Technology Gives Buyer Virtual Tour

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It is hard to imagine a world today without the Internet, smartphones, GPS and all the other technological devices we rely on.

Staff at Coldwell Banker were recently given a presentation by the head of the real estate division for Google.

It is amazing to see where we are today in terms of technology in the real estate business, and even more amazing to see what is coming in the near future.

During the presentation from Google, I learned that by the end of 2011, there will be more web searches on smartphones than on computers.

If you have a smartphone, many of you probably have used Google maps as a GPS locating device while driving.

The GPS ability in a smartphone has enabled technology that allows a real estate shopper to pull up in front of a home, text a message to a pre-determined number and receive instant information on the home that their phone GPS has located.

A perspective buyer may even be able to instantly download a video on the home to their phone.

Google is the No. 1 search engine in the world.

Guess who is No. 2 — YouTube, which Google has bought.

Virtual tours of homes have been the mainstay for showing homes on the Internet for almost a decade, but now, the showing of homes on the Internet is transcending to video.

You can find videos of homes for sale on at least 40 (and probably many more) major Internet sites.

And with most new TVs coming with a port to connect to the Internet, buyers can directly log in through their TV and watch streaming videos from websites such as YouTube.

Realtors with tablet computers, such as the Apple iPad, can even do live tours of homes with their out-of-town customers who have similar technology.

In addition, with many tablet computers, a realtor can take a live walking tour of a home and live stream the tour to their client over the web.

The realtor and the client can discuss the home live while taking the video.

Imagine the benefits if a client is across the country and can direct the shots of what they would like to see inside and outside the home.

The days of snail mail, carbon paper and typewriters are long gone.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.

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