Kevin Hawkins is the President of WAV Group Communications, a leading real estate consulting group that moves the industry forward by providing agents with innovations and better technology solutions.
In this segment, we ask Kevin to share the trends he sees for the industry moving forward.
Brain chips and memories
One of the first things that really struck Kevin was reading about brain chips and thinking about the way they can positively impact a person’s life, especially since they have made incredible progress in the medical arena for epilepsy patients.
In real estate, people are doing an emotional decision when they’re listing a home and most brokers can attest to the fact that many owners sit on the fence about putting their house for sale due to lingering memories. There’s a company in the UK that claims to one day be able to erase and edit memories, which would definitely be handy for PTSD, phobias, and other bad memories. Perhaps even editing the memories of the seller so their new memories take place in a new house instead of an old one.
While we wonder at the ethicality of the technology, there’s no doubt of its many applications.
Augmented analytics is a more practical trend that can be likened to business intelligence on steroids. The challenge for real estate agents and brokers is that they have all these analytical tools, dashboards, and data… but how do you interpret and make sense of all of them?
Augmented analytics makes this data easier to read and understand so agents and brokers can change how they do business with the customer. For example, we could actually tell a customer who is waiting to put their house on the market, that if they wait 30 days more, they might have to sell their house for less, because the market is changing from all the analytics that we see. So, it would be better for them if they list today.
“And having that kind of business intelligence, this augmented analytics, could be a game changer for real estate agents.” Kevin says.
Even technology like Uber and Lyft is changing the way houses are built. Will we even need garages in the future if we can just use an app to pick us up and drop us off somewhere?
Drone in a box
Right now, realtors, all are being told that they need to show the entire neighborhood. Google Maps just doesn't cut it. It's a good application, but if they need to show how a whole neighborhood looks like can fit into the package, many realtors are hiring photographers who have now become drone pilots.
But what if they didn’t need to do that?
What if they could just go on the internet, put the address of the house and order drone of the box, then the drone would just come to them? It flies around the house, it takes the footage, and it comes back.
Another interesting trend going on in tech nowadays is digital privacy. Everybody freaked out when Facebook was under fire for digital privacy and a lot of people deactivated their accounts and left Facebook. Real Estate professionals who invested a lot of time building their social media profiles and followers were scared that their audience would be leaving the platform.
Still, Facebook remains to be the most powerful platform to reach potential customers.
“But I think really what is really important is that the real estate agents need to understand the privacy that their own customers expect and be more in tune about how to make them understand it easier. [For example,] Google's even putting pictures and drawings on their terms of service, to make people understand how easy this is and how they're trying to become more and more transparent.
And I think people are going to look to California, across the United States and in other countries. They’ll go, ‘Well, hey, look, they're doing it there. How do we model ours?’ Because I think people are going to want that kind of protection too. And by then, hopefully, technology will progress to make it more seamless, so that real estate brokers and agents out there with individual websites won't have to worry about it as much.” Kevin says.
3D printing is steadily gaining more and more attention worldwide and it’s not surprising why. With a few blueprints, you can (potentially) create anything you want. There’s even entire courses and rooms dedicated to 3D printing food and art.
MIT even has a program where they're actually trying to print exact replica of 3D art. So you can literally keep the Mona Lisa at the exact light, the exact intensity with the exact strokes that the Da Vinci originally did so well, that only a professional would be able to tell the difference.
So in real estate, could you imagine adding artwork to your walls that look very close to the real thing? Or if you had a buyer putting an offer on your house and it comes with the precious artwork that they like?
It’s amazing technology with many applications.