RTRE 56 – Where’s Tech Going?

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In today’s episode Chris and Christian briefly discuss their thoughts on home automation and smart technology. Let us know what smart technology you prefer in the comments!

Rethink Real Estate Podcast Transcription

Audio length 13:51

RTRE 56 –  Where’s Tech Going?

[music] [Chris] Welcome to re:Think Real Estate, your educational and hopefully entertaining source for all things real estate, business, news and tech. 

[Christian]: I am Christian Harris in Seattle, Washington.

[Nathan]: Hi, I am Nathan White in Columbus, Ohio.

[Chris]: And I am Chris Lazarus in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks for tuning in. 

[music] [Chris]: Everybody and welcome back to re:Think Real Estate. I am Chris Lazarus here with Christian Harris. My man Nate is again out selling homes so he can’t be with us here today. But we do want to make sure you’re here with us getting the re:Think Real Estate treatment every Monday. So thanks for tuning in. Christian what is going on my man?

[Christian]: Hi, I was just thinking about the future of the business and stuff and things and…

[Chris]: Yeah what do you think…

[Christian]: Things I am not doing because…

[Chris]: What do you think it will be like in the future? Take a wild guess.

[Christian]: Well I mean I spend a lot of time thinking about marketing, positioning that kind of stuff.

[Chris]: OK.

[Christian]: You know about 10 years ago podcasting was the new rage. You know it seems like real estate is finally as an industry is catching on to maybe podcasting as a viable medium. We have…

[Chris]: Viable I don’t know. It is a medium. 

[Christian]: Viable like I mean the interwebs [phonetics]. It is not going anywhere. It might be here to stay.

[Chris]: Yeah it is here to stay.

[Christian]: Yeah you know I have been doing my own podcast for almost 3 years now and I felt like when I started that I was kind of like behind the curb. But I was just kind of thinking you know kind of the newer trends, and I think that there is a big…there is gonna a big push maybe or you know the masses are gonna start adopting kind of the smart homes stuff as opposed to just…I think previously it has been just kind of the more tech savvy people coming out of the fringes. 

But I think with Alexa and Echos and Google homes and stuff become more popular as I think that audio content is gonna start becoming you know audio first content is gonna start becoming huge you know. I mean video is just so great but the problem with videos is you’ve gotta be dedicated to watching that video. And it is the only thing you can do. While audio podcasts are all flash briefing all that stuff that you can be doing something else. You could be driving a car or in your home you can be working. So I think it can be more…as our attention it continues to be demanded in multiple directions so it is gonna be more of a push in adoption for audio first stuff.

[Chris]: Like audiobooks right? 

[Christian]: What is that?

[Chris]: It is like audio books. You just…The way our cars work now with the Bluetooth the moment you get out of the car it pauses, when you get back into the car it keeps going. You know, and you can be driving down the road of in your office and it just the continuity it stops and goes and keeps going and you are able to just load more content while you are doing other thing. 

[Christian]: Yeap, exactly you know I was thinking about how this relate to real estate. You know how with the help of an agent or brokerage. And I think it is you know it could be another piece of the content marketing, positioning piece. You know, for me I have been thinking like OK you know I want to start like an Alexa flash briefing, right. 

You know those are basically mini 1 to 2 minute…think of them as mini podcast and so you know if you have Alexa at home or Echo you could say…you could enable these skills and say you know, “Alexa play…play my flash briefings for the day”. And what would be a set up 1 minute Gary V sample and then you know social marketing with Chelsey Pites [phonetics] you know or whoever you subscribe to it will give you the little 1 minute blur you know. And the thing that is different about them is that you can’t go back. It is kind of like it is today and that is it. 

[Chris]: Yeah.

[Christian]: So it is very try and forget but I am thinking like if this starts becoming the norm, the thing, you know if people start going to their Alexa for “Hey Alexa what is the weather, what is the traffic, what is the housing market doing?”. You know like there is gonna be more and more skills built out you know by brokerages, by industry leaders, by marketers you know, all that kind of stuff. 

So how can you get in front of that? Because right now there is not very much in the real estate space. You know the couple I know about gear towards the real estate agents, geared towards the industry not towards consumers. So what would that look like? You know.

[Chris]: So I am not too familiar with like Alexa and Google Home. And all that because frankly I don’t want anybody listening to me and I don’t need more tech for my kids to interact with right now.

[Christian]: But they are already listening.

[Chris]: I know I know.

[Christian]: Here. Everything [laughter].

[Chris]: Yeah well so probably. But…so we haven’t gone on board with the smart home yet. Our home is dump. It was built in the 70s. It is as dump as dump can be. But I did see an article the other day about some technology that is gonna become an outleap next year. OK so mid to late 2020 and we have a ton of cool things on the horizon. 

So, Apple is gonna come out with their glasses. And I saw a report on this. And the things are super lightweight and I can just imagine right in 5 or 10 years you are driving down the street or you are in a showing, and you’ve got your real estate app on your phone and as you walk through the house it is giving you all the details about every room. It is giving you all the updates. You are driving down the street and there is a house for sale and just in your glasses, on your display it is telling you all the price, the bath and bed features, you know. 

That is gonna be the world that we live in in a few years. It’s…we’re not far away from it and you know technology is exponentially increasing. That is not slowing down anytime soon. So like it’s gonna be crazy where this all goes. I don’t know about Alexa and all that.

[Christian]: Sure.

[Chris]: But you’re probably right, pretty soon I am sure I will probably have one too. 

[Christian]: Yeah well possibly I mean you know, it is hard to tell where the trend is gonna go. Because you know, Google has their glass and that was a major flop. Now maybe it was just ahead of it’s time and people weren’t ready for it. Maybe it is a platform issue you know, whatever, but yeah we will see. I mean I am definitely seeing the audio…audio first medium catching traction with masses.

[Chris]: Good.

[Christian]: It is not nearly as rare as the people have you know Google Home or an Echo.

[Chris]: Well if you are listening to this episode, tell your friends to listen to this too because podcasts are cool y’all.

[Christian]: Yeah and so initially…so my journey into the smart homes started with the Google Home. Right.

[Chris]: Yeah.

[Christian]: Because I think its…we bought a new house and we bought a Nest. And when I bought it had like a have and for 20 bucks you could get to buy a Google Home. You know medium or whatever I am not sure. 

[Chris]: Yeah why not.

[Christian]: And I was thinking “Hey you know Google versus Amazon of course the Google one is gonna be able to do way more”. But it doesn’t. Like it’s kind of weak. So…But you know as I experimented with the Alexa app which you can actually download for your phone and essentially you know use the same…the exact same commands and just integrate with your house, I started enabling skills and messing around with that. 

And I am like “OK well this is cool”. And so I bought one of the nicer Echos because it has a better speaker because I didn’t realize…well the big thing is it is able to like “Hey play jazz music or … you know whatever and it will start playing you know a Spotify channel or you know if it is Google it will play Google play or you know an Echo it will play your Amazon music. 

And so you essentially have you know these diverse play list at your fingertips and so I wanted a decent sounding stereo and like the Sonos are actually integrated with the…with the Alexa platform. 

[Chris]: The Sonos speaker?

[Christian]: Yes. So there are some cool options out there but like that’s what we use it for a lot but once you start getting like smart plugs and a Nest of [inaudible] stuff you can set up essentially you know, I don’t know, work flows or what do they call it. Something different on the platform. But to say you know, “Alexa good morning and do you have a turn on your lights and start a soft jazz music and turn your heat up” or you know whatever you program it to do. You know. Now we could just make the argument “Hey we are getting lazy”. 

But I think the future is going in that direction where I think the people are having to pull out their phones or their watches and like touch the screen is gonna become antiquated and too much of a pain. And they much really just be able to say “Hey do this thing” and have an app launch or have a series of functions happen. So for…

[Chris]: Absolutely.

[Christian]: So for real estate I think there is some huge, huge…

[Chris]: And it is kind of cool. Like “Amazon prepare my house for a showing” and then everything kicks on.. the oil diffuser starts making it smell like cookies. The lighting dims, the music is playing. Like that would be a pretty cool Alexa app.

[Christian]: Well yeah I mean and that is if you have a smart phone. It is easy I mean.

[Chris]: Yeah.

[Christian]: Set the workflow for this trigger starts playing this music station and let them. I think for real estate you know my point in this is I think it is starting to get beyond novelty to practical and mainstream. And I think the real estates…

[Chris]: And it is inexpensive enough to do that now.

[Christian]: Right exactly I mean there are nicer…I think the…I think the Echo starts at 40 bucks and the one I have has a decent speaker and it is like 110. You know like you spend hundreds on the Sonos but you know if you want a rocking audio system but…I think for real estate there is opportunities for things like flash briefings and different things that would put you as a leader in technology in providing value and giving up to the community. 

You know it is just…And you could repurpose it from a Facebook live or Instagram live. Cut out the audio and there is your daily or weekly briefing or whatever, you know. So there is definitely ways to leverage content you are already creating for these new platforms to continue building your brand. 

[Chris]: Sounds good. I will have to get on that Alexa new wagon. I am not there yet. We’ll give it time.

[Christian]: Yeah.

[Chris]: Well I mean the only thing…[crosstalk]. Unfortunately you know my crystal ball is broken.

[Christian]: Yeah is that why you are not rich? 

[Chris]: Yeah it is one of those things you know where most predictions never come true but now it is like we are watching this app and…

[Christian]: Sure.

[Chris]: There is definitely something that happens over the next few years. And…

[Christian]: Well right and I think the biggest challenge right now with where technology is, is lack of integration. Because you know Google has a proprietor thing. Amazon has theirs you know…

[Chris]: They are gonna talk to each other.

[Christian]: You know they’re different IOT…internet…internet of things. You know I don’t think there is a standard protocol so you will have to get stuff that is compatible otherwise you have 2 or  different systems that are smart separately but they don’t integrate. Well that is more of a pain than it is worthy. You know.

[Chris]: Yeah or you find some manufacturer that makes 2 versions. One that integrates with Alexa and one that integrates with Google.

[Christian]: Sure.

[Chris]: Pain in the butt. Well I mean it all makes sense. It is gonna be interesting to where this all goes. But I will be interested to see in a few years if you are not right, and that audio and flash briefings become a more important thing in real estate. 

[Christian]: Well I am interested to hear what our listeners think. You know leave comment as in  the future how they are using this kind of leading edge technology whether that is audio or you know VR or AR you know.

[Chris]: Absolutely. So please leave a comment. Let us know what you think. Send us a message. Contact us. Hit the form on the website rtrepodcast.com. Christian if you are right on this than maybe in the near future we need to step in some flash briefings together for the re:Think podcast. 

[Christian]: Sounds good and you owe me a drink.

[Chris]: Argh always. Get yourself over to Georgia and trust me drinks are on the house. 

[Christian]: Alright.

[Chris]: Alright everybody thank you so much for tuning in. This has been re:Think Real Estate. We’ll catch you next week. 


[Chris]: Thanks for tuning in this week’s episode of the re:Think Real Estate Podcast. We would love to hear your feedback so please leave us a review on iTunes. Our music is curtesy of Dan Koch K-O-C-H, whose music can be explored and licensed for use at dankoch.net. Thank you Dan. Please like, share and follow. You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/rethinkpodcast. Thank you so much for tuning in everyone and have a great week.