The world is not enough: Serhant readies launch into UNIVERS

Residential brokerage announces metaverse platform for staff, agents

Ryan Serhant (Serhant, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
Ryan Serhant (Serhant, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

Serhant is ready to take over the UNIVERS.

The technology-focused brokerage in New York City announced Monday it will have its own metaverse, called UNIVERS, as a virtual operating world for employees and agents. The company released a sneak peak of what it will look like.

“We are future-obsessed and mobile-first,” said Ryan Serhant, founder and CEO of Serhant. “Developing our own proprietary virtual operating world has been a cornerstone of our business plan since the beginning.”

The virtual platform will allow employees to collaborate and communicate with one another in a virtual world. The company believes it will allow them to benefit from the firm’s culture and to network as if they were in person.

Serhant said the tool will help the company appeal to a younger generation that feels more comfortable in the metaverse. The metaverse is a term for a virtual reality environment where users interact through avatars similar to how real people do.

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A representative for Serhant declined to say how long or often UNIVERS will be used in the company’s day-to-day operations, but said it could be visited without a virtual reality headset. The representative did not say if the company would provide headsets for agents and employees. Headsets start at about $300.

The product will be beta-tested this spring by a select group of agents and should be ready by the end of the year.

Real estate in the metaverse is already heating up. Janine Yorio, co-founder of Republic Realm, and Metaverse Group chief Lorne Sugarman in December made multi-million-dollar purchases of “land” in the virtual world known as the metaverse which they said gives them a leg up on what could become a multi-trillion dollar market.

Serhant won’t be selling digital real estate in the UNIVERS. When the beta test launches this spring, it will focus on facilitating workflow for agents and employees by centralizing tools, documents, templates and education and marketing tools.

The company said the online world will allow it to expand in a more environmentally friendly way. It also said it will continue to open brick-and-mortar locations.