At first glance, it seems like there’s not much room for modernization in the real estate sector. It’s an industry that relies so heavily on face-to-face, physical interactions, like talking to a friendly and knowledgeable realtor, or seeing a property with your own eyes.
Sure, by now every real estate agency has an online presence; the best usually have a site optimized for mobile, or maybe even an app. But no matter how high-tech your realty website is, nobody’s buying a house without stepping through its doors to see it for themselves, firsthand.
Despite this, it is in fact highly likely that emerging technologies will reshape the face of the real estate industry. In fact, one innovative device is already being adopted by more forward-thinking agencies: the beacon.
A few examples of different beacons (Source)
A small, sleek device, beacons use low-energy Bluetooth signals to send/receive information to/ from a mobile phone or tablet. Beacons’ low-power signals typically have a range of forty to fifty meters, making them ideal for proximity-based applications.
Some of these applications have already been realized, in tech conferences or even grocery stores—but how can beacon technology revolutionize the real estate domain?
A NEW OPEN HOUSE
A fixture of the real estate business, the open house isn’t going away anytime soon. But with beacons, realtors can transform their showings into an interactive, immersive experience for prospective buyers or renters.
For example, if a beacon is placed near the front door of a property, it can interact with clients who have downloaded your agency’s real estate app as they enter the building. It could prompt the visitor to register via the app, or offer essential information about the property.
This could allow the real estate agent to easily track any prospective buyers, as well as provide a more engaging open house experience for the visitor. If the beacon delivers information they were sure to ask for anyway, that frees up time for the realtor to showcase different details.
Beacons don’t have to stop at the front door. When appropriately positioned throughout the house, a buyer could take a tour and receive information about specific rooms or features, sent right to their phone.
This sort of guided tour allows a prospective buyer to engage with the house itself—it may even start to feel like home before they’ve even finished the showing.
And why wait to use beacons until actually showing a property? Why not integrate it into one of the most common leads in real estate—the “for sale” sign?
Picture this: a beacon placed on a “home for sale” sign that can detect when a user is nearby, and send property details directly to their smartphone. From there, a user could view photos of the interior, schedule a showing with the realtor, or see other nearby listings.
A Smart For Sale Sign (Source)
The real estate agent could also learn how effective their signs are by tracking the number of people interacting with each one. Again, it’s a win-win for both parties in the transaction.
Some real estate agencies have already implemented this technology—there are entire companies that specialize in beacon implementation for real estate firms. And agencies who already have apps are improving them by enlisting the services of a UX design company.
THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
This is only the beginning of beacons’ application in the industry—from real estate offices to special conferences or events, beacons are extending our interaction with our mobile phones to the physical world.
And just like any period of rapid change in history, as our digital and physical worlds merge, companies in all sectors need to adapt—the real estate industry is no exception. Agencies who hire app development companies understand the inevitability of this digital Renaissance.
Beacon technology will change the face of not only the real estate industry, but how business is conducted in every sector.
Companies that are leaders in innovation will harness these technologies and dominate the market in a time where the line between digital and physical becomes harder and harder to discern.