When it comes to voice search, Amazon Echo and Google Home have become synonymous with home technology. According to a report by Jupiter Research, at the end of 2018, there were an estimated 2.5 billion voice assistants in use, and we can expect to see around 8 billion voice assistants in use by 2023.
Based on this data, we can only expect to see voice assistants increase in popularity, and we’ve only just began to scratch the surface with these devices’ capabilities — expect voice searching to expand to cars, TVs and more in the coming years. Incorporating voice skills into your business tool kit can be a new
way to create more exposure for your brand and ease of access to information your clients want.
WHAT IS A VOICE SKILL?
Voice skills are the apps for voice devices. Skills are voice-driven commands that can be developed to give consumers access to information simply by opening the skill. There are skills for everything from listening to the news, streaming music, accessing weather information or playing trivia games. You can download and remove skills by using the device’s app or website, then use the voice capabilities to ask the device to open the skill — like, “Alexa, open Chicago REALTORS®” or “Google, open Chicago REALTORS®.”
VOICE SKILLS AND SPEAKER CAPABILITIES THAT CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
Your voice assistant can almost work as a personal office assistant for you. Start by syncing the apps on your mobile device, such as your calendar and reminders, to your voice assistant to be reminded of upcoming appointments. You will also be able to ask the voice assistant to make a calendar appointment, which will sync with both the device itself and your phone.
There are multiple skills already available for REALTORS® to help enhance your customer experience.
Agent NEO provides REALTORS® with their own personalized Alexa App that can be shared with clients and leads. This app allows you to do a variety of different things. First, you can add your listings into Agent NEO’s system, where it will pull together listing information from multiple sources. Then, during high demand open houses, those visiting the home can still get their questions about the property answered. Questions such as, “Alexa, ask Agent NEO about nearby public schools,” or “Alexa, ask Agent
NEO how much the monthly electricity bill is,” can be answered instantly and accurately. For questions the app is unable to answer from the content it collected online, you will receive a text message so you can ensure no question is left behind.
The app can be downloaded for free, and plans can be purchased beginning at $9.99, which includes your own app, location inquiries and upgrades anytime.
Ask A REALTOR®, created by the National Association of REALTORS®, helps answer real estate questions by providing the expertise, experience and professionalism of a REALTOR®. This skill allows clients to ask questions about ownership, purchasing and selling directly to a smart device. Get the most accurate and trustworthy information about real estate from the true experts in the field through a simple voice command or question.
This skill will help answer questions such as “How much is my house worth?,” “How can I find a REALTOR®?” or “What is an appraisal?”
Real Estate is a skill your clients can use to search for homes available to buy and rent in their area. Once you have asked the skill for results, a full list of information based off your search will be emailed directly to them.
Connect MLS is MRED’s skill for subscribers to access their personal business information. Members can hear about their own business including upcoming expiring listings, violations and on-hold listings. Housing market statistics are also available through the skill and are searchable by zip code. Also, if you receive messages through MRED, they can be read to you on the spot when the app is in use.
CREATING YOUR OWN VOICE SKILL
Voice skills are being utilized in the real estate industry in a variety of different ways. For consumer-facing businesses, creating a voice skill makes a lot of sense. A voice skill can create value for your business. Why?
- Convenience: Your clients will find it easy and convenient to ask their voice assistant device to simply open your voice skill and hear everything they need to know about your business, news and anything else you wish to include in your skill, all at once.
- Increased Digital Traffic: Many skills will direct customers to a website for more information, increasing traffic and information about your brokerage.
- Lead Generation: Voice skills can gather the names and information of the people who ask to open your skill, creating another option to generate leads and potential clients.
- A Better Customer Experience: Voice skills will help you to be there for current and potential clients even if you aren’t physically with them!
These are just a few of the ways that voice skills can help your brokerage! Now, are you interested in getting started on creating your own skill? Here are the five steps to follow when creating
Step 1: Brainstorm and plan your skill.
Step 2: Set up the skill on the speaker developer’s website.
Step 3: Write and test the code for your skill.
Step 4: Submit your skill for approval.
Step 5: Your skill is published!
To find out more, Amazon and Google have step-by-step instructions for how to create your skill for their platforms. Also, there are multiple skill developers on the market that can help in the process of creating a skill. Voiceter Pro and Skills are two developers that specifically focus on and help REALTORS® create skills for their businesses.
INTRODUCING CAR’S VERY OWN
Chicago REALTORS® is our brand-new voice skill! Get all the CAR information you’re looking for with a simple voice search. Access everything you need to know, including:
- Check out the must-read industry news: Get a concise overview of all the most important news and updates you need to know. From license law changes, market snapshots, advocacy updates, new resources and more, it can all be found and heard through your voice assistant.
- Register for upcoming education classes: The RRES upcoming hot topic, designation and pre-licensing courses are all laid out and accessible through your voice skill, so you can plan out your professional development through the end of the year.
- RSVP to upcoming events: We host over 70+ events each year, designed to give you different ways to connect with each other, celebrate our industry successes and grow in your knowledge. All our upcoming events are housed here, so you can stay in the know and easily register to attend.
- Access our government affairs updates: Get the latest on all the issues we’re actively tracking and engaged in that could impact our industry, straight from your government affairs directors.
- Listen to our podcasts: Our YPN podcast and breakfast recordings can all be accessed via our voice skill, so you can learn about topics like team building, prospecting, time management and more, all from your device.
We are excited to provide you with even more ways to take advantage of your CAR member benefits and to stay up to date with us! First, install the Chicago REALTORS® voice skill on your Alexa or Google Home app. Then, just state, “Alexa, open Chicago REALTORS®” or “Google, open Chicago REALTORS®!”