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  • Data used for traffic can be used to help homeowners be aware of how long it will take for a home inspector or contractor to get to them.
  • In-car devices can give agents access to real-time home listing data.
  • People are interested in measuring distance by minutes, not miles.

SAN FRANCISCO — We’ve been thinking about futuristic cars way before in-vehicle GPSs — or GPS in general, for that matter — were introduced to the market. Now that everyone is connected at virtually every moment of their lives, connected cars seem much more realistic.

That was the topic of a panel at Inman Connect San Francisco.

Self-driving cars are not far from manifestation, but connected cars are much more real and prevalent for real estate agents. All new cars are locked and loaded with large screens to accommodate data that shows traffic, weather and more.

Why not use these screens to the agent’s benefit? Instead of stopping off at the nearest Starbucks or coffee house, data like new listings in the neighborhood could be accessed right from a car’s dashboard.

Kevin Foreman, general manager of geoanalytics at INRIX, says there are various ways to capitalize and use this data to your benefit, and there are a few ways the type of data has changed.

One example is traffic. Foreman says that people are much less interested in the amount of miles they are traveling, but rather how many minutes it’s going to take for them to get to their destination. This is especially true in urban areas where the amount of time it takes to get somewhere changes at the drop of a hat.

“You don’t care about the traffic behind you, you care about the traffic 20 miles ahead of you,” he says. And with a “personalized” dashboard in your car, your data is much more relevant and important.

Connected cars are here, but the possibilities are still on the horizon. The same data used for traffic could be used for how long a homeowner has to wait for an inspector to come.

Just like you care more about how many minutes it is going to take until your Uber car gets to your home, you’d rather know how many minutes a home professional is away from you. It’s all the same data.

There’s a lot ahead of us, and endless opportunity.

Email Kimberly Manning.

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