A fascinating report commissioned by online agency easyProperty has given the lowdown on what house buying might be like in 2020 - and Google and Facebook will play at least as big a role as Rightmove and Zoopla.
The report - produced by ‘future trends’ consultancy The Future Laboratory - suggests there will be what is called a “hyper-personalised service” based on Big Data
It says the searches made via the major portals right now involve relatively little information, provided by the buyer and covering the maximum price, approximate location, number of bedrooms and perhaps one or two other criteria.
However, it says that “as companies like Google and Facebook continue to harvest huge amounts of data about you — what sites you browse, what products you buy, what real-world locations you frequent — service providers will be able to access a detailed picture of your personality.”
easyProperty says within a few years if your Facebook entries (and those of your partner or other family members) suggest you are a Formula One fan with a three year old child and a love of Japanese food, a portal or a search of some other database of homes on sale could recommend a neighbourhood that has easy access to Silverstone, great local schools, and the country’s finest noodle restaurant.
Perhaps optimistically, easyProperty suggests this Big Data assessment of a ‘perfect home’ might “help buyers and tenants take a less restrictive view when it comes to finding a home, as they will be more inclined to explore areas unfamiliar to them that better meet their needs.”
It suggests that the “data loop” provided by this information will mean that when a buyer places an offer on a property they may in return be contacted by a mortgage broker, interior designer or decorator - it suggests that buyers may regard these contacts, whether through digital advertising on pages being viewed or via cold-calls, as desirable.
It’s a fascinating read, whatever your views on online estate agency and the future of portals and Big Data. You can see it here.