UPDATED, Dec. 7, 8:10 p.m.: As seasoned real estate and stock experts warn investing in metaverse assets is a fad, another luxury broker is jumping into the virtual mansion sales business.
Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche, owner of Miami-based Prestige Realty Group, told The Real Deal he’s going to handle some listings for a start-up cryptocurrency company that wants to sell 8,888 digital luxury homes in the metaverse.
Rodriguez-Tellaheche is partnering with Vancouver-based Keys Token, which launched its digital coin last month, trading at an opening price of roughly 0.002 cents. The token’s price peaked at roughly 30 cents and has since tumbled to 10 cents, according to several cryptocurrency trading websites such as Coin Market Cap and Coin Gecko. Keys Token has also self-reported a market cap of $109.6 million, the Coin Gecko listing states.
That’s roughly the same dollar amount for virtual land sold on metaverse platforms The Sandbox, Decentraland, CryptoVoxels, and Somnium Space during the last week of November, including $450,000 worth of cryptocurrency a buyer dropped on a virtual plot next door to an exact digital replica of rapper Snoop Dogg’s California mansion, according to media reports.
Rodriguez-Tellaheche joins Oren and Tal Alexander with Douglas Elliman, who operate in Miami, as well as in New York, as the first residential real estate brokers looking to cash in on big ticket metaverse listings. The Alexanders formed a partnership with Republic Realm, a metaverse developer that recently threw down $4.3 million on virtual real estate, the largest transaction in the digital space to date.
Despite Keys Token’s shaky start on the coin trading exchanges, Rodriguez-Tellaheche said once the platform gets off the ground, significant demand will arise for the company’s digital currency and virtual mansions.
“When the CEO approached me about being one of the exclusive brokers, I was all in on it,” Rodriguez-Tellaheche said. “I am already getting tons of messages from people who want to be first in line to buy one of these meta mansions.”
Of course, the mansions can only be purchased by people who own Keys Tokens. The firm has produced 1 billion coins that will increase in value when investors use Keys Tokens to conduct deals in the metaverse and in real life, according to a press release. The company plans on charging a 3 percent fee on every Keys Token transaction.
Rodriguez-Tellaheche said he doesn’t have an inventory list yet, but each buyer will be able to create and build a mansion based on his or her lifestyle and tastes. “The mansions are the first phase,” he said. “Once those are sold out, they will create other collections [of virtual properties].”
Still, some experts are not sold on the concept of metaverse real estate. Whether it’s the start of another tech bubble like the dot.com boom of the early 2000s, or the launching of a whole new institutional investor-grade asset class remains to be seen, they say.
Fane Lozman, a Palm Beach County-based real estate investor and day trader who twice won U.S. Supreme Court cases against the city of Riviera Beach, told TRD that demand for virtual homes in the metaverse is likely capped by the number of Gen Z’ers and millennials who have successfully traded cryptocurrencies into multimillion-dollar fortunes.
“This is something for the under-30 crowd of online guys making millions of dollars in crypto,” Lozman said. “Getting a metaverse mansion adds to them being online legends that they can’t be in real life. A lay person may not understand why they will pay $750,000 for an NFT [non-fungible token], but for these guys, it gives them credibility.”
If nothing else, Rodriguez-Tellaheche’s foray into the metaverse is a good marketing tool, Lozman added. “He can say, ‘I’m the guy who can sell you a mansion in real life or in the metaverse.’”