The Digital House Hunt: Powering Builders and Buyers Through Tech

Technology is improving the retail landscape - and this is not limited to small goods. Technology is changing the way people purchase large ticket items too, such as a new home. Gone are the days of having to physically visit a sales centre, tour that model home, or take an awkward home tour from a real estate agent. While this sounds like it might be removing the personal touch of a sales person, it is doing the opposite. Our digital solutions are arming the sales person with insightful data and information pertinent to this particular customers buying journey. 

Touchscreens, in particular, are starting to make waves and be prevalent in modern businesses. McDonald's introduced a line of large touchscreen panels to take customer orders and relay them to the kitchen. Giant touchscreen tables have also started popping up in the table-top gaming worlds, and are being used as big interactive world maps. In building and real estate worlds, the quest for the dream home has become more and more a digital house hunt. Utilizing interactive touchscreen solutions could be the key to bridging the online and offline home-buying experiences.


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Can Home Builders Benefit?

If you think the construction industry cannot benefit from the mobile-centric tech trend currently sweeping through various industries, then you might want to reconsider. Pretty much everybody from your team, your partners, to your clients, carry around a smartphone. That means that now more than ever, people are in constant contact with one another. Industry forward thinkers, Buildertrend, saw a perfect opportunity to fill a need by introducing an all-in-one mobile solution; in convenient app form. Through the app, construction companies can use the solution to upload project photos, outline & update schedules, create to-do lists, and send messages to different team members. Being on a job site or in transit means you do not always have access to a computer, but you most definitely have your phone on you. Taking advantage of a complete mobile solution can save your team countless hours of playing catch up when they could be working and updating in real-time. On the touch screen front, imagine being able to see, touch, and manipulate a completed project, right there at your fingertips. The benefit to incorporating touch screen panels to your business model, not only does it allow for a richer visual experience than just a design blueprint, it is less time consuming than building a 3D model. You can easily move around aspects that don't make sense and play with your construction designs in real-time. Leveraging this technology is not only handy for the administrative/data visualization side, but having these tools at your disposal make sure that companies are taking advantage of incorporating smart-home designs from the very beginning.

Now, let's take it one step further. On top of real-time communication and update possibilities, imagine leveraging the power of augmented reality for your builders. Tech company, Daqri, are crafting an excellent piece of hardware; a smart helmet. You might be thinking this is just another internet of things gimmicky gadget, but a tool like this tethered to a mobile app would have irrefutable value on a job site. The Daqri smart helmet is equipped with a central unit 6th-generation Intel Core M7 processor, a high-speed wide-angle tracking camera, an expansive field of view optical see-through display, depth sensors, and a thermal camera to boot. The 'ruggedized' transparent display is perfect for integrating augmented reality with job-site work. You could have your blueprint on the heads-up display while working, or utilize the thermal array to detect anomalies in real time. The helmet additionally comes equipped with an integrated RGB camera, infrared light projector, and stereo infrared cameras, allowing the camera to infer depth. Pairing technology like this with a tailor-made mobile solution will allow for fast and more efficient projects. 

Don't Real Estate Agents Work Mainly Offline?

When people think real estate agent, they think of somebody showing home after home, inspection after inspection; and that is not an entirely inaccurate vision. What they do not think of, however, is the mountains of back and forth paperwork between potential home-buyers and sellers, banks, other real-estate agents, and so on. It can become an administrative nightmare. Thankfully, we now have access to tools that make all of this incredibly easy to manage on the day to day. We developed an all-encompassing sales tool for Ashcroft Homes and Tamarack, that they now use at numerous locations in the Ottawa area. Here's a glimpse of the benefits of implimenting such a tool:

  • Saves on time and resources, thus shortening the sales cycle. 
  • Allow for nearly instant follow-ups, replies, and schedulings.
  • Allow agents to digitally prioritize listings and associate the appropriate paperwork to each listing.
  • Collect background data on the most popular types of listing in different regions, by age group, marital status, and so on. 

And while the benefits for Ashcroft and Tamarack were clear, a product such as this also ensures benefits on the home-buyers end as well. Here are among the most positively received:

  • Allowed for a high level of interactivity from buyers to view homes, layouts, and surrounding neighborhoods. 
  • Provided more autonomy during the buying process; not everybody wants to talk to a real estate agent on the first go-around. 
  • Gave potential home-buyers the option to select their favourite floor plans, save them, and email them to themselves for futher contemplation. 

Being able to communicate with both your buyers and builders in almost real-time, is such a valuable time-saver in today's fast-paced mobile environment. However, what about people who are not quite ready to take the plunge? Mobile technology is ready to make their process easier as well. Many, about 77% of all home-buying queries begin online. A potential buyer will scan listings on their mobile phone, long before they even reach out to a real-estate agent to take an appointment. With the burgeoning popularity of 360-video tours, it would be invaluable if real-estate agents could upload vibrant, detail-rich tours of their listings. Now imagine all that data being delivered through a mobile app that also links up to a large format touch screen in that realtor's sales center.

By having a harmonized app across multiple mobile channels, none of the potential buyer's information is lost when they do finally come into the sales center for further listing information. The agent can focus on the units/properties that particular client has toured the most, be able to show them the neighborhood amenities via the interactive touch panels in their office. The data obtained via these tools can become so granular, that each and every client meeting can be finely tailored to their precise property interests and needs. Want to really blow their socks off? Why not look into emerging beacon technologies for the personal property tours. Through your app, which your prospective buyer is now very familiar with, they can receive push notifications about interesting facts about the current room they are in. Does the home boast a new roof, or maybe there are entirely new hardwood floors; beacon technology allows you the opportunity to still point out these key features, all while your clients tour the property at their desired pace.

What It All Means

Something we've noticed with the rise of mobile as our preferred mode of, well, everything, is that people really enjoy owning more stages of their process. Customers want to be more autonomous in the sales cycle, but having the right tools means allowing clients their autonomy, while still collecting pertinent sales information and feeding them targeted and poignant points of interest.

Buying a home is often a long, confusing, and paper-driven process. Our touchscreen solutions make the prospective homebuyer experience exciting for visitors, while simplifying the administration side for home builders. If you are a home builder or real estate agent and you are interested in finding out how large format touch screens are right for your business, contact us today to set up a demo.

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Tagged with: Touchscreen, Hardware, Real Estate, Home Builder

Colin Rose
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Colin Rose

Account Manager