In this installment of So You Want to Own a Business in Second Life, we will look at the land sales and rentals business in Second Life. The land sales and rentals business in Second Life can be one of, if not the most, expensive type of business to own in Second Life.
Before jumping into the land market in Second Life, decide how much you can afford to spend in Second Life, as costs can jump relatively quickly. Land in Second Life is divided into mainland or estate property. Mainland property is limited to 40 avatars, has no covenant, and you do not get estate rights with mainland property. If you own a private estate, then you can have a max of 100 avatars, your choice of a covenant, and you get the estate permissions.
While mainland prices are cheaper to own, keep in mind that you must also be a premium member in Second Life to own this type of property. Private estates cost more than mainland plots, but with private estates, you do not have to be a premium member to own the property. If you purchase a private estate sim from Linden Labs directly, there is also a onetime set up fee.
You can also decide to lease full estate sims or homestead sims from the many land and estate agents in Second Life. The benefits are that you do not have to pay a setup fee to Linden Labs and in some cases you can decide the covenant and still enjoy estate rights. The down side is that you do not own the sim outright, so if your estate agent decides to leave the land business, the sim may go with them.
With estate land you can often use your own groups. Often with mainland property you cannot use your own land group, unless you own the property. You can find mainland rentals throughout Second Life, but you may be prohibited from releasing the land or using your own groups.
After you obtain land, decide if you want to do land sales or rentals or both. You can even create themed residential or commercial communities and lease out homes or shops. A skybox business is another option. There are many ways you can try to either lease out your land or to sale it. If you will have rental tenants, then you should invest in a rental system and prepare to provide customer support.
Of course nothing in Second Life is sold or leased without a bit of advertising. You can list land for rent or for sell via the Second Life Land Forum and by joining the many advertising groups in world. Posting land rentals or sales via the classifieds and even on your profile can be low cost ways to advertise. You can also list land on the Second Life Marketplace. Second Life also has mainland land auctions where you can bid on land in either lindens or in USD amounts.