Mobile gaming platform SCVNGR is teaming up with real estate companies nationwide to put on large-scale homebuyer competitions in cities around the country, SCVNGR announced Thursday. SCVNGR is backed by Google’s venture capital arm, Google Ventures.
Dubbed "Race for the Home," up to 1,000 homebuyers at each of 10 cities will play the SCVNGR game, which involves visiting locations — including for-sale listings from real estate brokers in the real estate version of the game. Participants learn something unique about the listing from participating agents and brokers to complete a challenge, and accrue points along the way.
The first competition will run in Atlanta on Saturday, Sept. 18. At the end of the day, the participant with the most points wins a grand prize: a large downpayment toward their future home purchase, between $10,000 and $30,000.
In this 10-city campaign, SCVNGR will typically partner with just one client per city, either a large local brokerage, or in the case of Atlanta, real estate search site HomeFinder.com.
"It’s all about reaching homebuyers in a meaningful new way and forming a lasting connection. The convergence of fun, gaming, mobile and social is a really powerful way to achieve that," said Mark Tepper, vice president of sales and business development at HomeFinder.com.
"SCVNGR … uses fun to engage people and we’re excited to work with them to run this campaign and help connect our agent and broker customers more dynamically to people searching for a home in Atlanta."
SCVNGR has already found partners in Sarasota, Fla., and Austin, Texas. Other partners will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, said Ryan Neu, SCVNGR’s real estate executive.
The participating brokerages pay a fee to become part of the event. Sponsorship packages have not yet been finalized, Neu said, but the fees will depend on how many listings the brokerages want to include in the game, whether they want neighborhood exclusivity, and how much of a discount they want to showcase their listings for on HomeFinder.com.
Some brokerages may also choose to charge homebuyers to participate in the event to benefit a charity of their choosing, Neu added.
Homebuyer participants will be chosen based on answers to questions on a customized website (still in beta for Atlanta) about their hunt for a home, including which neighborhood they are interested in, how soon they want to buy, and their price range. Home sellers interested in listing their home for the event will also get a chance to sign up.
Players participate via SCVNGR’s free iPhone or Android applications.
SCVNGR has held similar "Diamond Dash" events for couples who competed to win a $25,000 diamond engagement ring in more than 100 cities nationwide.