While some innovative companies are slowly starting to integrate virtual technology into their business, others are choosing to go all in. NTRY, a Canadian cloud-based real estate company, has developed a digital tool for buyers to tour properties in the real estate market.
Touting itself as the first real estate metaverse, NTRY utilizes the power of 3D CityScapes, which specializes in creating digital interactive environments.
The virtual real estate “world” is built using the 3D creation tool Unreal Engine 5, whose recent update has made waves in the gaming and special effects industries for its generational leap in technological capabilities.
BUYING AND SELLING HOMES IN THE METAVERSE
NTRY’s web-based tool—aimed mostly at brokers, agents, developers, and buyers—grants users the ability to access online virtual showings from anywhere in the world. Realtors are able to show clients multiple on-the-market homes from the comfort of their office.
This allows prospective buyers to “experience the heights of a downtown condo, the quietude of the suburbs, or walk through the bustling city streets,” according to NTRY.
As the first one-to-one scale digital real estate metaverse, clients can tour homes and city streets as they actually are. Not only will they be able to walk through each room in a home, but they can digitally change the finishes on cabinets, countertops, and more, to their liking.
And because the service is cloud-based, it can be accessed 24/7 from any device without requiring a download—just an internet connection.
Tridel, a luxury condo developer in Toronto, is one of the first developers to use the tool.
“Imagine if we tried to stop [future buyers’] routines and show them a brochure of the product; they might not be interested,” says Chan. According to him, the game-like tool has a ‘language’ that speaks to the buyers of the future, not the past.
It’s unclear what the economy of this digital real estate market will look like. The company will surely use traditional currency for its sales, but NTRY has also expressed plans to incorporate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and “NTRY tokens”—their own new cryptocurrency—into the mix.
THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE THROUGH DIGITAL SALES
What does this mean for the industry, then? Will real estate agents soon have to compete with brokers who integrate digital tools like NTRY’s?
We’ve already seen examples of architects using virtual reality (VR) headsets to shape and sell their projects. Some firms like TK Design use 3D-modeling software to market homes, while clients use it to envision spaces that they might have a hard time imagining.
For NTRY, the possibilities of the tool are limitless—and most of which comes from the advancements in computer technology and life-like graphic rendering. A tool of this caliber would not have been possible 5, 10 years ago.
The company hopes its platform can break language barriers, speed up the real estate process, and enable worldwide buying and selling.
Though currently starting out in Toronto, Canada, developers and brokers are hopeful for the tool to come to regional cities like New York in the near future.
It seems that we’re in a significant state of technological advancements, and the construction industry is changing to grow with it. Only time will tell what becomes of virtual marketplaces—whether they’ll initiate a new norm, or just be remembered as a novelty of the ‘20s.
Check out NTRY's launch video below.