The Metaverse is the Future of Property Marketing – here’s how to see through the ‘hype’
The term ‘metaverse’ has been swirling around the mainstream consciousness for a few months now. It was the buzzword of 2021. But readers of this piece will have varying impressions of the metaverse, ranging from enthusiastic to down-right sceptical. There’s also a huge swathe of us who just don’t understand what it is – and that’s understandable.
There’s been so much hot-air spoken about the metaverse. At first glance, it’s easily dismissed as another novelty idea that will be confined to the archives of the internet. But we’ve taken a further look and think it poses a huge opportunity for the property sector and more specifically, for the world of new build developers and CGI.
Let’s get into it.
Metaverse – the ‘hype’
You’d be right in thinking that the metaverse started out as being a hype. We all know things come and go from our social feeds on a daily basis, never to be seen or heard of again. Well the metaverse had its flutter in public coversation, see below:
Metaverse as a Google search spiked during October 2021 (coinciding with Facebook changing its name to Meta in Oct 2021) but has been in decline ever since, plummeting since the start of this year. It’s important to note that Zucerkberg’s Meta is simply a single player in the wider ‘metaverse’, he didn’t invent the concept – a common confusion. In order to appreciate the scale of the metaverse, imagine the birth of the internet.
What this trend shows is that despite the metaverse attracting a tremendous amount of conversation late last year, it’s been flying somewhat under the radar since the start of 2022. It’s the nature of the internet in 2022, certain new ideas can come along, spike in mainstream conversation and then simmer back down to circles of people and companies that are more committed and serious to its discussion. This applies to the metaverse.
Whilst the metaverse might have been a passing fad for the wider internet and social conversations, its underlying technology has infinite potential and promise for certain sectors of society. One of those sectors is the property market.
But first, what really is the metaverse?
The metaverse explained
Great, so the metaverse isn’t just a hype for sectors like the property market. But we still hear you shouting at the screen, but what really is it?
There’s a brilliant Ted talk by Artur Sychov that explains in layman’s terms how the metaverse actually works in a tangible way and the promise it holds for the future. The key takeouts are:
- The metaverse is a combination of two words ‘meta’ and ‘verse’. ‘Meta’ means beyond or future and ‘verse’ is in reference to the ‘universe’. By definition, metaverse therefore means beyond or the future of the universe. In other words, it’s the future of the internet or Web 3.0.
- The metaverse is a persistent, shared, 3D, virtual; linked into a virtual universe. Basically, multiple virtual reality worlds stitched together.
- For example, currently we can enter virtual worlds through virtual reality goggles or smartphones but we can’t interact with other virtual worlds – this is where the metaverse will take us.
- To be more specific, imagine you are interacting with a virtual store and spot something you like, you can then share this virtually with a friend across another platform such as Whatsapp, or Instagram whilst remaining fully immersed in virtual reality.
That’s the general concept but you can begin to picture how various facets of daily life could migrate across to the metaverse. In his Ted Talk, Arthur Sychov predicts we’ll all be interacting with the metaverse for hundreds of hours a week within a matter of 5-10 years. This may seem far-fetched but back in the 90’s, if we’d told them we’d spend 8-10hours per day on a smartphone they would of laughed us out of the Oasis concert!
The metaverse, the property sector and EyeSiteView
At EyeSiteView, we’ve been champions of virtual reality and CGI tools since our inception. The move towards digital has left customers needing a more immersive, interactive and accessible property tour experience. Basically, in a world where customers access films through Netflix, music through Spotify and groceries through ecommerce, the property marketing sector had to catch up.
Whilst we’ve always championed the blend of physical and virtual, gone are the days of relying on your customer to visit a showhome. Customers and the market move faster than homes can be built, that’s where CGI homes play an important role for supply to meet demand. We’ve been servicing developers and real estators with CGI tools that recreate their new-builds in the virtual world. The metaverse simply signals the next step.
Picture this – with the power of the metaverse and EyeSiteView, developers could be hosting open-home events for property that’s not even built, with multiple customers visiting via VR goggles from the comfort of their lounge. It’s an exciting prospect, a virtual showhome full of avatars of potential buyers. Everything in the showhome can be customisable, from the surface finishes down to the wall colours.
The metaverse could actually bring in a fully virtual end-to-end buyer journey, where the viewing, contracting and closing could all be done through virtual technologies. This may all seem very futuristic but pieces of the puzzle are already in place, many of our clients like Castle Homes, are using the power of CGI to sell homes that aren’t built yet. The metaverse will simply push the span of virtual reality even further.
This will make things more convenient and even more interactive for the modern house-buyer. If Arthur Sychov’s predictions are right, customers will be spending hours a day in the metaverse, so we need to be there to meet them.
What does this mean for developers and real estators?
For developers and real estators, this means getting to grips with the tools that bring property to potential buyers in a virtual way. As buyers begin to jump from virtual world to virtual world in the early metaverse, it will be easier for developers to make the shift.
With digital sales centres, ViewStations, virtual tours and active site plans, developers and real estators can be set up with the digital toolkit for the coming of the metaverse. As more home-owners buy homes from a CGI recreation, the closer the sector is moving to a world where virtual reality becomes interconnected in the metaverse.
Whilst our dream of a fully virtual open home might seem futuristic, actually this opportunity is just around the corner. Ultimately, marketing activity like this only maximises the right eyeballs on developments, meaning a higher chance of success and a faster time to market.
We’re leading the charge when it comes to the property sector and the metaverse. If you’d like a consultation on how to bring your team up to speed with a CGI and digital toolkit, arrange a demo today to discover more about what EyeSiteView has to offer.