Brokerage rolls out tech offering for consumers

by Neil Sharma21 Feb 2019

A Mississauga, ON brokerage is leveraging technology to make buying and selling homes a breeze for consumers.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Signature Service in Mississauga is incorporating voice activation technology—namely Amazon Alexa and Google Home—to help consumers search for real estate. By simply saying, “Alexa, open Mississauga real estate,” they will be asked a series of questions and then provided three results corresponding to the criteria they provide.

“From wherever you have a smart speaker device, all you have to do is simply ask it to open Mississauga real estate, in our case, and it will prompt you to answer questions, and then it will send the top three that best meet your criteria,” said Nelson Goulart, broker of record and owner of Best Homes and Gardens Real Estate Signature Service.

“You’ll also receive an email list with the rest of the results that best meet your criteria. The listings come from our board [TREB], but as it expands across Canada it could be any board that partners with offices that choose to use it.”

Goulart expects the feature to be a hit with consumers because Canadians have been quick to adopt smart speaker technology and, to his knowledge, nobody else offers the same service in Canada.

“Smart speaker adoption in Canada was growing faster than in the U.S.,” he said. “It grew by 8% in one year in Canada; in the United States it grew 7% after three years, so we’re adopting at a faster rate than the U.S.”

Whether sitting at their breakfast island sipping a latte or on the couch watching television, the ease of use is undeniable, especially because users will be guided through a short questionnaire of sorts.

“It asks some basic questions, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, price range and community,” said Goulart. “It will ask if you want a parking spot, a garage—basic questions that most consumers would search for themselves, only the difference here is that the answers are provided for you. It repeats the top three candidates and emails the rest. You could have 15 or 20 listings sent to you.”

Sellers, too, will be able to take advantage of the feature because they can research comparable selling prices on their street or in their neighbourhoods. Goulart noted that consumers do their research before hiring a sales representative, and using voice activation technology is yet another tool at their disposal.

“You can see what’s going on in your neighbourhood and what people are asking for their properties, and if you’re selling this is an additional portal you can use,” he said. “Whether it’s Realtor.ca or TREB, this is one more platform for people to find listings—and they will be better informed when they do hire a realtor.”

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