The real estate sector, too, is changing under the influence of digital transformation projects. Incumbents and physical agency networks first saw the development of online portals for ad serving. Such services have since become largely commonplace.
Other technologies have since emerged: 3D modeling, automation of lease contracts, virtual tours and BIM (Building Information Modeling).
Improve visit efficiency with 3D immersion
Immersiveness is another axis explored by companies in the sector to create value. BNP Paribas Real Estate, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is for example developing a new tool combining immersive 3D technologies and data: Wired (Wearable Immersive Real Estate Dataroom).
In the real estate agency segment, another company is betting on immersion. Les Agences de Papa (LADP), 100% online, offers an economic model based on fixed costs to stand out from the competition.
Founded in 2019, shortly before the start of the pandemic, it has also invested heavily in marketing in an attempt to increase its brand awareness. For example, the company has offered the services of Teddy Riner as an ambassador – Teddy Riner who is also a shareholder in the company.
Listed on the stock exchange, Les Agences de Papa employs around a hundred people. To take a new step in their development, they have ambitions in the metaverse and the economy of crypto-assets or “tokenomics”.
These desires are embodied in the “Versity” project.
“Versity is a real estate, immersive and Web3 portal,” explains MagIT co-founder Nicolas Fratini. “It’s a SeLoger that will offer a different approach to real estate viewing,” he promises.
Creating an economy via cryptocurrency and NFT
This project was born from an observation. It also responds to a business problem of the agency which must keep its promises of reduced costs. Improving operational efficiency is therefore strategic. And to increase its income, the SME must also find and monetize new services.
It is with the will to explore the metaverse that she intends to achieve this. The development of Versity has already started. The tool is based on three pillars: the immersive visit, a digital currency (a utility token) called SITY and finally NFTs, so-called non-fungible tokens, because unique and non-divisible.
The visit first. It uses different tools to create a virtual representation, like the Fortnite game, of the properties offered for sale, but also of the neighborhoods where they are located. In particular, Les Agences de Papa uses the 3D Unity engine – also at the heart of BNP Paribas’ Wired solution.
“The virtual world is intended to be a mirror of reality where you can visit the neighborhood and the apartment. Above all, it allows you to be in direct connection with real estate and housing professionals,” summarizes Nicolas Fratini. “You can visit your apartment with an architect, a mover, an insurer, a banker,” he explains. “Thus, the potential buyer will have all the information ahead of a real visit”.
For him, this approach will help make real estate transactions more fluid because the properties for sale – represented in the metaverse – can be visited online (in different ways).
Apartment modeling services
There are three ways to import an apartment into this metaverse. In complete autonomy, real estate agents – or owners – will be able to use Lidar technology embedded on smartphones to carry out a scan. The file is then imported as a 3D object into Versity.
Nicolas FratiniDad’s Agencies
Les Agences de Papa also offers an assisted mode, via a partnership with a startup that has industrialized the 3D digitization process and which counts Maison du Monde and Leroy Merlin among its clients. In 48 hours, for a cost of between 50 and 100 euros depending on the area, the property manager will have a 3D object that can be imported into the metaverse.
Finally, the third scenario: delegate the process by making an appointment online with a photographer equipped with 3D equipment to carry out a consumable visit in virtual reality. The data can also be used to create a 3D object.
The real estate agency nevertheless wanted to push its project further with uses related to the blockchain and cryptoassets by creating its own token: SITY. This token is a means of payment for services related to real estate.
“The utility token will enable the purchase of services in our metaverse [comme] space rental [publicitaire] for a given period in order to disseminate its property”, illustrates Nicolas Fratini.
Generate return for NFT holders
SITY tokens are offered for sale through an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). Carried out in several phases, this operation is also an opportunity to raise funds to finance future developments. Presale and 1st round thus raised 4.7 million euros.
The next token sales are scheduled for September, after being postponed due to the cryptocurrency price crisis.
Les Agences de Papa wish in priority to reach the actors of the real estate market: agents, promoters, brokers, etc. Note that these tokens will also give a right to vote on developments and decisions concerning Versity.
Nicolas FratiniDad’s Agencies
These tokens play a governance role through the constitution of a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), a concept that is booming in the world of blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi).
But the third pillar of the real estate metaverse will be another category of cryptoasset: the NFT (non-fungible token).
The virtual territory will be split into parcels (or PARSELL) each with an NFT. These lands, which correspond to a postal code, will also be put up for sale – payable in SITY. The holder of these NFTs “will receive part of the income linked to the address he holds”.
The commercialization of these NFTs will take place after the ICO via the launch of a marketplace. Depending on various parameters (including real estate activity in a municipality and the price per m2), an algorithm will calculate the initial value of the NFTs.
The most searched cities will belong to a specific category of NFT, called “premium”. Their sale will be auctioned with a starting price determined by the algorithm.
But why acquire such an intangible good? To collect a share of the income from the real estate activity generated, in particular via the publication of advertisements on the portal, explain the Agences de Papa.
The owners of these NFTs will receive “a weekly and direct return, depending on the number of SITY exchanged in connection with the postal code, for example following the dissemination of an advertisement. As for us, we charge a commission on the transaction”, specifies Nicolas Fratini.
The creation of the metaverse entrusted in part to the community
Potentially, Versity could therefore accommodate a very large number of 3D objects in order to model properties, but also neighborhoods. The industrialization of such a development may seem complex. To overcome this challenge, the company will rely on community participation.
Thanks to BIM solutions, architects will be able to enrich the metaverse, for example. In return, the community will vote to remunerate these proposed additions if they are accepted. Non-professionals will also have a tool, 3D design software, provided by the platform.
“It is the community that will gradually enrich the most demanded neighborhoods and those with the most goods”. To promote the use of the service, LADP also provides a mechanism for remunerating users making visits and participating in the promotion of goods and the metaverse. The name of this system: visit-to-earn, in reference to play-to-earn, games paying players.
The contours of the metaverse, the underlying technologies and its crypto economic model are decided. Papa’s Agencies have retained the services of blockchain experts, including Smart-Chain, Blockchain XDEV and Osborne Clarke for the legal aspects.
Versity’s roadmap foresees the end of the ICO in September, then the opening of the NFT marketplace in October. The Web3 real estate portal will go online at the end of the year with immersive parts, including apartment visits. The digitization of the first districts will take place later, during the first half of 2023.