Kenyan elephants, children and home buyers
Geo-fencing is not new technology. Using GPS systems you create a virtual boundary fence in a real world geographic area, and are sent an alert when a device crosses the ‘fence’. It’s used to track Kenyan elephants – when they pass a certain checkpoint the park rangers get an SMS. Stolen cars can be remotely turned off using these systems and Americans use it to keep an eye on their kids (sounds perfect for teenage daughters!) And it may soon be on a real estate portal near you.
Imagine you’ve registered all your criteria for your desired home (bedroom numbers, price etc) and walking through your preferred neighbourhood one morning you get an SMS to tell you you’re about to pass a new listing that matches. The next open home time is included or you can reply to have the agent to call and organise your inspection. Finding Brisbane real estate on your phone is no longer new, but this is an electronic tap on the shoulder – you no longer need to do the searching. A basic GPS matched system, it’s not a complicated process and we understand several US portals are close to implementation.
Recent innovations in property marketing have been all about increased availability of info – better real estate mapping, virtual reality video overlays and broader search criteria. All are designed to help a buyer or tenant cut through the clutter and see only the listings they want. Geo-fencing is immediate, local and specific to your personal needs so we’d expect it to be a real hit.
Meantime local portal behemoth realestate.com.au launched its new ‘face’ this month and the industry collectively stifled a yawn. There are some good ‘about-time’ improvements, such as finally allowing buyers to search from the first page, rather than 2-clicking. For the most part though it’s only a tweak on the old version.
Good to see the addition of dynamic mapping (Google’s big innovation that they’ve now matched) which means you’ll be offered results outside your search area. We’re guessing this will see increased interest in some suburbs where a neighbouring address has a dearer price point. Suddenly suburb boundaries won’t be as relevant and it’s likely more and more buyers will use mapping as their search tool of choice.
What do you think of the ‘new’ realestate.com.au? We’d love to hear your comments.