Coldwell Banker Canada launched a new real estate application customized for Microsoft’s Surface technology today. 

Coldwell Banker leveraged the unique interface and capabilities of Microsoft Surface to develop a home search application that will provide a new interactive and intuitive way to explore real estate listings and neighbourhoods. Over the course of the roll-out, the following features are scheduled to be released:

Explore. Home listings from across Canada and around the world can be viewed via area maps, specific search criteria such as city, province and price, and by standard number of bedrooms and bathrooms. With a simple touch of the screen, users expand or contract the search area and locate listings, Coldwell Banker offices and area amenities including restaurants, hospitals, schools – gauging the distance between them.

Learn. Details of a particular property listing are displayed and arranged by screen touches. Images of the home are easily accessed, enlarged and moved by hand movements.
Interact. File listings by “grabbing” content with their hands from the display and “dropping” it into the appropriate folder, thus creating an itinerary that they can email to a sales representative.

As you can see in the video, Surface’s multi-touch technology is put to pretty good use to highlight the experience of searching for real estate (I’d love to see even more, however). A couple of years ago I wrote that this sort of thing could be a way for real estate brokerages to move into more of an experiential marketing environment (see Surface Technology Could Save Full Service Brokers).

But, the Notorious ROB writes that “It Ain’t the Technology.” While I see his point, ultimately I have to disagree. It is about the technology. It is about experimenting and trying new things.

Sure – using Coldwell Banker web site on a Surface table is kind of goofy. But it’s a first step. And an important one. Future iterations of this type of experience will no doubt transform the way we interact with real estate data in the real world some day in the future (see Navigating a Virtual World).

Technology forces us to experiment. To try and yes, perhaps even fail. But kudos to CB for taking that step and continuing to push the industry forward.

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