I’m Josue Habana, a SL resident since August 2007. My first (and only) Second Life job was in virtual real estate. I began as a sales rep for Cove Islands (now sadly no longer in existence) and eventually became the general manager, running the day to day operations of what became a 30 sim estate. That was quite a time consuming job.
I worked with Cove Islands for 18 months (a lifetime in SL terms). After a number of changes in circumstances, I left the company. Shortly after, the owners decided they too did not have the time to invest and they sold the sims off, thus effectively ending Cove Islands.
It was sad to see it go – a company that prided itself on a top level of customer care, on beautiful sims and generous prim bonuses at the best prices possible. Myself and the owners were in absolute agreement that it was vital to recognise that people were spending real money on our land in Second Life and to treat them as such. It worked.
Although I frankly no longer have the time to invest in the virtual real estate game, I remain interested in seeing how it progresses, including through a number of questionable changes imposed by Linden Lab. During my time with Cove Islands, sim prices fell, open space sims got more prims... people started using them for business and residential, so then Linden Lab complained about this, put the prices up and called them homesteads and dropped the number of prims on the original “open space.” Yep – complicated and questionable decisions that made life for the private estate land owners difficult to say the least.
In light of my understanding as to just how difficult it can be to run an effective real estate company in Second Life, I want to blog about this ever prevalent virtual industry. I’ll profile companies, landowners, land pricing decisions (both mainland and private estate) and begin building a guide for those owning land for the first time too.
Your input is appreciated and if you know of a company that should definitely feature here, then do get in touch!