Propy’s course announcement is aligned with two well-known independent brokerages, The Agency and Brown Harris Stevens, announcing Metaverse initiatives.
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Propy, one of the real estate industry’s pioneers in cryptocurrency transactions and NFT (non-fungible tokens) technology, has developed an education program for the metaverse, according to an email sent to Inman.
The course is four chapters long and should take less than three hours in total to complete. Agents who matriculate will be deemed a “Propy Meta Agent.”
“It will provide agents with the tools and information needed to become an expert on real estate in the metaverse,” the company said.
Chapter one covers an introduction to virtual worlds and the type of equipment needed to suitably navigate them. Chapters two and three dig deeper into the characteristics of various worlds; how to use chains and tokens; and the details of finding, analyzing and transacting on virtual property in multiple worlds. The final section covers the various ways metaverse deals overlap with real-world business.
The course cost is $76, or 120 Pro Tokens. Agents who participate will need to pass an exam to earn their certificates within a year of course completion. They’re allowed three chances.
Among other one-time, bleeding-edge technology concepts, Propy facilitates blockchain-based transactions, and in May, formally launched a title and escrow workflow resting on blockchain.
“The escrow and title business that we are launching will have less manual work,” Propy CEO Natalia Karayaneva told Inman, adding that the technology should bring transactions closer to the “click-to-close” experience many real estate players have been chasing for years.
Karayaneva is also an instructor of the meta agent course.
For the unaffiliated, blockchain is a highly proven security technology that distributes transaction data (in this case) across multiple servers but keeps all components networked and securitized via multiple keys, meaning no segment of data can be accessed without access to all segments. Any update to any component is recorded and the entire transaction is updated across the network.
As an example, instead of a title agent carrying around a box of deal paperwork in their front seat, imagine multiple agents each carrying one document in an exceptionally secure metal briefcase and knowing the status and any new data input into each form all the time.
Despite seeming esoteric or something relegated to obscure Silicon Valley boardrooms, blockchain is a real and very practical form of data management with countless security and business efficiency benefits. While it remains rare and generally unadopted in real estate, its potential is exciting in terms of transaction security and fixing the industry’s fragmented deal practices.
Consulting firm McKinsey said that by 2027, “10 percent of global GDP could be associated with blockchain-enabled transactions.”
In addition to offering a network of crypto-savvy agents to like-minded consumers, Propy sells an offer management solution for listing agents to post and manage buyers’ offer submissions via its web app, links to which can be posted on MLS pages or property web pages.
The metaverse real estate trend isn’t slowing. Luxury firm The Agency has “opened” an office there, Inman reported. It’s located in a world called, Decentraland and will be part of the company’s Turks and Caicos expansion.
Not to be outdone, Inman reported exclusively that independent brokerage Brown Harris Stevens (BHS) announced a metaverse initiative this week, as well.
The New York City-based company partnered with The Metaverse Institute, an independent educational platform created by real estate professionals to educate on Web3, cryptocurrencies, the metaverse and NFTs.
Web3 is an internet foundation that leverages blockchain, and while possessing other obscure decentralization features is set up to handle the new era of rapid online transactions, data transfer, cryptocurrency exchanges and the security demands of sophisticated fintech products. The concept’s vagaries and lack of oversight mean it is not without its detractors.
Propy is also a Web3 advocate, claiming to be “powered by” the emerging technology.