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How the Metaverse could reshape the real estate landscape both virtually and in reality

Imagine this scenario: You're looking to buy a home in Atlanta, San Francisco and Tampa, Florida — three of the nation’s most competitive housing markets.

But, those dreams could get dashed waiting for a loan to help with the mortgage as multiple all-cash offers come rumbling in, squeezing you out of the process.

This is where companies such as UpEquity could assist.

The digital mortgage startup uses its underwriting technology that includes machine learning, artificial intelligence, and algorithms to verify clients’ applications and approvals faster. It also works with buyers who have all-cash offers.

UpEquity CEO and co-founder Tim Herman and chief technology officer Andy Pruitt claim they reduce closing times of home buying from the typical industry standard of about 50 days to 18.

They also believe newer tech that will power the much-prophesied metaverse may soon cut closing times even lower.

The service comes as there already is a land rush occurring in the virtual real estate market.

Then there’s Andrew Kiguel, the CEO of, a Toronto-based blockchain company. In October, the company bought about 50% of the metaverse Group, one of the world's first virtual real estate companies for $1.7 million.

One month later, Kiguel's company spent a then-record of nearly $2.5 million to buy 116 parcels of virtual real estate in the metaverse he hopes will attract brands who want to advertise in his space.

“I feel very, very confident about this,” Kiguel told USA TODAY. “I think we’re going to see a quick appreciation and monetize renting that land and space very soon.”

Both UpEquity and hope that the physical and digital real estate space will boom as the metaverse takes shape. Dubbed by many as the “next internet," the metaverse is currently defined as a growing assortment of virtual sites that provide people the option of never having to leave their home for entertainment and social activities – an evolution accelerated as COVID-19 and its variants keep us confined.

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