I’ve switched gas and electricity suppliers in the past month in our new build from British Gas to EDF, mainly, sadly, to witness a Smart Home meter from Netatmo (supplied and fitted free) along with a free Amazon Echo.
They’re both impressive pieces of kit, and I think if I’d forked out £250 for them, they would still please.
“Alexa, what’s the weather like today?”
“Alexa, turn the heating up to 23.”
“Alexa play The Lumineers from Spotify.”
have become daily utterances, along with its question of the day and bad jokes.
I can see though a use for Alexa or Google Home or Siri in the wider property industry.
A house for sale by an estate agent could have its accompanied viewings replaced by a smart speaker, answering questions like “Alexa how long has this house been on the market? Alexa what is the likely rental yield of this home? Alexa why do estate agents drive Minis?”
Obviously there’d be the risk of theft of said devices and perhaps Alexa would need some software tweaks to allow them to use estate agent speak (similar to politicians) with some selling spin, but it could work?
Voice control has already impacted on our family of four at home so the next steps surely will impact further on the wider industry of home selling and home building?
Alexa could replace the high street estate agencies too? Passers by could ask to be emailed properties that are listed in a locale by voice command? The industry behemoths of Rightmove and Zoopla who are charging a king’s ransom monthly to estate and letting agents or access to monopolised portals could be killed by Alexa?
Those branded BMW Minis could become electric, driverless and voice-activated?
Access to properties for sale and let could become smart controlled like some hotels and many smartphones now have.
Fantastical thinking on my part?
But I reckon this week, with the closures of Maplins and Toys R Us (two companies, along with BHS, Blockbuster, et al) that sadly failed to move with the times, property developers and estate agents need to futureproof their businesses.
Alexa may not be ready any day soon to replace the human service but it will happen, I believe, in some form, and in the not too distant future.