Jed Etters shows a fraction of the many choices a realtor can make in "A day in the life" of a realtor game that Real Estate Game Works

Bellevue-based Real Estate Game Works plays with property industry

It’s no surprise looking around the Eastside that real estate is a hot industry.

With the housing market the way it is, many people are approaching real estate tentatively with some interest. Real Estate Game Works, a Bellevue-based gamification company, is hoping its product will let people know if the business is right for them before jumping in.

Jed Etters, chief executive officer of Real Estate Game Works, said the simulation would allow interested realtors to try out the career, as well as let established realtors earn their continuing educations credits (a once-every-two years mandate).

“There are 115 million households in the U.S.,” he said. “In 2015 there were over 5.25 million home sales. There’s a big number of people getting into the real estate business.”

Real Estate Game Works is a product which allows realtors (and prospective realtors to “live a day in the life” of a realtor, work with buyers and property owners and negotiating the numbers and needs of people, banks and mortgages.

Etters said the company was initially an attempt to reach a younger subset of prospective realtors.

“How do you engage millenials?” he asked. “We found that a reward system and game mechanics are extremely effective. I think technology is going to help people choose their future careers. This is just the start of where simulations are going to go.”

Etters cited the unprecedented success of “Pokemon Go” as an example of how games and simple rewards can be used effectively.

“Virtual reality is on the rise, and people need these simulations to put them into a virtual world,” he said. “It’s a new way of helping people.”

Etters, 37, has been in real estate since he was 18 years old. He’s seen people dive into the career and burn out after only a few months. He’s seen experienced realtors tear their hair out with the mandatory continuing education hours.

He’s hoping to tackle both of these problems in one pass.

“You’re mandated by the state to do 30 hours of education every other year,” he said. “It’s horrible, just answering multiple choice questions. You don’t retain any of that. Our product is a simulation of real life. With the engagement comes stories that you remember. This education used to be ‘lets spend six hours learning about mortgage financing’ and now it’s looking at the best way to lead someone to a close while using real numbers and simulations.

Real Estate Game Works shares an office with another gamification company and employs 16 people. That number could grow when the product officially releases this September or October. The cost of the product will be just $9 per month.

The Washington Association of Realtors has expressed interest in Real Estate Game Works and the game will begin solely in Washington before expanding to the rest of the country.