Arthur takes a look at how Pokémon Go is infiltrating the property world.
Pokémon Go is the new phenomenon taking over the world. Pokémon was orginally released in 1996 as a game for Gameboy in Japan. From there, the franchise has developed into T.V., film, trading cards, merchandise and now…augmented reality. It is the first iteration of the game to be specifically designed for the new generation of smart-devices and it’s safe to say that it has been a huge success. The game has already been recorded as having more daily users than Snapchat.
The game has seemingly taken over the internet. Every page seems to have pictures of Pokémon in funny position or videos of people going to extreme lengths to catch rare Pokémon. However, the game is now being used by canny landlords, estate agents and people looking for room-mates.
Listings are popping up on popular search sites. such as Craigslist, describing the properties vicinity to places of interest within Pokémon Go. Gone are the days of describing a properties proximity to local amenities, now it’s all about Pokéstops and Gyms.
The amazing thing is, it’s actually working! One member of Lab Coat Agents got an offer on a property after posting an image of a Pokémon outside the condo they were trying to sell. They then put it onto a Facebook page and the offers rolled in.
Whilst all this sounds like a great opportunity to reach a wider audience, there are some problems. Firstly, Pokémon Go might not be as fun if you live in a converted church. The game appears to have a penchant for designating churches as ‘Gyms’, a place where trainers can ‘battle’ each other. This means you may have quite a few unwanted visitors, as a couple in Massachusetts found out. The couple will now have to ‘battle’ with Pokémon to get their home removed as a Gym.
On a more serious note, there is the issue of copyright. Pokémon Go is part of the Pokémon website. The website, and all of its content is copyright protected, unless otherwise specified. This means that you should definitely be reading the Terms and Conditions before posting a screengrab of a squirtle online to try and get some more interest in your property; especially when you realise the maximum fine is $150,000!
Once again, it is great to see the property community innovating and embracing technology.