That’s right – the first Amazon Alexa Property Valuation Tool has been launched! We spotted this story by James Dearsley back in early April (not an April Fool joke!) that says homeowners in the UK will be able to ask their virtual assistant, Alexa, what their property is worth in the current market conditions. James reported that ‘Apparently a largely franchised group, Hunters, announced the launch of an Amazon Alexa property valuation tool claiming it is to be the first of its kind in the UK. The voice-activated assistant, Alexa, can now be used by homeowners and landlords to find out an estimated valuation of their home after only answering a few basic questions.

The Alexa innovative tool has been developed by Hunters in collaboration with Webanywhere, based in Leeds. The valuation data is derived from Zoopla’s own valuation estimate tool which is powered by property market specialists, Hometrack.

Dan Rafferty, chief operating officer at Hunters said: “Technological services will continue to play a crucial role in the industry going forward and Hunters has established itself as one of the innovators in that field. “The launch of the Hunters Alexa application is further evidence of that, and we expect it to be well received not only by existing customers but also people who may choose to engage with it out of intrigue.”

Powered using voice recognition, Alexa, which experts now claim the technology should be making our lives easier, is fast becoming common place in our homes. However, in March last year, the trusted home buddy, started laughing maniacally without the user prompting it with voice activation and researchers now believe the technology poses a real cyber threat. (I’m wondering if the maniacal laugh might be the response when I ask Alexa how much my house is worth…)

James went on to say ‘With Proptech ever evolving, legal service providers are considering how they can interact and use technology to improve the property moving process. According to Property Week’s survey last year conveyancers are embracing proptech into the industry. The majority of those surveyed believe that artificial intelligence or machine learning and decision making will be the dominant technological change over the next 5 years.

Furthermore, property and technology data experts, Search Acumen has predicted late last year that ‘Law firms’ use of data and technology to manage property transactions is on the cusp of a “big bang” moment as the legal proptech industry gears up to “hit warp speed” within five years.

‘Advances such as blockchain, tokenised property, property logbooks and the Government-backed digitisation of the sector – embodied by HM Land Registry’s (HMLR) Digital Street project – are set to transform the legal due diligence process for property transactions.’
Potentially, proptech is a giant lap for property professionals and as with any innovative ideas there is likely to be some resistance because of the unknown – but with a technologically driven generation, the conveyancing sector is going to need to adapt to the needs of the consumers. As technology plays a key part in our lives, future homebuyers will expect the industry to invest in new innovative ideas to make the home buying process quicker and easier in the long run.’

Incidentally, don’t ask your own Alexa who ‘H’ is (for fans of the BBC1 hit series Line of Duty) as it will now answer ‘I can’t be bothered or I’m too scared to answer’……