Home Automation, Virtual Reality and Big Data

Find out how the current tech trends can change your business in the coming years.

by Paul Salley, manager of marketing strategy

Working with firms across the country, we have a unique vantage point that allows us to understand how brokerages are incorporating new technology into their company and strategy. We’ve seen the rise of smart home technology over the last year, and it will continue to impact real estate as consumers become more accustomed to the gadgets and tools that help them save time and money. In addition to the continued dominance of home automation, other trends that will be heavily manifested this year include the incorporation of virtual reality and big data.

Recently, members of the REAL Trends Technology team attended the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to get a pulse on the latest technology trends and releases. Let’s take a look at the top three trends:

Home Automation

Smart homes are getting smarter. We’ve already seen the popular smart home technology introduced last year in its second iterations.

Voice-command technology has been the method of choice for big smart home companies to deploy their products. Amazon Alexa captured the market on voice-assisted tech. Many suspected Google Home or Apple Homekit to lead the pack, but that’s not happened yet.

When one thinks of home automation, typically a whole house system comes to mind, such as a thermostat or camera system. Smart home technology has entered into a realm of being specific to particular facets and rooms of the house. For example, smart nurseries. Smart nurseries include products such as baby monitors, scales, heart-rate monitors and more. Also popular are outside systems, such as smart garages, smart sprinkler systems, smart doorbells, and smart outdoor security monitoring.

Virtual Reality

Today, consumers expect high-definition (HD) imagery, maps and even drone footage of a property before they pick up the phone to schedule a showing. Imagine if consumers could tour a home from the comfort of their living rooms or offices? Some real estate firms are already experimenting with virtual reality (VR). This solution is appealing to long-distance consumers. The ability to navigate a home, inspect the floor plan and have a 3D experience before visiting a property could have a profound effect on the real estate industry. Matterport, a virtual imaging company, provides 3D environments to the real estate consumer. Expect VR to become more and more mainstream as new consumer 3D cameras flood the market.

Big Data

We’ve seen a shift in the ability to leverage big data with marketing efforts. A perfect example of this is Facebook. Without thinking twice, Facebook users provide information on a daily basis that can be used for marketing purposes. From check-ins at local restaurants to relation-ship or job status changes, marketers have found a way to tap into this big data for the purpose of targeting the perfect consumer. Downloaded an app lately? This information is fair game, too. With the wealth of information people provide to cyberspace on a daily basis, there’s an incredible opportunity for brokerage firms to use this information to their benefit. Not only has Facebook exercised this ability, but also other display network platforms are aggregating big data and allowing advertisers to purchase ad space and categorize consumers. We expect this trend to continue and even expand in 2017.

Questions about your 2017 technology and marketing initiatives? Contact the REAL Trends Technology and Marketing team for more information attech@realtrends.com.

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