Viewing posts from : April 2016



AI
April 18 / Marketing, Social Media

Use AI for property marketing automation

Last week, Facebook announced a new technology at their F8 conference. We covered the event in our blog post here, but the key breakthrough we’re interested in, is AI chatbots.

Facebook is allowing brands to develop AI chat programmes to interact with customers, partners and clients of pages, helping speed up the time it takes for a response. If done right, this will hugely increase engagement and accelerate people through the sales funnel.

Facebook aren’t the only ones doing this. All the big tech companies are. Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft all have their sights set on AI, and it’s proving to be as popular, and likely appearing sooner, than the current hot topic, virtual reality.

How will AI chatbots help property marketers, though? Well, they allow bots to speak to bots. By developing a high-quality AI programme, you will be able to allow potential clients the ability to gain immediate responses to questions, hook in with other tools and services (i.e. measurements, industry benchmarking etc.) and get the information they need while providing you with a full transcript and contact details.

Imagine logging into Facebook and having a conversation with a brand, one that seems just as real as speaking to a human. This is the AI chatbot experience. It will become the norm, so stay one step ahead and start developing now!

Want to find out more? Contact us to see how we can help you develop your first AI programme today.  

Facebook F8 2016
April 15 / Marketing, Social Media

Facebook F8: how it affects property marketing

Each year, Facebook hold an annual gathering of developers at their F8 conference. This year’s event featured over 40 sessions came with some major product announcements in a keynote talk by company founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

While previous F8 conferences have only had a minor effect on the property marketing industry, this year’s has seen major announcements that could really matter to you. Here’s our top 5 list of announcements you need to know about.

1. Messenger Platform

Facebook is now letting brands tap into conversations through the messenger platform. They’re doing this with AI chat bots, meaning brands will have the ability to solve customer queries entirely by automation. This is a great way to engage followers and answer their questions about properties in an instant manner.

2. Bot Engine

To coincide with the new messenger platform features, Facebook has launched a bot engine, called wit.ai. This will allow developers to create AI chat bots so that you can make the most of the new feature. While it may require some developer investment, we’re betting you’d be one of the first property marketers to be using the feature, so it is worthwhile! Speak to us if you need help.

3. Surround 360

Facebook have launched a physical product, with the new $30,000 Surround 360 VR camera. This camera will allow marketers to take full 360 videos of a property so that potential customers can have a full virtual reality experience. Find out why VR is so important to property in our post here.

4. Live video API

You may have seen notifications from media brands informing you of their live broadcasts on Facebook. Until now, only select outlets had been given access to the feature, but now they’ve opened up the API to allow you to use this too. If you run webinars, this will be a great way to engage your audience. We have a dedicated video team, find out more.

5. Quote Sharing

Facebook new ‘quote sharing’ feature allows people to choose specific pieces of text to share, within a piece of content. This means that your content strategy will now need to make sure that you’re highlighting key messages in such a way that makes people share using this feature.

Want to see the full keynotes for day one and day two on F8? Enjoy:

Day 1 at F8

Day 2 at F8

TED Talks Blog Post
April 14 / Design

Best of TED: Using nature’s genius in architecture

TED Talks are often inspirational, thought provoking and allow us to consider things in ways never before. With this in mind, TED Talks can be a powerful tool for architects to break new boundaries, using new technologies, out-there ideas and to charge their creative juices.

In our new blog series, ‘Best of TED’ we’ll share some of the great TED Talks we come across that will help inspire, excite and cause pause for thought. We’ll post these as and when we discover new talks, but if you’d like to see them more often, sign up to our newsletter as we’re sure to share them monthly on there too (sign up using the form below).

Our first Best of TED looks at using nature’s genius in architecture. This talk is by Michael Pawlyn, an architect who uses nature to inspire sustainable architectural environments. Watch the video below to see how he and his team manage this.

Source: ted.com

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Property Market
April 13 / Property

State of the UK Property Market: April 2016

The property market in the UK gets in the news headlines as often as Donald Trump does. Any slight movement will set off both local and national media alike, so it can be difficult to keep track of what exactly is going on.

For that very reason, we’ve pulled together a list of updates on the UK property market so you can simply skim through this blog and be caught up in minutes. Handy, huh?

London property market

The big smoke is a place where a parking space alone can go for £400,000. With an increasing population and shortage of housing, prices keep going up and up.

But that’s not always true. In fact, right now, property prices are falling in super-prime postcode areas (such as SW1). That’s not to say the rest of London is seeing the same decrease, as it turns out the suburban areas are in fact seeing a sharp increase in prices.

This is good news for buyers of luxury property, but if you only just recently invested in property in these areas then you may want to keep a close eye on how it pans out. Perhaps suburban is the way to go next.

First-time buyers

The age at which people are buying their first home is increasing, as people struggle to make the jump from rented to owned. The problem is the deposit and usual 10% minimum mortgages, but there is a saving grace – Help to Buy.

The scheme, along with changes to the way stamp duty is calculated, has delivered a positive impact on the housing market, with an increase in houses sold under the scheme, which allows for a 5% deposit, and in some cases a 20% loan from the government on top.

National house prices

Despite stronger sales for first-time buyers, it seems that the struggle may not be over just yet, as housing prices nationwide are up 10% year on year, with the average house price now 5.58 times earnings.

Cited as the reason for the increase is the lack of homes available, highlighting the problem reaches far beyond the capital. However, the latest budget did promise more homes to be built, so there may be light at the end of the tunnel, and a good opportunity for developers.

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How Will HS2 Change Property Marketing
April 8 / Marketing

HS2 High-Speed Railway – How will it affect property marketing?

You may have heard about the plans for the much-vaunted HS2, or High Speed 2, rail link. The aim is to join Leeds, Manchester, the East Midlands, Birmingham, Sheffield and London, with journey times dramatically slashed to just 49 minutes for a London to Birmingham trip, or 1hr 40 minutes to Manchester.

It all sounds rather lovely. But with work not planned to start until 2017 and the full route not completed until 2033, we still have a very long way to go before the dream becomes a reality. If the plan doesn’t get delayed, of course.

But why are we discussing a planned high-speed train track on a property marketing website? When the ‘Phase 1’ of HS2 is complete, Birmingham could very well become somewhere where people who work in London commute to and from. Currently, the very quickest train between the two destinations is 1 hour and 12 minutes. This is if you are lucky, average journey times are longer. HS2 will provide a quick route on a regular, 3 times per hour, routine.

Is Birmingham set to be the next mecca of London executives wanting to save money on their extortionate London commuting costs? Quite possibly. But what about the other way around? What if firms currently based in London moved to near a HS2 station in Birmingham? Cheaper land and expenses could be a big factor. Plus, existing team members could realistically take the 49-minute commute from their London flat to Birmingham for work.

There are plans in the HS2 proposal so the line could potentially be used for shipments and quicker supply chain management through the use of quicker freight trains. Imagine ordering something from a supplier in Manchester and it arriving within 2 hours, not a day or two. Other scenarios such as a last minute meetings with a different department located elsewhere in the country or visit to suppliers or clients will become less of a headache.

HS2 High Speed Railway

The HS2 could cut down business time and thus expenses racked up by driving. Having an office located with easy access to the train line could be a long-term, cost-saving, measure. It is a great added value proposition too for businesses looking for new larger premises or to relocate, as from their point of view, they could be able to recruit key members from further afield.

But the main focus currently seems to be in homes and flats that people would buy or rent with the sole purpose of easy commuting. The excitement in the property market around this subject matter is palpable. Crewe has been hammering home the message that HS2 will be a “Gateway to the Northern Powerhouse” and property valuations are already rising as a result.

From a property marketing point of view, now could be the best time to invest in an area on the HS2 route. Certainly, any office spaces in the area must advertise the fact that the amazing high-speed rail link is nearby and potentially bake that into their messages going forward as soon as possible. An office block with easy access to HS2 will surely be a potential winner, but we need to make sure that the ‘easy commute’ message is put across as early as now.

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