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Avison Young Broker Embraces Being a Metaverse Real Estate Pioneer

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As a challenge, this was unusual. Peter Johnson, director of the New York office of the commercial brokerage firm Avison Young, was asked if it represents a retail space that does not exist on traditional maps and is only accessible online.

Yes, of course, he said he jumped at the chance to find a 3D virtual world tenant in the Metaverse. In doing so, he snatched what was being charged as the first Metaverse lease allocation by a major commercial intermediary company.

It’s all from Metaverse real estate developer and owner Janine Yorio, co-founder and CEO of Everyrealm, the exclusive rental agent for Everyrealm’s six-story 364,000-square-foot MetaMall Digital. It started when I received the memo. Commercial real estate in the fashion district of the online marketplace Decentraland.

Johnson sees this mission as a promise to recreate real-life experiences on the Internet. For example, consider the possibility that a user’s hologram avatar is all the correct size, for example entering the Metaverse Virtual Macy, buying a dress or shoe, and shipping a physical item the next day. People are at home or in front of a computer on the other side of the world.

Peter Johnson joined Avison Young in 2017. (AvisonYoung)

“The possibilities and audience are endless,” said Johnson, director of Abison Young’s Growth Technology Practices Group in New York. “You don’t have to be in New York. You can be anywhere in the world [and] You will have the same experience. “

Johnson got into the habit of playing Decentraland for an hour or two at night by nailing virtual lease assignments. He explores the virtual world and investigates who is in which block, as well as the legwork he does when helping to scout the client’s physical space. Avison Young’s in-house design team has also created a marketing brochure for the Everyrealm property.

However, there is one difference in his strategy. Instead of approaching the director of real-world real estate, he is reaching out to the chief marketing officer of future Metaverse tenants.

“For now, it’s probably just a branding and marketing play,” he said. It could be “eventually a play to sell real digital and physical merchandise with lease space on the same platform.”

So far, the reception has been “overwhelming,” he said.

“Everyone who didn’t think I was interested is reaching out,” he said. “The word” M “is in everyone’s head. “

The belief that Johnson’s advance into the Metaverse will be rewarded can be traced back to another experience he had.

After working for financial services company Merrill Lynch for six years and joining Avison Young in 2017, he turned start-ups such as Tomorrow Health and clothing retailer Naadam into flexible office space providers WeWork and short-term leasing. When I did, I remembered the disappointment of other companies in the same industry. ..

“I was called crazy. [Brokers] WeWork was afraid to take on our job. People weren’t open to the flex office. No one had a flex team, “Johnson said. Five years later, “The biggest landlord has a dedicated and flexible office team. Every landlord has to enjoy the flex office …. We’re doing a metaverse here. This is an undeniable comparison.”

Abison Young is not the only company trying to create a business from virtual real estate. For example, Tokens.com, a publicly traded company that invests in crypto assets and businesses linked to the Metaverse, Opened At Tokens.com Tower in Decentraland’s Crypto Valley, we are working on signing contracts for digital advertising and event hosting.

“Avison Young is one of the few traditional commercial brokerage companies that understands Metaverse real estate,” Yorio of Everyrealm said in a June statement. “It was a natural decision for us to work with them in leasing our mall retail store in Decentraland.”

Johnson was not a stranger to Everyrealm. He previously helped the company sign office leases in the real world. 335 Madison Avenue. In Midtown Manhattan. Investing in 25 Metaverse projects and developing more than 100 virtual properties, Everrealm received Series A funding in February from a group of investors led by venture capital firm a16z, co-founded by billionaire investor Marc Andreessen. Raised 10,000 dollars.

Another of Everyrealm’s Metaverse real estate projects is the Metajuku Mall, directly across from MetaMall. Metajuku’s tenants include several online fashion labels and JPMorgan Chase’s Onyx Lounge interactive and information space, which is being billed as the first bank in the Metaverse.

JPMorgan is just one of many well-known brands that have adopted the Metaverse. Fashion brands such as Gucci and Nike, consumer electronics brand Samsung, and auction house Sotheby’s are on the move in Metaverse.

Retail chain Forever 21 Entered the Metaverse in December When we opened a virtual store in Roblox, a digital game popular with children. Users can access the multi-level digital store on the carpet where the paparazzi are taking pictures, and once inside, Avatar can buy furniture, clothing and accessories and try makeup.

“It’s all early in the game,” Johnson said. All brands are competing to attract and retain new customers. They are the ones we are chasing. You see a huge name. It’s like the space race. They want to target new demographics that they haven’t been exposed to. This is a future customer, 13-20 years old. These brands say “I don’t want to miss it.” “

Companies, venture capital and private equity firms have already invested more than $ 120 billion in Metaverse in the first five months of this year, primarily due to Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Call of in 2021. It’s more than double the $ 57 billion invested in the whole. According to a June report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company, duty game developer Activision is $ 69 billion. Estimates of the potential economic value of the Metaverse are extensive, but McKinsey states that this space could generate up to $ 5 trillion in impact by 2030, which is today’s third in the world. It is said to be equivalent to Japan, which is the largest economy.

By sector, the impact of the Metaverse market on e-commerce alone is currently between $ 2 trillion and $ 2.6 trillion, and can then reach up to $ 270 billion in the academic virtual learning market. According to the report, virtual real estate is also in the limelight, as anonymous users buy a parcel of virtual land in the sandbox, another metaverse game next to Snoop Dogg, the virtual home of rapper Snoop Dogg. Gives an example of paying $ 450,000 to.

Citing data from MetaMetric Solutions, CNBC reported that real estate sales on four major Metaverse platforms exceeded $ 500 million last year and could double this year to about $ 1 billion.

According to a JP Morgan report released in January, “Metaverse will somehow penetrate all sectors over the next few years, and market opportunities are estimated to exceed $ 1 trillion in annual revenue.” .. “Companies of all shapes and sizes are entering the Metaverse in a variety of ways, including household names such as Wal-Mart, Nike, Gap, Verizon, Full, PwC, Adidas, and Atari. Today, business leaders and conferences around the world. Muro asks himself, “What is my metaverse strategy?” What am I doing in the Metaverse? What is the Metaverse anyway? “

Aside from the promise of growth, there are still many questions and challenges facing the Metaverse, including exactly what space means. For example, JP Morgan’s report states that when it comes to the Metaverse, “there is no single comprehensive definition that people can turn around.” “The seamless fusion of our physical and digital lives creates a unified virtual community where we can work, play, relax, trade and socialize,” JPMorgan explains in a report.

In its report, McKinsey advised brands to consider “what is needed to properly balance testing and learning,” and states that the market “remains volatile in the short term.” increase.

“It’s too early to tell” what will happen in the Metaverse, Johnson said. “I don’t know where this goes.”

But he said that brands in this area speak for themselves and that it’s important that the content is created. Yorio told him it was like investing in Manhattan real estate in the 18th century.

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