Technology is incorporated in nearly every aspect of our lives these days, and real estate is no exception. From marketing and selling homes to building and living in them, the latest and greatest innovations are being utilized. Take for example Opulence International Realty, based here in Miami, and their use of video-chat, developed by local business LiveNinja, to connect with house hunters. While the chats can be done on desktop and laptop computers, most are being held on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. According to James Hoffman, president of Opulence, the number of such calls being completed has jumped from about 3 a day after its launch earlier this year to nearly 50. “For us, it’s working out extremely well,” Hoffman stated in a recent article from The Real Deal. “We’re cutting down on that lag time between having a question and answering that question.” And that’s only the tip of the technologically advanced iceberg.
Property Markets Group, developers out of New York who are currently working on several luxury condo projects in South Florida, are taking advantage of the latest “smart” amenities to attract buyers. Muse, their 50-story condo tower is designed to use technology throughout, giving residents the ability to control their lighting, temperature and speaker systems with their mobile devices. Elevators will be equipped with facial recognition technology and safes will be fingerprint protected. Even the window shades will be “smart” adjusting to the sun automatically throughout the day. At Echo Brickell, another of PMG’s developments, plans include a robotic arm that parks cars for residents by sliding under vehicles and lifting them into parking spaces. How cool is that?
Technology is being used in the construction of properties as well. Suffolk Construction has recently built South Florida’s first parking garage located 60 feet under sea level at the luxury condominium Jade Signature in Sunny Isles. While an underground parking garage is nothing new, in South Florida, the concept poses quite the problem. “Imagine if you pushed [the garage] below grade so that you’re looking through the lobby doors and see the ocean,” stated senior vice president of Suffolk, Rick Kolb. “That’s what Fortune’s mission was…to give that vision from the street level to the ocean.” The company used advanced 3D modeling and drones flying overhead to create a massive watertight concrete box deep beneath the surface. A feat that would have been impossible without the technology.
Still, the Argentine team at ArX Solutions is looking to push technology even further for their residents. The company has a history of producing high-resolution renderings, videos, and animations for developments, but now they are looking to create a new reality; a virtual one. Using goggles referred to as Oculus Rift, the company has created the ArXperience 3D, which can put potential buyers inside a unit that hasn’t even been built yet. The user will be able to “test drive” the unit, walking around and checking out the layout of the kitchen and the storage space in the closets. They can look up and see the height of a ceiling, get a feel for the width of the hallways, or look at the view from the balcony. This technology could truly be a game-changer in the real estate world. Patricio Gonzalo, president of ArX stated that he believes that virtual reality will replace websites as the gold standard for marketing. “This design is going to change the way we do business,” Gonzalo claimed. “A salesperson in the U.S. can show a home in Japan and close the deal that same day.