Talk To The House
Marketing
Inman Rating

New Alexa skill lets your clients 'Talk To The House'

Software for Amazon Echo can be used to guide and inform open house guests and listing tours
Talk To The House
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  • Talk To The House is an Amazon Echo-based marketing tool for real estate agents that gives Alexa the skill to narrate home features and greet open house guests.
  • Agents can use Alexa to tell open house guests about the neighborhood, area schools and nearby retail.
  • Software allows the use of multiple Echo devices to describe different rooms or aspects of a listing.

Talk To The House is an Amazon Echo-based marketing tool for real estate agents that gives Alexa the skill to narrate home features and greet open house guests.

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

Talk To The House is an Amazon Echo-based marketing tool for real estate agents.

Platforms: Browser; voice activated internet (VAI)
Ideal for: Agents who market with open houses; luxury brokerages; first adopters

Top selling points

  • Use of multiple Echo devices
  • Open house registration
  • Auto-fill market information
  • Flexibility of what Alexa can share

Top concerns

Reconciling the leads gathered by Alexa with your customer relationship management software (CRM) could pose complications. It would have to be a manual export/import. (I suspect future versions could remedy that issue.)

What you should know

Amazon’s footprint in the real estate industry is getting bigger.

In addition to recent news of Amazon dipping its toes into the mortgage waters, another VAI device based on the Echo appliance has made its way to my inbox for review.

Talk To The House is a product that allows agents to load listing data into an Echo for Alexa to share with open house guests or buyers touring a listing. In doing so, the Echo becomes a “virtual property assistant.”

The backend of the software remains rather rudimentary in its look and feel, but that doesn’t take away from how easy it is to set up. An Echo device can be used for open houses or listings by clicking the radio button.

Open house mode is designed for the Echo to greet and register guests as they enter a listing. (A small sign may be needed as a prompt.) Prospective buyers are asked for their name and contact information, which is then quickly routed to the listing agent. A property report is automatically delivered to registrants.

Talk To The House, which was developed by a programmer who specializes in voice response technologies for call centers, is still in growth mode, so I expect similar value adds to come later.

Multiple devices can be placed throughout the home to narrate amenities, room finishes and even provide a short oral history if the listing is historic or culturally significant in some way.

Talk To The House uses a “clone this property” button to easily replicate the basics of a listing for each device. This is a very cool way to stay in touch with buyers touring large homes with unique features.

Each Echo is labeled in the admin module, and telling Alexa what to say about each topic is as easy as typing text into a blank field.

Common community data can be automatically populated or custom written. Alexa comes ready to share data about schools, hospitals, shopping, public transportation and even neighbors.

The software keeps a list of the properties each Echo is assigned to, and Echos can be moved around to different listings.

When you switch an Echo to listing mode, Alexa forgets about the registration process and instead is ready to talk about a home’s characteristics when asked by a buyer or buyer’s agent.

Talk To The House is by no means first to market with this particular Alexa skill, but it’s nice to see a rise in competition. After all, these are devices that get smarter with each use.

There are, of course, plenty of ways to stump Alexa when deploying Talk To The House. (That’s the case with every VAI skill to date.)

The software overall has a few rough patches to overcome, but its simple set-up and multi-device application for open houses sets it apart from the primarily lead-gen angles taken by Voiceter Pro and Agent Neo.

I’m excited to see where the 100 or so agents already using Talk To The House can take the Echo, and how much more Alexa will learn about marketing property along the way.

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

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