Developers and sellers have taken advantage of the Pokémon Go phenomena for their real estate listings. But before everyone heads to that marketing strategy, is this for real or is it just one of the illusions created by the game?
If you think you have learned all about real estate and how to sell properties, think again.
Although holograms reign as one of the most effective visuals, realtors have discovered a less likely tool to make marketing a little bit more exciting — Pokémon Go.
The blast from Niantic’s new game shook different social media platforms. You would have to be someone who lives under a rock if you were not caught by the craze brought by Pokémon Go. This material is the fastest downloaded game app in history with over 10 million downloads on its first week. As of now, this number has exceeded 40 million.
The game focuses on a hunt for cuddle-some virtual monsters called “Pokémon” based from a cartoon which became a hit worldwide. GPS helps players in the augmented reality game to find these animated creatures in the real life environment.
The app can show you the way to ‘Pokémon Gyms’ and ‘Pokéstops’ where you can meet other players and purchase some goods that will help you on this adventure to become the very best.
Now, how did the opportunistic realtors make use of the game for the good of their business?
They use the proximity to these virtual areas as unique selling points. Imagine yourself needing some ‘Pokéballs’ and you ended up on a condo unit following the path to a ‘Pokestop’.
“I’m fairly certain there is a PIKACHU at this open house, don’t miss it.” — says a Manhattan real estate agent Jay Glazer on his advertisement for an open house listed with cost of $1.5 million (USD).
Glazer, who is also a Pokémon Go player added, “I think at the end of the day the goal is to get as many people through the door and interested in the apartment, and ultimately, if there’s a ‘Pokemon’ obsessed person out there who also likes this home, then we want them here, and this is the best way to attract them.”
A listing on Zillow also posted on their ad, “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!”
Realtors fearlessly predict that the pricing can go up for as much as $50,000 (USD). On the other hand, travel website Atlas Obscura dismissed the belief calling it “wishful thinking at best”.
Many remained optimistic about this possibility. Australian real estate agent Rob Levy mentioned without hesitation that the craze would definitely cause an increase to the price of the property. He says, “When you have 300 identical houses to choose from, why wouldn’t you choose one near a PokeStop?”
Others also consider the negative impact. According to Florida real estate agent Cara Ameer, “It could become a negative in the neighborhood with all sorts of activity and people coming and going at all hours […] It could lead to neighborhood covenants and restrictions being amended. Perhaps there will need to be a required permit to be obtained or special zoning requirements that residents have a right to live in a ‘game-free zone.”
Does Pokémon Go have an impact on luxury sales in the world of real estate?
Glazer admitted that although the game possess a massive appeal, it will have no impact on luxury or high end listings.
“I think that sellers might be opposed to advertising ‘Pokemon Go’ in their listings ultimately because — let’s admit — it is a little bit childish and not necessarily highbrow, and if you’re going for a certain look or aesthetic, a theme such as sophistication, it’s ultimately not going to fit in with that.”
Pokémon Go in Asia
In Asia, the game is only available in Hong Kong and Japan, but it will soon launch in other parts of the region.
According to TechInAsia, Pokémon Go online searches ranks higher than Brexit, Game of Thrones and Obama. It is highly sought in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Level headed investors may not be that easy to consider ‘Pokéstops’ as basis for their real estate listings. Most of them are doubtful about the apps sustainability in long term. As per CNBC, although Pokémon Go can potentially bring a hoard of players in an open house, this will only affect the competition for the listing.
Its impact on sale prices is still something being carefully studied.