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Gamification: A New Way to Market to Gen Y Residents

As we inch closer to back to school time, I know many of our student housing clients are searching for new ways to engage their student residents. I recently learned about a marketing concept that I think could be applied by not only student housing portfolios, but any management company looking to target Gen Y consumers. 

Gamification is the practice of applying game design patterns to non-game applications (like websites) to make them more compelling to users and encourage engagement. You see gamification every day, although you might not realize it. For instance, a business that offers incentives or coupons to consumers who “check in” at their business on Facebook is using gamification.

Practitioners of this relatively new science are interested in building more active and loyal communities and, ultimately, driving revenues.  There are several web sites dedicated to this art and there is even a white paper for those interested in “the use of Game Dynamics to Influence Behavior”.  While Gamification is geared mainly toward Generation Y, it has implications across age groups.

Gartner Research Group estimates that by 2015 more than 50 percent of innovative organizations will “gamify” their processes and applications. The Gamification Wiki was created in November 2010 and has since surged in popularity.

Have you seen examples of gamification in the property management industry? How do you think property managers can use this concept to market towards residents?

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