Venture capital firms dumped nearly $13B into real estate tech in 2017. We don’t know specifics as yet for this year but we do know that these investments and dollars are only going to continue rising.
The obvious areas of focus deal with speed, customization, data analytics and connectivity. Chabots like Siri and Alexa are making voice recognition ubiquitous. Homes themselves are becoming URLs via AI and iOT. And tech such as Blockchain is creating a new privacy standard that more companies, such as mortgage companies that currently conduct practices that put personal and financial data at risk, may soon adopt.
How does all of this relate to buyers, sellers and real estate agents? Here are just some of the new tech offerings specific to real estate agents. We’ll look at what’s happening for buyers and sellers in Part II of this two-part series.
- LiveBy – This offering serves up hyper-local, neighborhood-specific content that integrates with an agent’s existing website, listings and or MLS data. LiveBy is basically targeted marketing meets informational resource. LiveBy gives agents credibility and clout via specific informational content with their existing clients while simultaneously bringing in new leads.
- Kelle – This is an AI personal assistant created by Keller-Williams innovation hub, KW Labs. Kelle helps agents manage their schedules and access training and educational resources. Kelle also uses simple voice/text commands to obtain hyper-local neighborhood data and information. Kelle won Inman’s Best Real Estate Tech of the Year award. And, Kelle is available to all agents, not just KW agents, through Apple.
- Agent Neo – This is an Amazon Echo application that is consumer-facing. It helps buyers and sellers book appointments and showings with agents in their areas. It helps agents because it feeds agents new leads and can improve on-site tours and showings. When Agent Neo is enabled in an Amazon Echo device in the agent’s listing, the agent can pre-load it with specific property information. Buyers can ask it questions about neighborhood data, seller’s disclosures, utility bills, etc. while they’re touring the house and the agent does not have to be there. If the buyer asks Neo a question it can’t answer, Neo will automatically connect with the agent immediately so the agent can answer it.
- iO –This tool connects agents with their network, contacts and social accounts helps identify people within the agent’s sphere of influence who would be the most likely to sell their home within the next 6-12 months. First gathers this information by essentially “listening” to +700 factors among their sphere and then uses the data science to track and analyze behavior and actions (online searches, for example) that may indicate someone is considering a move.