Sotheby’s International Realty Gives Its Blessing to the Metaverse

Image of houses near water showing their reflection much like an image in the metaverse.

A Miami mansion will become a first-of-a-kind this year. It will be sold as a real house, featuring seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms — together with its mirror property in the metaverse. The physical house will be sold by ONE Sotheby’s International Realty.

Sotheby’s International Realty has 1,000 offices in 40 countries, and is keen on innovation in the luxury real estate sphere. It’s part of Realogy Holdings Corp., which has had a franchise alliance with Sotheby’s since 2004. Sotheby’s, founded in Britain and headquartered in New York City, is the famous auction house for art and collectibles.

In 2021, blockchain-based tokens took the contemporary art world by storm. Sotheby’s was immediately drawn into the innovation, and became part of it. And now, with the Sotheby’s name giving its blessing to the metaverse market, investors in real estate and art are on notice. The rise of blockchain-based assets is not just a flash in the pan.

Identical Twin Houses to Have a Single Title, Conveyed by Blockchain

ONE Sotheby’s is collaborating with Voxel Architects and the artist and designer Gabriel Sierra, who created Meta Residence. You can follow this and other upcoming metaverse design projects with MetaResidences on Twitter. ONE Sotheby’s is also excitedly tweeting about its virtual real estate plans. The collaborators have picked up significant metaverse real estate holdings for other developments to come.

The team plans to complete work on both versions of the Miami MetaReal property by late 2022. The virtual house will be constructed on The Sandbox metaverse platform. Once both versions are complete, the Miami house and its doppelganger will be sold, by auction, to one buyer, over the Ethereum blockchain. The real property will comprise a one-acre lot with an 11,000-square-foot home.

Based on blockchain technology, the metaverse is an immersive world where people interact through digital versions of themselves, called avatars. The Miami mansion’s future owner will do just that — enjoying the virtual home as an online extension of its physical version. The owner will be able to create immersive fantasy experiences, and place them around both virtual and physical meetings and parties with people from anywhere on Earth. As explained by Voxel Architects, the showstopping house, cradled by palm trees and a classical pool, is a signal of a new era:

As virtual experiences become more and more immersive, jumping from one space to the other will be a normal part of everyday life. 

The Evolving Role of the Metaverse in Sotheby’s Art and Real Estate

In 2021, Sotheby’s commissioned the Mojito company to create a signature blockchain-based presence on the Decentraland platform. The result? Sotheby’s Metaverse. It’s a virtual space, styled after Sotheby’s London Galleries, where discerning collectors can meet, admire works by digital artists, and buy pieces they enjoy. Sotheby’s galleries are located in Decentraland’s Voltaire Art District.

And together with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Sotheby’s hosted an educational series called NFTs: Putting the Fun in Non-Fungible Tokens. The video series features educators and artists who show viewers “how we can view blockchain as a still evolving art project unto itself.” MCA Denver has made the video series available on its website.

Now, Sotheby’s real estate affiliate is blending its Earthbound real estate with intriguing forays into the digital arts. It’s a logical progression for a firm that aims to please a cosmopolitan population and its up-and-coming generations.

It’s all about greeting the traditional with the modern, and the real with the fabulous. Sotheby’s and its real estate affiliate are making a clear statement that the time has come to enter the world of digital art and design, to innovate from within it — and to have fun along the way.

Supporting References

Sophie Haigney for Sotheby’s Magazine: Next Stop: The Metaverse (Dec. 2021).  

REALTOR® Magazine: One Sotheby’s Offers Real Mansion in the Metaverse (Jan. 10, 2022; citing NFT Evening and

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC: Sotheby’s International Realty.

Lindsey Wells for South Florida Agent Magazine: Unique “MetaReal” Deal Will Include Luxury Mansion’s Identical Counterpart in the Virtual World (Jan. 7, 2022).

Guillermo Vidal Quinteiro for Voxel Architects via Creating the First Real-World NFT Luxury Mansion (Jan. 7, 2022). 

Image credit: Frans Van Heerden, via Pexels.