What Can Realtors Learn From Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go? Some of you are asking what the heck is that?

Others are asking “Wade have you lost your flippin’ mind… what’s this have to do with the real estate biz”?

Before you click somewhere else just hear me out…

Pokémon Go is a craze that could provide agents some incredible value to those who jump onboard right now, but they should realize this likely isn’t a long term strategy and to not bank too much time money or energy into it. This is a great opportunity for agents to keep abreast with the times, to track with where people are at and to adapt your marketing to cater to these people and what they’re interested in.

It’s always a great idea to bridge current events, hot topics, trending interests into your real estate business with where people live and what motivates them to buy or sell a particular piece of property.

Pokemon creators with a little thought totally differentiated themselves in the gaming/mobile app niche and literally broke the mold and it’s now paying off in gang busters for their efforts and investment. This is a fantastic model to follow as a real estate agent. As a REALTOR it makes all the difference to not always just follow the norm but to think of ways to break the real estate marketing or customer service mold in your own niche. Agents need to ask themselves “How can I be creative and more on the cutting edge with my real estate business?”

Some real estate agents are already taking advantage of the craze by using the game as a marketing tool for their property listings. But the phenomenon has the potential to go beyond luring in buyers – it may even boost property values. Pokémon Go is the fastest-growing app ever, garnering over 10 million downloads in the first week alone. Now, more than 40 million people are playing, feverishly trying to “catch ‘em all.”

The app takes players on a virtual hunt for virtual creatures, based on the wildly popular Pokémon cartoon from the 90s. Using augmented reality, the app uses GPS and the phone’s camera to bring captured virtual creatures to real life locations across the world. In their quest to catch rare and interesting Pokémon creatures, players are led to Pokémon Gyms, which are public places where players can meet, and Poke Stops, which are special locations that allow players to collect Poke balls to capture more creatures.

Realtors selling properties near Pokémon Gyms and Poke Stops are taking advantage of their location and using them as unique selling points. Jay Glazer, a real estate agent in Manhattan, New York, recently posted an advertisement for a million-dollar home and tried to entice buyers by saying he believed a PIKACHU might be living at the home. Another listing found on Zillow used a similar tactic, boasting about the home having 5 Poke Stops and 3 Pokémon Go Gyms nearby. Some in the real estate industry are predicting that the Pokémon Go craze may boost property prices as much as $50,000. Others say the prospect is just wishful thinking.

Rob Levy, an Australian real estate agent, believes the craze will affect property prices, particularly for the first-time, under-35 market. Levy says when young buyers have “300 identical” homes to choose from, they’ll be more likely to choose the property near a Poke Stop. This wouldn’t be the first time Pokémon Go helped boost prices and sales. Since its release, sales for portable chargers have skyrocketed, and many businesses are seeing a boost in sales as customers wander into their establishment while playing. But others are taking the reverse point of view on the Pokémon Craze. Some real estate agents say advertising Pokémon Go-related perks in a home listing could attract a lot of unwanted attention and activity to the neighborhood.

Yet still, some argue that luring in people to open houses, even if their only intention is to catch Pokémon, gives the illusion that there is more competition for a home. That increased competition may make buyers more eager to dive in and bid on the property. Take the time to be creative with your business and what is happening in the world today and differentiate yourselves from the herd! I dare you!

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