages by hyperlinks. For the first time, it let us send and receive emails, but that was about as interactive as it got. Following quickly on the heels of Web 1.0, was Web 2.0, where webpages became much more dynamic and interactive, content could be created by users and social media platforms were born.
Web 3.0 is the latest incarnation of the internet. Often using blockchain technology, it aims to create more decentralized and interoperable digital experiences. Web 3.0 promotes multichannel access to the internet notably with virtual and augmented spaces. It opens up a whole host of innovative new ways in which people can communicate virtually and selling will play a key part in this.
The metaverse real estate market has been in development for years. Some of the world’s largest businesses and retailers are already buying land and building a virtual property. These early adopters snapping up virtual properties are keen to put down foundations in the metaverse in a rush to beat their competitors.
Here, Mark E. Rose, Chairman and CEO of global commercial real estate company Avison Young, explains why property buying in the metaverse is the latest market to open up for the real estate industry and myriad other companies looking to enhance their virtual footprint.
Below are several key points on real estate in the metaverse that Rose discusses. The transcript has been edited for clarity.
Metaverse real estate
"Metaverse real estate is one of the most exciting things that we’ve been dealing with for some time. It’s real estate that is virtual, where parcels of land are sold. And, it’s less new than you think. People have been working on it and building whole worlds for a very long time."
’The value is in the experience’
"The power of the Metaverse is going to be what users who are in the metaverse do. Some of the world’s top retailers, entertainers and businesses will create incredible activities on metaverse real estate, and it’s all locked into the blockchain for perpetuity."
’This is not going away’
"If you are in a fierce, competitive retail environment and you are in a physical showroom space and you’re on the internet, but you’re not using the metaverse, you’re missing one of the clear channels for selling products. I believe that you absolutely need to be there today. Look at what happened with Gucci on the metaverse. They sold a virtual bag for more than the price of a physical bag in the real world. This is not going away."
’Applications of the metaverse’
"While digital twin technology is not unique to Web 3.0 or the metaverse, it can be run and applied in a virtual setting to help connect with users in a more interactive way.
"You will see the use of digital twins to show spaces and to see how buildings can make an impact on sustainability and, using modelling and algorithms, see how those buildings will operate in the real world."
*Lead, Real Estate, World Economic Forum
**first published in: Weforum.org