Consumers can now test their property valuation skills and win prize money on a new online real estate game.
Fantasy Real Estate allows players to predict the final sale price for three properties being auctioned each week.
Founder of Residex and consultant to onthehouse.com.au, John E Edwards, created the game as an educational tool to teach people about buying a house.
“Fifteen per cent of prices are out of what’s realistically real in the market,” he told Real Estate Business.
“It’s because people don’t practice enough. They don’t get involved in buying a home often enough to work out how much a house is really worth.”
Every week, punters can estimate the selling price of three properties being listed for auction and if they are correct they can earn up to $400,000.
To help them determine a likely sale price for each property, they will need to purchase property market reports supplied by Residex.
“In a way they’re playing for real, and that’s why the prize is so large and it’s fair because it’s getting close to the Australian median average of a house.
“I’m really saying you are playing for a house. If you can do this well enough, you can win a house.
“I’m trying to give people the incentive to actually learn and play but at the same time, have fun because people don’t learn things unless it’s enjoyable. I’m trying to create some reality and fun and a learning place all at the same time.”
Mr Edwards said he had shared Fantasy Real Estate with a number of real estate agents who were optimistic about the benefits in the game.
“It means greater awareness of them as an agent. If you have a large number of people playing this game, which is what we want, these agents become very well known,” he said.
“The properties become of considerable interest to the public and so it’s likely that you’ll get quite large numbers of people turning up to the auctions and the open for inspections.”
General manager of real estate sales at News Corporation Tom Panos said anything based around competitions engaged people.
“Real estate is the hot topic at the moment so everyone has views and opinions on values and I can see the fact that guessing what a property sells for would have high levels of interest by consumers.”
He echoed Mr Edwards’ sentiments saying the game could help consumers understand the market better.
“If they’re going to be a buyer or seller, it’s going to help them be more educated because the more time they’re spending immersed in data is going to give them an opportunity to be more realistic with values.”
Principal of First National Marrickville Tony Iskandar said he was considering sharing Fantasy Real Estate with his clients once he had spent time monitoring it.
He added he saw the value of the publicity it gave agents.
“The exposure will be good and being a game as well you’ll probably be able to get a younger generation onto it as well so I think it will be something that’s definitely worth look at,” he said.
Property enthusiasts have previously been able to gamble on weekly auction clearance rates when online betting website Sportsbet introduced it as a novelty option in June.