Alexa, what do Amazon’s new Echos mean for real estate?

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The smart speaker market -- think the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s upcoming Homepod -- has exploded into becoming the next tech battleground, and real estate brokers and agents might want to pay attention. Because of the way that virtual personal assistant (or VPA)-enabled speakers have changed the way we interact with online services, with consumers the world over asking "Alexa" to turn up the music or add milk to the grocery list, a recent report says worldwide spending on the virtual assistant technology could reach $3.5 billion by 2021. For new and prospective homeowners, a smart speaker could be something they expect as a home feature or even as the way they communicate with their real estate professional. 'I'll take my Echo in Walnut, please' Last week, Amazon announced a pretty hefty hardware renewal to its line of Echo products featuring virtual assistant Alexa. The event kicked off with the first update to their classic Echo speaker in four years. Retailin...