The Tech Revolution continues to pick up speed – and the array of new gadgetry to help real estate industry pros is no exception!
In the 1990s and 2000s, cellphones and smartphones freed agents from their office chairs (and chained them to their cars). Who knew that was just the beginning?
Now drones soar high overhead, offering professional-quality listing photos from unprecedented perspectives.
How about the virtual real estate broker? The concept has been around since at least 1987, when the movie “RoboCop” showed a home tour guided by an agent who popped up on screens as shoppers moved from room to room.
With instant messaging apps like Skype and FaceTime, buyers can take home tours without actually being present. One company offers a robot that tours homes for you with a camera, broadcasting videos that can be streamed online.
Some primitive virtual reality (VR) applications even allow clients to enter a lifelike home mock-up by wearing a headset, “opening doors” and “rearranging furniture” with simple hand or finger motions.
But the iPhone may be the springboard for real estate’s next big thing – Augmented Reality: AR projects life-like images into real-world settings.
They aren’t sure how to profit from it yet, but Apple is betting millions by installing AR technology in its newest generation of iPhones. Google and Microsoft are planning AR systems, too.
AR is making its way into education and industry, but more likely you’ve seen its application in “Pokemon Go.” In this smartphone game, players wander around neighborhoods trying to capture monsters only they can see.
So how does this fit in to real estate? Future agents could use an AR-equipped phone to pop up a lifelike 3-D interactive model of a home, even if the home hasn’t yet been built!
AR brings blueprints to life, allowing prospective home buyers to see all their personal touches and customizations before they even start the buying process. Using AR, they could modify features like paint color and try out different amenities, fixtures and furniture.
Fear of change or fear of obsolescence can keep agents from embracing tech.
But VR and AR are nothing to fear. They are tools to offer clients the chance to experience home shopping in a way they haven’t before.