News & Research Archive

Wearables in Real Estate

Jul 13, 2015


Apple WatchI have owned three smart watches in my life to date. Recently, I purchased the Apple Watch. I had previously owned a Samsung Gear S. I have always been an early adapter when it comes to new consumer technology. So much to the point that my salesperson at Verizon alerts me the second a new phone, gadget or upgrade is available.

The challenge I find when it comes to integrating a smart watch into my daily life is that I have not worn any type of watch for over 15 years now. When the smart phone consolidated a personal computer and a clock, I never felt the need to wear a wristwatch again.

I have enjoyed my experience in using smart watches as a consumer product. However, I'm still not sold on whether there is a real compelling use case for salespeople or not. I find myself checking my Apple Watch for real time notifications such as emails and calendar reminders, but then I end up reaching for my phone in order to respond to anything.

Though the desire for immediate notifications may seem paramount for emergency workers such as police officers, EMTs and doctors, the value of such devices and their benefits may not be as valued by us salespeople. Notifications seen with the flick of your wrist is nice, but the idea of a salesperson reading full length emails, checking the status of sales opportunities, or trying to navigate through a report on such a small screen (no larger than the size of a quarter) seems like a stretch.

Some benefits of my old Samsung Gear S is that it offered a larger screen, which made it a lot easier for me to use than the Apple Watch. However, the Apple Watch offers easier access to all of the applications on my phone, which makes the apps more useable than the Gear S.

Real estate apps such as Zillow and Trulia both offer applications for watchOS on the Apple Watch. These apps are excellent for anyone seeking to find the availability of homes in or around their area. To date, LoopNet, or any other commercial release estate tool for that matter, has yet to release an application for a smart watch.

I believe wearables are a nice accessory and might be able to improve productivity for some employees. But will the smart watch be a future necessity for me in order to conduct business? I don't think so. At least, not for now.

I realize that many of us didn't see a rhyme or reason for anyone to own an iPad when it was first introduced to the market. But now, we find most employees of varying industries carrying one around.

My guess is that this ends up strictly as a consumer product with limited success for business. As salespeople I don't see the benefit, at least not at this stage.

Photo Credit: William Hook via Compfight cc


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 30 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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