Insight: As a PropTech entrepreneur, I’m always contemplating the future with the mindset of how our residential experience platform must continuously evolve to meet or exceed user expectations. Sometimes I am focused on next week, but often I am thinking months – if not years – ahead to determine how we can integrate new features and enhance the user experience.
As always, our goal is to spur engagement with current and prospective community residents, reaching them in all areas of their life on the device they can’t live without – their smartphone.
Fortunately, Google, Apple and Facebook offer software developers a variety of powerful, innovative new products that we can leverage and fine-tune within our own operating system.
Three Benefits for Your Community
1. Google Maps: Remember when you had to call someone for directions? It seems like a lifetime ago. Google recently made headlines with its announcement of what promises to be a transformative new Maps experience.
The tech giant recently rolled out weather data in its maps, and has begun offering indoor directions for some airports, shopping centers, and transit stations. However, the big news was the future addition of a vastly enhanced 3D maps layer.
Google is currently using photogrammetry to build a model of the entire world that would include details as small as traffic signals. Once launched, the new Maps will change the way residents navigate their community and surrounding areas.
2. Apple App Clips: The beauty of an app is that it sparks engagement and creates a richer experience than a mobile website. One example is Apple’s brilliant App Clips.
Imagine this: Future home buyers are touring a model home, and as they walk through the space, an app clip pops up on the prospect’s iPhone, providing a preview of what can be experienced with just the click of a button. The information presented to them could include special offers, the interior designer’s inspiration and even a virtual tour of the community clubhouse.
Might the home buyer visit a website after touring the model? Perhaps, but the app clip provides that vital prompt while the prospect is on-premise and engaged.
3. AR is the New “Reality”: Seemingly futuristic just a few years ago, Augmented Reality technology has advanced considerably. Snapchat and Instagram use AR for their filters. You can save time by “trying on” Warby Parker glasses and “placing” IKEA furniture in your home before you purchase.
At Alosant, we’ve successfully integrated AR into our community branded app platform. When Brambleton home shoppers open the Discover Brambleton app and tap AR, they experience a 360-degree tour of the N. Virginia community with amenities curated to their needs (family, active adult, young professionals, etc.).
Harvest Green residents outside Houston pan across a trail to learn about edible landscaping, while visitors to Big Sky, Montana tap the AR button to see retail locations near them.
That’s just the start. We’re also incorporating “Memories” features that enable users to tag or pin their photos to a physical location and share experiences with future visitors.
Conclusion: Driven by escalating consumer expectations, real estate leaders need to constantly ask, “what’s next?” I embrace this challenge on behalf of my clients every day. We strive to ensure that a smart decision today to begin a branded community app is scalable to take advantage of tomorrow’s innovation.