While there might already be virtual real estate businesses, I do not want to confuse them or what they do with this metaphor. By virtual real estate, I only mean the opportunity to own and manage one or more properties online.
When I purchased a domain name on the internet for the first time, there was no transparent way to see how far the rabbit hole went down. Over a decade later, there still is no way of knowing.
Imagine buying a plot of residential land. It’s tiny and it’s just dirt; no electric or gas amenities yet. There is not yet a paved road to it but you purchased it anyway. The possibilities are endless but for now, you own dirt that no one else can see. That’s what buying a website from scratch is like.
The hookups to the plot are like the hosting and security needed for a website to place a design on it. The website design is like the building you choose to construct atop your plot. A larger building for commercial purposes would require a larger, properly zoned, area so the one you purchased is only good for some things and not others.
The rent you would charge is like the income you make from affiliate ads online or if you use a network, like Google Ads, it would be more like turning your development into an AirB&B.
The space you are allocated to work with on your land is like the bandwidth and server space that comes with hosting. The construction company is your web developer.
Some people have home offices, just like some websites are small but still offer products or services.
With this logic in mind, any way you look at it, there is a symbol for every occasion. Web design and it’s uses are the virtual equivalent to real estate. Clearly, some circumstances are better, worse or more unique.