This past weekend was beautiful here in the DC Metro area. I spent quite a bit of time outdoors, awoken from a season long hibernation by a hyperactive and slightly neurotic canine companion. We spent hours outdoors, traversing the cornucopia of trails and paved pathways offered up by the suburban sprawl that is northern Virginia.
As we walked, we were engaged. Entertained. Enthralled. My dog, by the sights and sounds of springtime. Flowers. Bumble bees. The occasional cat.
Me, by homes. Homes of all shapes and sizes. Condominiums. Townhouses. Capes, Victorians and everything in between.
And by Real Estate signs. They peppered the landscape, like real estate fireflies, glowing softly in the twilight. I was intrigued, one, by the amount of homes that seemingly had sprung up for sale in a week’s time. Two, by what information these silent bastions of Real Estate were delivering to me.
Broker Name, Agent Name, Phone Number(s) and a mish mash of riders providing nuggets and insights such as “coming soon” or “for sale.”
REAL ESTATE 3.0
On March 30th, the good folks at 1000 Watt wrote about Real Estate technology and Real Estate behavior. In the post, a company that was highlighted caught my attention, a company called Stickybits. Intrigued, I researched this company. And came away impressed; chock full of ideas, ideas ignited by opportunity.
Stickybits allows a user to slap a bar code on anything, and associate scads of digital content to that bar code. I could slap a bar code on my dog if I wanted to, and link it to his dogbook page,his veterinary records, and treat of choice if I so chose. Imagine the possibilities for Real Estate. Imagine if I put a bar code on one of the riders, or on the post sign itself. And associated content about the home with the bar code. Content like:
- A virtual tour
- Property Brochure
- Neighborhood comps
- HOA docs
- Addenda and Disclosures
- Warranty information
- Upgrades and additions to the home
The list could go on and on. The potential here is immense. No longer would our information delivery be constrained by the shackles of a “for sale” or “coming soon” etched in 28 pt. times new roman. We could provide relevant content about active and pending inventory to in-market consumers. Fast. Easy. In the manner the consumer wishes to access the information.
My Journey Continued.
On Sunday, prior to leashing up the dog and venturing back out into the sunshine, I decided to purchase a new pair of running shoes. As luck would have it, I arrived at the store about 45 minutes prior to its opening. So I made my way to the Apple store.
While there, I marveled at the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iEverythings. And I struck up conversations with other folks in the store. I watched how these customers fiddled with gadgets and surfed the web from hand-held devices. I watched how they became frustrated if a site didn’t load fast enough. I chatted with a 12 year old who educated me on the nuances of Objective C programming and how Adobe could leverage loopholes to make Flash work on the iPad. I chatted with a sales rep who managed to maintain concurrent conversations with myself and 2 other customers simultaneously, and effectively.
And I thought. I thought back to my weekend experiences. I thought about the Real Estate signs and 28 pt. Times New Roman text. And I thought:
“Coming Soon” and “For Sale” ain’t gonna cut it for these folks. “Coming Soon” and “For Sale” isn’t going to be enough for this kid, this 12 year old, who talks about Objective C like I talk about playoff football. “Coming Soon” and “For Sale” isn’t going to be enough for the multi-tasking woman maintaining 3 conversations while fiddling with her iPhone.
And I thought about opportunity. How I have an opportunity, how we have an opportunity. An opportunity to engage, an opportunity to interact, an opportunity to deliver information to these consumers in ways that far exceed trite verbiage inscribed on a piece of duron hardboard or PVC.
Find Your Home. Plan Your Life. www.averyhess.com