By MELISSA HAMBRICK
Put Amazon Echo in “Away Mode” and your digital helper plays a recorded conversation designed to trick burglars into thinking someone’s home.
Google Home now recognizes six languages, and can not only tell you Shark Week facts, but provide the surf report in Hawaii.
And now without raising a finger, both can provide Brentwood and Franklin homeowners with their home values as well.
It is estimated that 20% of Americans now use smart speakers. USA TODAY cites statistics revealing that over 60 million Americans will be using products like Google Home or Amazon Echo’s Alexa to help them get organized, be entertained, and even become smarter, by having information available at the sound of their voice.
Andy Elliott, Realtor at DeSelms Real Estate in Franklin, see himself as one of these early adopters.
Having recently purchased Google Home, it was his own research that led him to a new technology that would benefit potential clients. He hopes to transform the selling experience by providing an easy, no-obligation way to start the fact-finding process.
Just talk to Alexa or Google and say, “Ask my home value,” and you will be able to receive your home’s current value and information, courtesy of Andy Elliott.
Fact-finders and interested sellers alike can get their home values and local market information while cooking dinner, or sitting on the couch during a commercial break. If, after receiving the information, sellers are interested in getting a call from DeSelms Real Estate, simply providing a phone number will make the first contact.
If not, Google Home and Amazon Echo users will simply end the exchange without providing any additional information.
Technology is going toward ways to engage the client, he says.
“If you’re going the same direction as everyone else, you’re going the wrong direction, but if you’re going in the opposite direction, that’s the right thing to do. And that’s what this felt like to me.”
Elliott now boasts the exclusive rights for this service in the Brentwood and Franklin zip codes of 37027, 37064, 37067 and 37069.
The statistics and data are provided by a company called CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial, and property data and analytics. They use algorithm-driven Automated Valuation Models (AVM) to estimate a property’s value at a given time.
Online sites such as Zillow and Redfin have long touted similar services with their home value estimators, but with inconsistent results. Home value is based on a number of factors, and can look different depending on who is seeking the information — lenders, tax assessors, potential buyers.
Realtors seek a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) that profiles similar properties with at least three valid comparisons that take into account details that might not be considered in a mathematical algorithm.
Offering sellers the opportunity to find out their home value at any time, as often as they’d like, with no
obligation, seemed like the perfect way to integrate technology into the process, Elliott says.
However, he also notes that the services he sponsors through Google Home and Amazon Echo are not meant to take the place of a true appraisal, which takes other things into account that will affect home value, including remodeling.
“It’s not perfect, though it is very close,” Elliott says. “But that is where Realtors come in and offer the human touch. This is just a starting point. We will still go back to ‘old school’ methods, pulling comps and using a standard research process.”