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A working knowledge of accounting is helpful for almost any career endeavor. In real estate, for example, brokers must have a thorough understanding of the numbers involved in the decision-making process.  Real estate brokers traditionally determine whether a buyer can make payments to a bank, identify tax benefits of a purchase, and even determine whether cash flow from an industrial property justifies a purchase price. The accounting expertise of real estate brokers is now finding relevance in new frontiers like Second Life, an online virtual community. In Second Life, real estate entrepreneurs are applying their accounting knowledge when they rent real estate “sim” islands to other Second Life avatars. With their understanding of accounting, entrepreneurs are making real-world profits and finding financial success in a non-traditional market.

1. What ethical concerns might a seller of “sim” real estate consider?

2. Are the real estate stakeholders of a “sim” transaction the same as the stakeholders in the real world?

(Retrievable online at

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