The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year offered some great insight into technology. Companies are constantly trying to develop new technologies that can make our business operate more efficiently while hopefully making our lives easier. These “Hot” new items can be used for Realtors as well. Here are the Top 5 Tech Trends I have noticed and that you should watch for in 2012, and how to utilize them as an agent.
5. Social Media will Streamline: It seems like every other month there is a new social network coming out that promises to change our lives. Too many agents get caught up in this hype and try to join all of them. Before they know it, they are spending half their day updating all of their social sites and the other half checking them. For those of you who feel this way, I’ve got some good news: 2012 will be the year where these fly-by-night social sites disappear. Let me explain.
We already know the big boys of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. There are many others, but the public doesn’t seem to desire additional social networks. Instead, perhaps utilizing the functions on the larger current social networks would be more desired. The big thing I see occurring in 2012 is big corporations expanding their brand on the big social networks – not all of them, but the ones important to them and their audience. Which is something we should all keep in mind when joining social networks for business. Don’t worry about being on every social media site. Find the ones that are most successful for you and focus on building your business there. By the end of the year, Realtors won’t be the only ones doing this as many companies will be using the platforms of the major social networks to build or promote their brands.
4. Cloud Computing Will Continue to Grow: Dropbox has been regarded as one of the most valuable tech companies in Silicon Valley. Why? Because they are one of the best cloud computing companies in the business, as well as one of the most well-known. Cloud computing is growing rapidly, especially after Apple went all in with their new iCloud service. Cloud computing is great for agents because it enables them to maximize free space on their devices while their files, music, and photos are floating in “the cloud space”, which keeps these devices operating at maximum speed. It also allows agents to access files and information from numerous devices, such as an iPad or PC. Look for cloud computing to be the norm very soon. It’s a no-brainer.
3. Tablets will Become Even More Popular and More Affordable: Apple sold a whopping 15.4 million iPads from October to December of 2011. Amazon sold at least 5 million Kindle Fires just in December. What does this mean? It means that more people are turning to tablets. While these are already being used by agents for listing and buying presentations, they will become widely used in the future. Soon we could see internet-ready tablets for sale for under $100. Think about being able to hand your tablet to a buyer, your client, with your list of the homes they pre-selected on it. As they view the properties, they can record notes and choose features they like about each one. You can then download this information onto your own computer to see what they thought. These days are coming soon.
2. Voice Recognition (Siri) Will be on Almost All Phones: Siri is the star of the Apple iPhone 4S that was released in late 2011.Youtube has tons of videos related to Siri and her capabilities. The bottom line is that Siri works, and people love it. Not only will Siri be featured on the new iPad 3 coming out in the Spring, according to reports from Apple, but it should be on most Androids by the end of the year. This will be great for agents in the car or in a hurry. They can access their phones for conversating or other information that they need. The only downside to Siri is that it’s a data hog and uses twice as much data as the iPhone 4 and three times as much data as the iPhone 3G. In addition to more phones turning to voice recognition, look for carriers to do away with unlimited data usage very soon.
1. The Rise of the Ultrabooks: The Macbook Air is one of the hottest laptops on the market today. While Apple laptops are up nearly 20% in sales for the year, the rest of the industry is down about 6%. So what are these other companies doing about it? They’re taking on Apple at their own game and coming out with Ultrabooks. These ultra-thin, extra light, devices are easy to transport and lightning fast. Intel is the driving force behind the Ultrabook revolution, as it has designed a processor specifically tailored for these devices. And at under $1000, the prices are very affordable. No fewer than 75 different Ultrabooks were on display at CES, and many will be coming out in a few weeks. Look for Ultrabooks to be the biggest thing in technology for 2012.
So there it is, my list of the five trends to look for in 2012. There will be other big stories in tech this year to be sure, but very few will be as big as what is going to happen to these five things. As an agent, it’s great to get a jump start on your competition. Hopefully, you’re already using some of the things mentioned in this article. No worries if you haven’t, its not too late, but the sooner, the better! Have a great 2012.
Photo courtesy of CES and Flickr see more here!