How Real Estate is Using Pokemon Go
Photo credit: iPhonedigital
Game becoming incorporated in listings and open houses
The location-based augmented reality smartphone game, Pokemon Go debuted less than two weeks ago and it has taken over the phone screens of the young and old. Digital creatures appear on players’ screens in real-world locations, as if they are in their own homes and neighborhoods. In addition to a rapidly increasing fan base, Pokemon Go now has a legion of guides on where to play, explainers, hot takes, parodies, backlash and even backlash to the backlash.
PokéStops are popping up all over the country, which allows users access to free in-game collectibles to enhance their Pokemon. Now real estate is getting in on it.
A Zillow ad for a Redmond, Washington home gives a list of amenities and upgrades and at the end of the list, a Pokemon Go gym is listed as being less than five minutes away. A listing in Tacoma, Washington is more detailed: “3 Pokemon Go Gyms, and 5 Pokestops. Confirmed Squirrtle sighting in the backyard, and there may or may not be a Charzard lvl 7 in the neighbors shed. Must see to appreciate!”
But some don’t see beyond the game being silly, short-lived and not worth the time. Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell, said, “I think right now it has more than a novel feeling to it. I don’t think people are expecting it to move the needle on any point; but given the younger age demographic of players”, she admits, “It could be more of a phenomenon in rental housing than in for-sale housing.”
In theory, it might make sense for a bar or restaurant to capitalize on the game as people would most likely go to Pokestops and gyms in these types of establishments, but would it work as well for an apartment leasing office? Would a player looking for a PIKACHU, stop in the middle of the game to lease an apartment? In residential real estate, using Pokemon Go to bring more foot traffic to an open house might also give a listing an image of increased competition.
If the game becomes entrenched in open houses, would this lead to more clients, increased offers and subsequent jumps in sales prices?
Written by Ari Meier