Whether you’re searching for a last-minute holiday gift for the real estate agent in your life or just eager to learn more about the products that are making waves in the real estate industry, we’ve come up with a list of gadgets that promise to be a big hit. Some are obvious; some are more obscure. All are guaranteed to make life as a real estate agent a bit easier — and certainly more fun — in the coming year.
1. Nest Protect: Revolutionizing the way we interact with our homes, Nest Protect is the latest and greatest from the folks who brought us the Nest Thermostat. Blending smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, Nest Protect uses its Wi-Fi connection to message you if there is a problem or if the batteries are running low. It’s a great gift for agents (and perhaps for clients closing on new homes around the holidays). Nest Protect is priced at $99.
2. Kwikset Kevo: Now your smartphone can unlock your front door — no more fumbling for your keys! Compatible with various iPhone models, with the Kevo you can simply touch your lock to open. Realtors love home conveniences, and this makes a great gift for the agent or client. Kevo is priced at $199.
3. GoPro: This tiny tech gadget is on the holiday list of many consumers, not just real estate agents — and it continues to grow in popularity. Whether it’s attached to the front of an agent’s car recording neighborhood footage for an out-of-town buyer or used for taking clips at the next real estate conference, a GoPro is the perfect addition to your holiday list. The newest GoPro Hero4 starts at $399.99.
4. Drone: Spice up virtual tours with a view from the sky! There is a lot of gray area in terms of the future commercial use of drones, but many in the real estate industry believe that these camera-equipped UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) give agents the ability to tell unparalleled stories about their properties and communities. Watch for new rules governing the commercial use of unmanned aircraft to come down the pipeline in 2017. Dronelife.com recommends the DJI Phantom FC40 Quadcopter as a great real estate drone for beginners.
5. Olloclip: The olloclip is a lens system for your smartphone (including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) that features four advanced-optics lenses. Take wide-angle photos of your new listing’s fabulous backyard, or use the 10x or 15x macro features to get up close and personal. We’re not sure their #Selfie 3-in-1 photo lens will work for real estate, but your kids will probably have fun with it! Olloclip is priced from $49.99 to $99.99, depending on your phone and the lens you select.
6. Bluetooth car kit: There’s no denying that real estate agents spend a tremendous amount of time in the car. If your car doesn’t already have Bluetooth, you can keep your eyes on the road by integrating a hands-free Bluetooth car kit like this one from Belkin, priced from about $30.
7. RoomScan: Can’t find the tape measure? Give yourself a quick holiday tech gift by downloading the RoomScan app. Move your iPhone around the room, tapping it at each wall, and you’ll get a floor plan drawn up in minutes. Your listings would look pretty great in 2015 with floor plans integrated into your marketing! You can find RoomScan in the app store for $4.99.
What’s on your holiday list this year? With so many wonderful tech gadgets coming into the real estate industry year after year, do you have a favorite that you always recommend to others? Join us in a conversation in the comments below!
Andrew Flachner is chief real estate enthusiast at RealScout, the collaboration platform for agents and their clients.