More brokerages are testing out how to use the rising popularity of voice-activated devices, like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, in their business. Real estate brokerage Engel & Völkers is now showing how more professionals can conduct home tours with a voice assistant.
Prospective buyers at a model condo unit in the District Lofts in Atlanta can call upon Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa as they tour the space to learn more about the home and neighborhood’s features. Signs are posted around the home with prompts of what you can ask Alexa to guide the tour.
For example, visitors can say: “Alexa, tell me about the kitchen,” or “Alexa, what is there to do in the neighborhood?”
Engel & Völkers have set up six Alexa devices in each room around the condo, along with question prompts so that visitors can start a conversation about the specific room and get detailed descriptions of the space. For example, the Alexa speaker in the bathroom is programed to talk about the deep soaking tub, glass shower, and the bathroom finishes when asked for details.
“With buyers relying more on technology, we are tailoring our sales efforts to meet the changing expectations of the modern buyer,” says Christa Huffstickler, founder and CEO of Engel & Völkers Atlanta. “What we are employing is reflective of a greater trend towards a larger tech presence in the home. We aim to modify our sales approach to apply to the generations and audiences we are trying to appeal to, and the Alexa-enabled model home is representative of their new tech-focused approach to life.”
The use of voice assistants is growing, with 53 million American adults owning such devices.
“Although implementing tech into the homebuying process has only recently caught on in the marketplace, buyers have been expecting this for a while,” says Tyler Russell, advisor at Engel & Völkers Atlanta. “The Alexa homes at District Lofts are sure to set off a trend for agents looking to revamp their sales approach for a new generation of buyers.”