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How the Internet of Things will increase Realtor revenues

The Internet of Things is not a lofty buzzword to be ignored, no, it will soon be the new metric to determine how “tech savvy” an agent is.

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As our world becomes increasingly connected through WIFI and Bluetooth technologies, real estate brokers should keep an eye on the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Internet of Things is a term describing the current and forecasted interconnection of all kinds of devices to the Internet and to one another.

Anything with an on and off switch can be connected to the IoT, including communication devices, household appliances, wearables, machine components, and more.

How is the IoT being used by companies?

Experts at the Gartner analyst firm predict that by 2020 there may be anywhere from 26 billion to over 100 billion interconnected machines comprising the IoT.

Another summer 2015 report, by the International Data Corporation, put IoT sales at $600 million and estimated an increase to $1.7 trillion by 2020 – and that data didn’t even count sales from desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets!

Marketers are now leveraging the IoT

A study by 2nd Watch released this July also reveals that marketers are beginning to leverage the IoT, and data collected from it, towards their digital marketing efforts. Over 500 marketing executives were surveyed about their usage of the IoT.

Six out of ten executives reported that they were using machine data (information collected from connected devices) and the IoT for digital marketing purposes.

Most, or 40 percent of the total respondents, said they were in the “beginning stages” of using the IoT, while another 19 percent said they were using it “very aggressively,” suggesting that many marketers are just getting started using the IoT, and if all goes well, will probably continue investing more and more.

Why are they using IoT data?

When asked why they were using IoT data for their marketing campaigns, about a third responded that they wanted to “better understand customer preferences.”

Others were using the IoT directly to communicate campaigns and promotions to customers, or to create “customer-facing web and mobile apps.”

A full 32 percent said they were engaging in all three of these activities, suggesting great potential for the IoT to be utilized in a number of different ways.

But were these efforts effective?

While 26 percent of respondents were satisfied that their IoT marketing efforts had met their goals, another 43 percent felt their efforts were “quite successful” for increasing customer engagement and demand for their products, and another 27 percent reported that using the IoT had proved “extremely” effective, and that they could quantify an obvious return on investment.

Overall, this adds up to a strong case for using the IoT for digital marketing, with the real estate industry being a burgeoning space for these technologies.

There are so few industries like real estate where practitioners touch so many potential IoT technologies, and using them to market, but further, knowing about all IoT options in homes is soon going to be the new metric regarding how “tech savvy” a Realtor is and will become a new path for revenues.

#IoT

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

Real Estate Technology

Camera that spins, zooms on its own – perfect for remote working

(TECHNOLOGY) Video conferencing tool, Meeting Owl Pro, helps bridge the communication gap in remote teams with a camera that spins and zooms on who is speaking

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As someone who has spent the bulk of their career in a remote setting, I’ve definitely noticed some elements of communication that differ from an on-site job. Rather than being able to pop into your boss or coworker’s offices, you have to shoot them an email or try and catch them on their phone.

Enter the COVID-19 times…

Remote work can get even more complicated when the whole team is remote and you’re attempting to get everyone on the same page. Or, think about when you’re working remote and you have to video conference into a meeting with people who are on site. Even with video conference chatting, there can still be some kinks in trying to follow the voices and stay on top of who’s speaking.

Luckily, Owl Labs took this issue into consideration and whipped up Meeting Owl Pro and Meeting Owl First-Gen, which are the only 360° camera, mic, speaker smart devices on the market today. This is ideal for teams who have both an on-site and remote team collaborating together (or will again soon).

The Owl sits in the middle of the on-site table and moves in a complete 360° manner that picks up who is speaking and moves the camera to focus on them. That way, the people who are calling in remotely can clearly see who is speaking and follow the meeting as if they’re actually in the room.

Both versions of Meeting Owl are compatible with the big video conferencing platforms, such as: Zoom, Google, Skype, etc. They operate as plug and play devices that connect to Wi-Fi, which allows for automatic updates.

According to the tech team, the specifications of the Meeting Owl Pro 360° smart camera has an enhanced Owl Intelligence System™, 2X sharper camera with 1080p resolution and 2X louder 360° in-room speaker. With the Meeting Owl Pro, customers can expect their meeting spaces to become increasingly intelligent over time with new smart integrations and capabilities, the first of those features being a new Smart Zooming functionality that identifies, locates, and magnifies the person speaking.

This will help to bridge common communication barriers that are felt between on-site collaboration with remote teams. Additionally, it will help with team-building as everyone will have more of an opportunity to spend face-to-face time with their coworkers who work remote from them.

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Real Estate Technology

AI being used to better understand the COVID-19 pandemic

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) The intersection of the coronavirus and AI is here and it’s trying to making the world a better place. AI can read and collect data faster than humans.

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AI and the coronavirus

As the world scrambles to figure out the best way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and halt the ongoing pandemic, researchers are searching for a cure. In order to do so, it is beneficial to track patterns in the virus’s behavior.

Since the virus’s initial spread in December, thousands of papers have been written about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. It would take weeks, if not months, for a person to collate all that information into some valuable data. This is where AI comes in to help.

Earlier this week the White House announced that they were working in collaboration with tech companies and members of academia to provide the huge amount of Coronavirus research to AI researchers and their algorithms.

The AI will be able to comb through all of the research we have to-date and search for patterns that could help those in the research field to find a cure and those in the medical field to better treat their patients. According to Wired, companies and institutions such as the National Library of Medicine, Microsoft Research, and the Allen Institute for AI (AI2) are currently working to gather and prepare the nearly 30,000 papers related to the virus so they can be processed by AI.

Hopefully, the AI’s algorithms are able to see something we cannot. It could find new connections that researchers have not been able to make and speed up the process.

The CEO of AI2, Oren Etzioni, is hopeful that this project will show people the brighter side of AI. “High tech, in general, has gotten a bad rap, but something like this crisis shows how AI can potentially do a world of good.”

There is no question that AI can help us find some answers as we face this pandemic. Whether or not this can all be arranged quickly enough to actually help mitigate the current crisis is the question. Some are wondering if U.S. resources would be put to better use by helping to address the shortage of Coronavirus test kits.

Experts are imploring people to think of the big picture. The issue of open access to medical and scientific research has been a topic of conversation among researchers for years. The pandemic has only highlighted the need. Now governments across the globe are calling on scientific publishers to open access for research on the Coronavirus so we can all work together in this time of global crisis.

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Real Estate Technology

How telecom, power companies are helping customers during COVID-19 outbreak

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Telecom and power companies have also tried to help their customers, while the Coronavirus makes its rounds, by extending service.

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According to Fox News, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, promised to take care of the employees at the American Airline Center during the NBA shutdown. The employees would be paid as if the games were still taking place. Many of the other leagues have made the same promise. Unfortunately, not every employee works for a business with those types of provisions.

Thankfully, many organizations are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with special accommodations to help residential and commercial customers deal with financial issues and staying home to prevent the spread of the virus.

Companies helping out customers

Comcast is offering 60 days of free basic internet service to new customers. It’s also not disconnecting or charging late fees. Current customers are also being provided with unlimited data. AT&T is offering the same types of things for its users, unlimited data and suspending terminations, as is T-Mobile.

Closer to home, the City of Austin has decided not to disconnect customers’ services for non-payment. Evictions are also halted. Austin Energy is reconnecting users who were recently disconnected for non-payment. The company is working with customers to help them get on track with their electric bills.

Customers without power do need to reach out to Austin Energy for a courtesy reconnect, because the bill cannot be restarted without speaking to the customer. The Public Utility Commission has asked all Texas power companies to work with customers during these uncertain times. TXU Energy has also waived late fees and is extending payment due dates.

Contact your utility providers

If your finances are being affected due to COVID-19, talk to your landlord and other providers now to work out a plan going forward. You’ll have less stress when you know you won’t lose your power, water or home. Companies are willing to work with families who have been impacted by the pandemic.

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