(WANE) – It’s no secret the real estate market is booming these days, but most people would be surprised at the prices people are paying for plots of land you can’t even step foot on physically. We’re talking about virtual real estate in the metaverse. Veteran Financial Advisor Greg Reynolds calls it a virtual land grab. “You’re seeing plots move for thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in a few cases, millions of dollars.”

When Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, announced it was changing its name to Meta at the end of October, it was the first time most people heard of the metaverse. The metaverse can be a difficult thing to get your arms around, but Reynolds says it’s the next version of social media. “That’s really what it is. It’s the next way that people are going to digitally communicate with each other.”

In the metaverse, you communicate with real people, but you do it as a cartoon-like avatar. With a few taps of your phone, or clicks on your computer, you can be transported virtually anywhere in the world. Prices for plots of land have soared as much as 500-percent in the past few months. Reynolds compares it to the game of Monopoly, but with very real money. “We know that Park Place and Boardwalk tend to be the most valuable properties, and just like conventional real estate, it’s location, location, location.

Greg Reynolds of Reynolds Wealth Management talks with WANE 15’s Pat Hoffmann.

Investors looking to strike it rich are rushing in, but Reynolds says it’s a risky bet. He likens it to the early days of social media when Myspace seemed like the next great thing before other players came in and dominated the business. “We have no idea who’s going to ultimately win this land grab. It’s way too early to tell. I think investments in this area are extraordinarily speculative. I would only be doing it with money that you absolutely can afford to lose and I would leave it for the most part to people that really feel like they have a good handle on how these things interpolate together.”