In 2014, Google Glass will leave the testing roam and become available for consumers everywhere. The wearable tech from the search giant is the first of its kind and building hype as various industries race to use Glass to their advantage. The obvious players are there—social networks, photography, navigation—but real estate is already finding ways to use Glass in revolutionary ways.
Browsing homes and rentals online is often unorganized and frustrating. Listings have missing data, photos and information about the neighborhood. But now a person can soon walk down the street wearing Glass and see, in real time, which properties in the community are for sale and rent.
The New York Times reports that Trulia, a popular real estate search app for smartphones, is working on a new app for Google Glass that will let users see listings and info as they walk down the street. Filters like budget, desired bedrooms and bathrooms, and amenities are set so Trulia will only alert you if a matching home is nearby. With its success, other real estate sites like Zillow or ForRent.com could follow with apps of their own.
With Google Glass, real estate agents can now give live virtual tours of properties which prospective buyers and renters can watch online. Agents can invite shoppers to a "Hangout" where they can see the property from the perspective on the one giving the tour. This will help out-of-towners view a new property without the travel and let the agent show the space hands-free so the ones watching can get a better look.
The video above is a tour of the Veteran's Memorial at Washington, D.C. using Google Glass. The perspective and style is a preview of what we could expect from home tours using this technology.
Assaults on real estate professionals have been on the rise since 2010, reports Real Estate Magazine. Safety is a growing concern for the industry and Google Glass could help alert law enforcement of an attack before it's too late. Agents wearing Glass can have their locations tracked via GPS and give certain physical or audible signals to alert 911 services if that agent feels threatened. Pre-programmed gestures or words would trigger the alert and can be subtle to the attacker (like a silent alarm).
Lots of back and forth happens between real estate agents, buyers and other housing professionals leading up to the closing on a sale. Inspections and evaluations take up valuable time when buyers are anxious to call their new house home. Glass could cut down on this process if inspectors and agents wore them while speaking with buyers. Imagine an inspector showing a bad roof to a buy simply by climbing up a ladder and letting the buyer see for himself from the inspector's perspective.
Real estate is a very competitive industry where agents seek out every advantage to get ahead. Companies and agents that jump on the bandwagon early with Google Glass could be seen as more innovative compared to their competitors. There are other applications the real estate industry can't yet imagine until consumers finally get their hands on the product. Google hasn't announced a release date, but did say Glass will be available in 2014.
Jackie Ruiz is a real estate agent who specializes in commercial properties.