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August 4, 2016 • Real Estate History

Pokémon Go and Real Estate – is There a Monetizable Connection?

Well, Pokémon Go has arrived in your neighborhood. Kids and adults are racing back and forth, trying to catch their very own rare creatures or hatch that egg. The wildly popular augmented reality game was only launched a few short weeks ago, but already it’s become a major weft in the fabric of reality – with stores, restaurants, and even churches hopping on the hype to bring in business and turn a profit.

The real estate market is even trying to slide into the action – but is Pokémon Go going to have a more than marginal impact on the market? Cooler heads say no when it comes to home sales – but the fair market rental rates in certain sectors could well go up.

While mentions of nearby Pokéstops with “lots of rares” and “multiple gyms within walking distance!” are starting to pop up in ads for houses and apartments in busy metro areas, the divide between actual long term benefits and short term excitement is wide. It turns out that the rental market may have the most to gain short term, while actual house sales predicated on the ability to catch a Pikachu four blocks away may not be realizing quite the same benefits.

Those familiar with the multi-player interactive game “Ingress” were able to quickly predict the locations of Pokéstops and Gyms, according to one real estate agent, who said that there is stuff all around based on the same infrastructure. However, the house he listed with the added information about its proximity to Pokéstops and Gyms hasn’t yielded any direct leads so far, and none of those asking to view the home have mentioned the offbeat nature of the “extra assets” of the home.

The enthusiastic agent is not perturbed however, and says he still plans to keep Pokémon Go information as part of his standard listing style in case something pans out.

Another real estate agents said she did get some more action at recent open houses after advertising Pokéstops in the area, although it’s hard to be able to assign direct value to home viewers who only showed up to pocket a Pidgey or wrestle a Weedle. She did, however, report getting increased clicks through to her website, so it might be a draw from the online marketing angle.

While there may not be a direct connection between homes selling for higher prices or getting more qualified leads for your on the market home, renters may find a different situation unfolding, especially in shorter term rental areas with a heavy student turnover.

While Pokémon Go is a family fun affair, most avid devotees of the game still fit the demographic of younger and plenty of time on their hands, so advertising in order to attract acolytes of the game for rentals in areas with high levels of activity and plenty of portals could be a savvy move for management companies and private renters.

Do you think Pokémon go could positively affect the housing market, or raise a property’s rental value?? Let us know your thoughts – and give a shout out to your Team if you play!

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