Technology has come a long way since the mid to late ‘80s when the PC became a relatively common fixture in workplaces and car phones (a mobile phone that was fixed in the car) burst onto the scene – a must have for top real estate agents, as some of you might remember! With technology and programming progressing rapidly in the ‘90s, Microsoft Windows and the World Wide Web came into the picture, changing our lives forever.
Today, rapidly evolving technology combined with the 5G rollout is leading to previously science-fiction sounding advancements becoming a reality. While there has been some scepticism surrounding 5G, it’s set to offer internet speed like we’ve never seen before. As a result, it’s thought new tech like drones, smart glasses, autonomous vehicles and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will become mainstream and allow businesses to continue to thrive in our new world. Let’s take a look at the 9 biggest tech predictions coming our way this year…
Yes, they’re already here and yes, we’ve been using them successfully in property marketing for the last few years. Drones have proven to be excellent for capturing the amenity, liveability, and proximity in most residential and commercial marketing campaigns we run. However, Drones are set to take over this year and have already been trialled in other sectors. From pizza delivery to delivering vital medicine in remote areas, the possibilities are endless and they’re coming quick! Drones were also trialled as a means to track social distancing and symptoms during the COVID-19 outbreak in Connecticut.
While the prospect of an entirely autonomous self-driving car still seems impossibly futuristic, testing has been underway in Silicon Valley for some time now. Tesla’s Elon Musk is “extremely confident” that full autonomous driving functionality will be a reality later in 2021. However, just because the technology is available, it doesn’t mean we’ll be going hands-free any time soon. The infrastructure in our cities needs to adapt and change to make autonomous vehicles safe on our regular roads. Work is already underway within the Australian government to ensure this happens in line with self-driving vehicles hitting the local market. Jetsons here we come!
In some cities, auctions are by far the most popular method of sale, and across the First National Real Estate network during COVID restrictions, we transitioned to online delivery. But will they stick around? We believe so. We’re already seeing an interest in virtual auctions running alongside traditional auctions – this removes barriers and allows buyers from out of state, out of town, out of the country or even just at home in their pyjamas to get amongst the action. The more competition the better when it comes to auction outcomes!
Virtual Reality (VR) places the user into a completely simulated world, whereas Augmented Reality (AR) lets the user experience the real world in a digitally enhanced or augmented way. While these technologies have been around for some time now, their recent refinements have made them useful and viable everyday options. Both AR and VR are increasingly used in training and teaching, for immersive experiences in the gaming world, and in the travel industry as a means for people to get a taste of a destination prior to committing to a trip. AR and VR can even be utilised as a marketing tool across a broad range of industries.
Collaboration and remote working (or learning) are here to stay, and as a result, cloud-based tech and systems have evolved to keep up. The cloud has proven to be the backbone of helping us manage this change in our way of doing things – everything from contact tracing, home delivery services and working (and playing) from home has been made possible. Businesses will need to keep an eye on cloud-based services throughout the year to grow their efficiencies, maintain continuity and drive scalability. For a more detailed look at cloud computing trends to watch in 2021, check out this article.
Robots have crept into our world, often without us even knowing. In recent years, we have seen robotics adopted across healthcare (robot assisted surgeries), within dairy farms, and even in fast food franchises. The use of robotics soared during the COVID-19 pandemic – from robots standing in for a graduation ceremony in Japan through to anti-epidemic robots screening temperatures and symptoms in Rwanda. Throughout 2021, we will see an emergence of robots in the care and assisted living sectors, as they provide a safe means to interact with the vulnerable members of our society.
AI is one of the biggest tech trends for the year as it helps us to interpret healthcare data at a previously impossible pace. This ability to process huge volumes of data on things like infection rates and our success in controlling the spread of infection becomes an essential and valuable tool in fighting viruses today and into the future. Aside from medical applications, AI is becoming more human, with things like clunky website chatbots being replaced by conversational AI bots.
The next big thing in the marketing world is making use of increased data and insights. Just like Spotify or Netflix, AI will use recommendations to track your preferred content and deliver it straight to your inbox. The benefits of this are two-fold, you’ll get delivered messages that are more relevant, and your genuine interest and acceptance is hugely valuable to marketers. Businesses that harness technology that learns quickly and allows communication professionals to align more closely with customer needs and interests will come out on top. At First National Real Estate, we already use data to match potential buyers with the right types of properties. With more data and a better understanding of this data, we’ll see a greater level of sophistication in the way we plan, buy, craft, and deliver messages to our audiences. All of this results in a greater return on investment of marketing dollars and makes what we do even more accountable.
This year, AI will increasingly be used to accurately forecast outcomes for businesses through the analysis of huge amounts of historical information. Predictive technologies like this provide marketers with the data, insights and increasing confidence to back their strategies, and with the ability to identify and react to trends before they come to the fore.
Get ready to embrace change, and for our world to get smarter and faster! At First National Real Estate we have a team dedicated to marketing and digital that stay on top of our continuously evolving tech-enabled world. We’re confident in embracing new tools, resources, and technology that makes businesses smarter and achieves the best outcomes for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants alike. So, rest assured, even if you’re not on top of the latest tech developments, we’ll be making the most of technology as it unfolds in 2021 and beyond.