• When it comes to tech, it's the bleeding-edge companies that push new innovations into consumers' hands.
  • Video may not be a must in property marketing, but it will no doubt set your listing apart.
  • What may seem like a subtle upgrade to an app could lead to tremendous benefits in the consumer market.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Just as real estate analysts watch employment trends to make market predictions, I watch a lot of out-of-industry technology moves to see what may find its way into real estate.

Like that scene in “The Devil Wears Prada” when Miranda explains to Andy that a single, seemingly minor decision about the color “blue” will determine fashion trends the world over.

When it comes to tech, it’s the bleeding-edge companies that push new innovations into consumers’ hands.

Take Facebook-owned Whatsapp, for example. The insanely popular cross-platform messenger is now facilitating 100,000,000 voice calls per day.

100 million. Voice calls.

The app also passed the billion-user milestone earlier this year. And what demographic is the preeminent user of Whatsapp?

I think you know.

I’m not sure exactly what it is real estate agents can draw from this data, but those user numbers demand any purveyor of business technology pay attention to what that company is doing.

We already know how well Slack has infiltrated the business world, but 2016 startup Cola.io uses your device’s native texting capabilities to formalize group messaging.

Each of Cola’s “bubbles” can be sent to a group of people to accomplish a specific task in one send. This eliminates the endless back-and-forth and text-based indecision that makes us want to throw our phone into a fountain.

Cola uses your device’s texting capabilities to formalize group messages.

A bubble prompts participants to take a poll, determine everyone’s location, send to-do lists or schedule a meeting.

I don’t envision this replacing more formal communication tools, at least at this stage in its development.

Where I see value is coordinating home visits among many people, confirming meeting times and sending punch-list items on the day of closing.

Keep an eye on this app.

Then, we have Instagram, which is running hard toward video. You can watch clips for much longer than 15 seconds now, in case you didn’t notice that switch.

This makes “Insta” yet another place to deliver listing and branding videos.

Beyond that, Instagram will begin recommending (to its 500 million active users) video channels that align with their browsing habits.

Thus, if you’re an agent with a healthy list of online groupies, it’s time to ramp up your rich content stream.


Instagram’s “Explore” tab (the magnifying glass icon) could use a boost to its prominence, but once you’re there, the functionality delivers. It did a great job delivering video themes well within the milieu of my follows.

In summary, these app developments may not have an immediate impact on how you sell real estate.

What they do is point to larger trends in how users are interacting with their devices and each other.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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