Pokemon Go gets into real estate game?
On a steamy summer night near Manhattan’s Washington Square Park, real estate agent Jay Glazer hoped a redesigned roof deck might help draw potential buyers to the open house at his $1.5 million listing but, just in case, he added this to the ad:
“I’m fairly certain there is a PIKACHU at this open house, don’t miss it.”
Of the dozen or so people who showed up, only one knew exactly what “Pokemon Go” was, but Glazer said it was still worth adding the app as something of an appetizer to the ad.
“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,” said Glazer, 32, a “Pokemon Go” player himself.
The ads are popping up on real estate listings as fast as Pikachu’s are on teenagers’ screens. OK, that’s a complete overstatement, but real estate agents are starting to play the game of using the game.
An ad on Zillow for a home in Redmond, Washington, details a long list of upgrades, including a new roof, new hardwood floors, a tankless water heater and, at the bottom of the list, a “Pokemon Go” gym less than five minutes away. Another in Tacoma, Washington, goes into more detail: “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!”
Another listing, however, in Mary Esther, Florida, states clearly at the top, “**There are ZERO Pokemon Go features**”
“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,” said Glazer, who admitted with a hearty laugh that when his own friends learned of his addiction to the app, they were, “shocked and appalled that I was involved!”
The swift popularity of Pokemon Go has everyone talking about it now, but some warn it could be short-lived and not worth any real investment, at least from the sell side of real estate.
“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,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, 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.”