There are a few things in life that I REALLY enjoy; my family, good wine, good scifi books and movies, Michigan Football, real estate. And when I come across articles and ideas that combine some of my favorite things in life and some of my favorite people, well, GAME ON!
Joseph Ferrara is one of those rare characters you get the opportunity to meet once in a while in your life. He shown a great grasp of real estate marketing and how it’s driven by the end-user. Writing for Inman, he pens, er… bangs out this post on MARS, “mobile augmented reality systems.”
Two money quotes from the article:
The MARS user can access and visualize data that is tied to their physical location and environment…
Imagine walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City and getting a guided tour, courtesy of your iPhone. Unlike virtual reality, which seeks to replace the real world, MARS supplements it. This is not the future. MARS is here.
Ok, see, this type of melding of digital information on top of our physical world is truly exciting to me. I recently finished re-reading a book by Vernor Vinge, titled “Rainbows End,” that sets this idea to a near future reality. The story is well-thought out and true to Vinge’s past books. A premise of the story is that access to the ‘net is done through wearable computers…literally shirts, pants, etc. Another premise, which we are just beginning to glimpse now, is that data search and analysis has become the new economy.
The concept of wearable computers and instantaneous access to data to overlay on our “physical” sight/location is intriguing and exciting. Instead of diving for the iPhone or BlackBerry to figure out where the closest pizza joint is, you would be able to get step by step directions, menus, reviews, tips and likely be able to order your meal enroute.
As real estate agents, we generate a LOT of information. Being able to search and analyze that information has become increasingly important to the real estate transaction. With nearly 90% of the home buyers utilizing the internet, at some point in the purchase process, it is important for our information to be out there.
It is becoming even more important that the information is user friendly and easily accessible.
What about Real Estate Marketing and Information?
A few years back while taking a Certified Commercial Investment Member class, one of the instructors was admonishing the students that the next step in COMMERCIAL real estate marketing would be something very similar to MARS. In fact, the instructor was talking about a demo he’d seen where Chicago had been recreated in 3D within Google Earth. Commercial RE brokers, within this 3d Chicago, could “hang” for sale/lease signs on individual suites in the buildings downtown and that if the user decided to look at suite 325, they could simply “fly” into and through the unit…a virtual showing, if you will.
The possibilities for real estate, commercial or residential, are mind blowing. Can you imagine the marketing you could do with your current marketing efforts. You could easily organize your high resolution photos, full-motion video and room by room descriptions to take advantage of a MARS. Some keyword marketing, paid and organic, coupled with some QR tags on signs and fliers and you’ll dominate the up and coming real estate consumer in your marketplace.
Imagine a prospective buyer sees your listing as they drive by. They could scan the QR code or simply access the real estate layer of the MARS in that neighborhood and see all your listing has to offer. Almost like doing an open house 24/7!
A Glimpse of the Near Future