Many real estate agents are quick to succumb to so-called “shiny object syndrome,” or the need to try out every latest and greatest invention. But that doesn’t mean every shiny object is useless or a waste of time. Many tried-and-true apps, software or tools started off as trendy, seemingly novel ideas before becoming foundational to many agents’ businesses. If you are someone who wants to be one of those early adopters, with a home screen or desktop cluttered with flashy tech, you might feel cautious about jumping right into another fiery app infatuation this year. At the same time, you don’t want to miss out on something that could really shake up the real estate world.
Here are four tech trends that you should look into, which could reshape your business in 2023 (and beyond):
A tool created by OpenAI (a company which boasts some huge names, including Elon Musk and Microsoft as backers) called ChatGPT is making waves this year already. Designed to simulate real, human conversations—you type, and the AI responds. But some savvy real estate agents have seen another purpose for the tool—writing listing descriptions. With just a few keywords, the bot has served up what (to some) is a functional, eloquent summary of a property. Whether this program is a game-changer or just something to play around with, the power of this AI is clearly catching the attention of many in real estate.
One question almost everyone asks when buying a home: how is the traffic? In the past, you would have to drive the commute at the proper time and see for yourself. But over the last year or so, navigation apps like Google Maps have begun providing granular data not just at the current time, but for any day or time you choose. But beyond that, more companies are leveraging public or crowdsourced data. Want to see speed traps in the area or tune in to live traffic cameras? There’s an app (or website) for that. Many states and cities also offer apps or alerts regarding local road conditions, including planned construction, which can help inform both you and your clients about long-term driving challenges in your area.
Limited virtual spaces
With the ambition of a large, open-ended metaverse somewhat fading in 2022, some new, more curated experiences have started to emerge. Twitter’s “Spaces” feature, or apps like Clubhouse allow you to join live audio “rooms” to chat with people nearby, or those with similar interests. Other services like Teemyco or Roam create simple, persistent virtual offices, where you can check in and out of rooms and join meetings without any of the messiness of a videogame-like metaverse. Whether you are looking for broader connections to your community or the next step in virtual work, it might make sense to start smaller this year.
Virtual reality is great, but a lot of people still want to keep one foot on the ground. Enter “augmented reality,” or AR, which provides information or entertainment projected onto the real world, in real-time. This technology is still far from where sci-fi movies have suggested it could go—but imagine wearing glasses that show you the pricing history of a house or estimated renovation costs for kitchen counters, right in front of your eyes? Unfortunately, Apple recently delayed its much-anticipated foray into “mixed reality” glasses this year over technical issues, meaning these features may be further away than many hoped. But for those who believe in the AR future, there are several options available today that offer live video streaming, voice commands and hologram projections.
Like any other bleeding edge tech, much of the hype is likely to fade on these emerging trends, and only time will tell what will prove useful (or in what ways). But anyone who is trying to stay one step ahead of the next year’s (or next decade’s) innovations shouldn’t dismiss any of these offhand or ignore their near-term potential to shake up the real estate industry.