Imagine if you could look round your next dream home without being harassed by estate agents. You could ask a robot anything you like about the place you’re viewing and wouldn’t have to worry about some pushy sales patter. You could run around, jump on the bed (if it’s furnished of course) and generally take the house for a speedy test run.
Although giving you such freedom probably isn’t the primary reason US-based estate agent Zenplace developed its home viewing robot, it’s certainly one reason we could imagine seeking out an estate agent that uses robots to show you around.
The firm has begun using automated bots to show its prospective home buyers around, giving it the the tools it needs to make a sale. Each sellers’s home has a screen installed that prospective buyers can use to ask the estate agent – sitting in his/her office – questions. They don’t need to waste time visiting their various properties, but sellers still get the information they need to make a decision whether to buy.
Other property-focused businesses are also embracing the estate agent robot. Brokerage firm REX’s robot answers the top 75 questions a homebuyer would want to know about the local area and the house itself and collects data from viewers to use for re-marketing purposes, finding them better property matches and increasingly the likelihood of a sale.
VirtualAPT has created a machine that can produce three-dimensional property videos and floor plans to show off all of the property’s best assets. Although the robot isn’t consumer-facing, it’s a much cheaper way of creating marketing materials compared to employing a photographer or videographer to create a walkthrough video.
Although in all seriousness, it’s unlikely these robots will actually let you run around your potential new home naked or make a coffee in the kitchen without alerting someone to your actions, its a smart idea that could help free up estate agents’ time for other tasks.