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Fantasy real estate games

Publishing & Media

There’s nothing like compelling content to engage potential customers, and that’s just what Realius is aiming for with its Fantasy Real Estate suite of online games. The first of these, Price Me Now, was demonstrated at the TechCrunch40 Conference in September and crowned Most Creative Idea at the Web 2.0 Summit a month later. Now in beta, the game challenges players to guess the prices of actual homes for sale in their market by viewing the photos and property details provided by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Players earn points based on their performance against the Realius price, an aggregation of previous player estimates and the actual list price; in the near future, prizes will be awarded to the best pricers. The game is free to users, but real estate companies and professionals can purchase in-game placement as “coaches” who guide players and make their own professional guesses. Licensing fees, referrals and market reports are also part of Realius’s planned revenue model. Chuck Teller, CEO of the California start-up, explains: “Realius captures the synergies between the enormous popular interest in casual gaming and Americans’ obsession with real estate. Our games engage consumers as they dream about, search for, buy, furnish, remodel and sell their homes in ways that are incredibly fun—but also instructive.” Other games in the works at Realius include Fantasy Flip, which lets homeowners give their homes virtual makeovers and then solicit opinions on how much the changes would increase their value, and Major League Investor, which pits players against one another as they build fantasy property portfolios. The games currently focus on the company’s home base of the San Francisco Bay Area, but they’re a nice example of marketing through content–which could be particularly important for weathering tough business climates such as the one faced by real estate today. One to bring to a market near you…? Spotted by: Peter Yu



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