Homeowners go high-tech to manage their real estate

Turn to web, Twitter to hire novice brokers, monitor their properties

A home Twitter feed, @HouseofCoates
A home Twitter feed, @HouseofCoates

Homeowners are increasingly coming up with tech-savvy methods to find, manage and monitor their personal real estate.

One New York City resident, for instance, hired an unlicensed, untrained “broker” to help with an apartment search through TaskRabbit, a website that finds people to do odd jobs such as assembling Ikea furniture.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Buyer Stephanie Falcon hired a born-and-bred New Yorker to trawl Craigslist for listings and attend open houses in her stead, the New York Times reported. Falcon’s employee, with no real estate experience whatsoever, found her the perfect place, which she scooped up before anyone else could make an offer and paid $500 bucks for the service. Even after giving her hired help a cut, Falcon found her home for a fraction of the cost of a real agent, the Times reported.

A West Coast homeowner, meanwhile, installed low-tech, web-connected sensors to control the temperature and lights in his house, and to notify him when guests arrive or when it rains via Twitter feed. Developers have long built homes that can sense when the lights need to be turned off or the heat on, but the added ability of tracking such activity could be the next big amenity, homeowners told the Times. [NYT] — Angela Hunt