Real Insight: Looking To The Future
Smart phone apps like TREB’s Collaborate helping to transform the homebuyer’s journey
Every January, the biggest brands in technology and consumer electronics gather in Nevada for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). There are so many exciting new real estate and home technologies, with smart homes taking centre stage at CES 2018. Below are some of the latest innovations I’m most excited about.
IN THE HOME
No discussion about smart homes would be complete without mentioning Amazon Echo and Google Home. These intelligent personal assistants allow you to interact with technology with your voice and have made it more commonplace to conduct internet searches, play music and make online purchases from your home through speech commands.
These assistants have also led to an increase in integrated, voice-activated smart home products. Products like the Ring Video Doorbell, a smart doorbell that sends alerts, a live video feed and two-way speaking capabilities to your smart phone whenever someone is at your door.
A number of smart light and vent technologies can now also connect with intelligent personal assistants to dim or cool a home based on voice commands.
The kitchen, in particular, is a place where smart home tech is continuing to grow. The FridgeCam, for example, is a product that can be added to a traditional fridge and can suggest recipes based on what’s in your fridge and even indicate when your groceries will expire. Other kitchen technology currently in development includes inductive heating countertops that will intuitively detect and heat pots and pans, while ensuring plates and utensils on the same surface are not heated.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Virtual reality (VR) will work to empower real estate professionals and their clients to tour spatially accurate 3D renderings of multiple listings without the hassle of travelling to multiple locations.
While many VR headsets are expensive, and the technology has a way to go, companies like the Canadianbased Gryd.com have already created budget cardboard VR headsets that allow people to gain 360 previews of listings.
Augmented reality is another developing technology that will allow realtors to superimpose information onto real world environments. By simply having a buyer hover their smart phone camera over a condominium residence, for example, relevant information on the building’s amenities, units available, and more, could be displayed over the screen.
Other products, like the Bluetoothenabled Igloohome Smart Keybox, make it so you can conveniently access the contents of a lock box through an app, while e-signature solutions are continuing to remove the need for pen and paper to finalize a property transaction.
Currently, a number of smart phone applications are also helping to transform the homebuyer’s journey. One such apps is Collaborate by TREB, which allows buyers to search properties across multiple devices, communicate with a TREB realtor in real time, and comment and like/dislike properties while sharing this info with your real estate professional.
Tim Syrianos is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.