Today’s real estate forecast: cloud-y

Oct 5th, 2015 | By FCT

You say you barely remember, way back in (say) 2008, when that “cloud thing” first hit?

Let EXPERT/ease refresh your memory: In 2008, boxes of software began to disappear. CDs became obsolete as software began to move to the Web. We now download what we need and upgrade automatically – all from some planet far, far away.  Desktop software became more and more “app-like”—and you, dear user, communicated with your software (at least while installing and updating) in a whole new way.

Now, all that cloud infrastructure (where the magic lives) is about to go nova in the form of IoT – The Internet of Things. IoT gives machines the ability to communicate with each other, independent of human presence. This is going to change our relationships with our homes as much as connected sensors have made vehicles smarter.

GE, telecommunications companies, Adobe, and Cisco, among other tech giants, are doubling down on this massive opportunity. As EXPERT/ease has noted before, by 2020, an estimated 40 billion devices (many of them simple sensors) will be “connected” over the cloud. The IoT is turning the connected machines around us into one huge brain. And hundreds of millions of those sensors are going to be within meters of you, whenever you’re at home. And they’re going to make the buying, selling and marketing of homes—especially on mobile phones—so much more compelling and convenient.

Real estate is a billion dollar business full of early adopters. The industry’s first mobile customers were home inspectors, mortgage brokers and real estate agents on the go. In the United States, there is a research lab called the Reach Accelerator, run by the National Association of Realtors. The lab is dedicated entirely to connecting tech companies with real estate entrepreneurs and financial specialists in order to incubating new technology.

One example:  IoT ‘soft locks’ are eliminating the time-wasting and profit-shrinking issues, such as missing the cable guy or coordinating with a home inspector.  ‘Soft locks’ are mobile apps that are triggered in proximity to a home for sale, generating secure, time-limited ‘keys’ to open a house.  No more missed key handoff appointments…imagine that. Right now, you can use the August Smart Lock App to manage who gets in and out of homes. The IoT even works via Bluetooth when power or WIFI are out. Pretty cool.

IoT devices that measure energy consumption will add value to homes by sharing data details about other applications that affect saleability—like a sensor that cues you to increase ambient natural light quality in a kitchen or great room…and thus increase viewability, desirability and asking price.

And it’s smart business. Realtors in savvy markets are already recommending triple pane glass, because they have an IoT app that calculates energy savings on the fly, right there, chatting with the prospective buyer.

Nice touch, sharing ROI data with a client, in the room. Impressive.

Fostering relationships between real estate and mortgage professionals and their customers past, present and future—the heartbeat of our business—is truly about to go nova.

Can mobile real estate transactions be too far off? Let’s see.

Stay tuned as EXPERT/ease follows developments. Live and be well.

One response to “Today’s real estate forecast: cloud-y”

  1. I have to give credit to NAR in the USA, they really do have a good tech team that stays up with current tech and innovation. In Canada, it seems our established real estate industry is a bit behind and always scrambling to catch up to what the members of the industry are already doing.

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