Tech cos, real estate developers eye increased interest for virtual property from buyers on metaverse

New Delhi: Technology companies and real estate developers expect an increase in interest among Indians for buying virtual property on the metaverse platform. Some companies have already planned virtual cities and an announcement by singer Daler Mehndi regarding buying virtual land created buzz among investors as well said industry executives.

“This is something which will continue to attract interest. While anyone can create a platform and sell virtual land, the value will depend on how good the virtual world is,” said Ashish Agarwal, co-founder, Lepasa, which is creating virtual cities.

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The company plans to create 15-20 different cities over 416 sq km, with each city having a different theme.

“The land on the metaverse can also be used by brands to build experience centres and retail space to showcase products. People, instead of downloading different games, can play all the games on the metaverse. This will increase the value of virtual land,” said Alok Joshi, co-founder, Lepasa.

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The metaverse is a relatively new concept in real estate technology, after concepts such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

“Digital land trading and investing in virtual real estate is throbbing in numbers as millions of investors are open to the concept of the metaverse. Many real estate investors are seeing it as the next prominent step towards the adoption of digitisation in the real estate sector after virtual site tours, online bookings and chatbots,” said Nayan Raheja, director, Raheja Developers.

The companies building virtual worlds divide it into smaller plots that are bought as non-fungible tokens (NFT). Some companies are also helping buyers with a registry that cannot be edited so that no one else can claim that plot.

Alakananda Menon, programme chairperson, MBA Real Estate Management, NMIMS, School of Business Management, said the concept of virtual real estate on metaverse is great.

“However, it would be dictated by the developers in the metaverse. Just like in physical real estate, the asset value increases if the nearby infrastructure is great. Similarly in the virtual space, software developers would control the space by creating renderings and metaverse assets that would attract people or investors onto the platform,” said Menon.

To increase the value of the virtual land, many developers might try to get big brands to join the city and showcase their products. It is like the real estate of a metro city, where the value of a property increases if it is centrally located and near a big infrastructure project.

Experts said digital real estate looks promising and that those who have invested in cryptocurrency will definitely invest in virtual land.

“There surely is a growing demand for escapism from reality and real estate in the metaverse perfectly fits in. Technology can always play a vital role in smoothing the overall transaction cycle and keeping the concerns of customers in the centre. It can never replace the very fundamental idea of home,” said Ankit Kansal, managing director, 360 Realtors.

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