I recently read a press release article about voice activated home valuations now being offered in North Carolina.  This is one of those areas in real estate that I’m not convinced that technology offers the better solution.   Here are some of my thoughts off the top of my head.

  1. Who does this service benefit? So, someone in the area where this search works says, “What is the value of my home?”  What is the basis for that number?  If you really wanted to know the number, asking an experienced real estate agent to do a home evaluation allows for a better chance of coming somewhere close to the actual listing number.


  1. We know that Google search has been looking at voice search for some time. There’s nothing wrong with a real estate company looking to get an edge in search results, and just maybe, this is the real intent of the voice activated home valuations.


  1. Will this technology multiply around the real estate brokerages throughout the United States? Real estate brokers and agents have been quick to adopt technology, regardless of what is written.  How many agents rushed to QR codes on signs a few years back?  Quite a few, and the technology never really did what was promised.  I suspect that this is yet another piece of technology that will be adapted if it shows there is some value to it.


  1. Will Deerwood Realty be using this technology? Not at this time.  For one, our brokerage is about the relationships we foster through up front and honest discussion.  Anyone can shout out a number on a listing call, but that isn’t what we are about.  We are about listening to what the client wants first, and then putting together a marketing package that best works within those constraints.


  1. Is there a clamor for unsolicited home valuations? I don’t make a connection that many make in the industry between someone looking up a Zillow estimate at midnight on a Sunday and then listing their home on Monday morning.  At least, it doesn’t work that way for our brokerage.  Oftentimes, we will be working with clients for months before they have their home in shape to list for sale.  This isn’t a knock on our clients; each one has different goals/aspirations/free time to work on their home.


  1. I do see a link between people using technology before talking to a Realtor. Let’s face it, listings are super competitive and real estate agents and brokers pay a fortune for leads.  This causes quite a headache for the unsuspecting homeowner that fills out contact information on one of the leading real estate sites.  Within minutes they will be bombarded with agent calls.  Maybe people don’t really want that sort of thing, and I think the technology aspect to at least getting started on the sale of your home before talking to a Realtor makes some sense.

In closing, when you look at how we’ve set Deerwood Realty apart from other brokerages, it’s that we respond to what the client prefers instead of putting them in a box.  If you are looking to sell your home, call us and we will talk about it, and if you want to buy a new home, you will lead the search with our conference when you want it.  In our real estate brokerage, asking Siri doesn’t make any sense for the client or the brokerage.


John Schink is a real estate broker in the St. Louis metropolitan area who specializes in full service listings and buyer agency.  He is a member of both the Saint Louis and Jefferson County Boards of Real Estate.  If you are looking to buy a home for sale in Saint Louis, Missouri or the surrounding metropolitan area or considering selling your home, or for general real estate related inquiries, he can be reached at 314-707-4821 or [email protected]