What Is CRT Labs?
CRT Labs is the National Association of Realtors’ research group for real estate technology. The group produces reports on how emerging technologies may affect real estate agents and brokers, and works to develop solutions when there is a gap between what is available and what is needed in the real estate industry.
What Does CRT Labs Do?
CRT Labs researchers investigate renewable energy production, urban agriculture, alternative building materials, and other emerging technologies, though the bulk of their portfolio concerns the Internet of Things and smart home devices.
The group tests these devices to help agents and brokers understand their application in property sales. They also build hardware and design software solutions to improve the devices where necessary. Finally they make recommendations so NAR members can be a better resource for homebuyers and sellers.
CRT Labs partners with NGO’s, Internet of Things vendors, universities, and government agencies to monitor new technologies and promote NAR research.
What Is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things describes physical devices such as sensors, electronics, and appliances that can work together by exchanging data over a network.
In the real estate context, the Internet of Things allows for the development of smart homes where air conditioners, home security systems, refrigerators, lights, blinds, and other appliances are integrated to provide higher levels of control over energy usage, indoor air quality, and security, as well as automate many of the home’s daily processes.
While still fairly new, the Internet of Things promises to positively impact the quality of life of homeowners and thus home value.
How Did CRT Labs Come About?
Like many other industries, real estate has been subject to technological innovation. In the last 30 years, real estate has transformed itself from a paper and pen industry to one almost completely reliant on the Internet. But the transition was not always smooth.
In the early days of the Internet, leading MLS and brokers tried to adapt existing technologies to meet their vision. One example was the use of FTP as the data transfer mechanism in IDX.
Born in the 1970’s FTP was slow and burdensome. In fact, it was not until NAR introduced RETS in 1999 that the transition to the Internet truly took off.
It can be said that while a convergence of technologies made the modern real estate industry possible, it was a final piece of innovation (RETS) that came from within real estate that made it happen. In 2015, NAR created CRT Labs, a group dedicated to developing more final innovations.
What Are Some Key CRT Labs Reports?
- The Smart Home CheckList
- Robots in Real Estate
- Real Estate Tech Trends for 2018
- What Are Smart Hubs?
- What Are Voice Assistants?
- What Are Smart Plugs & Outlets?
For more on CRT Labs, visit their website crtlabs.org.
For more from Realtyna, check out What Is RETS Connector? and What Is Microformat?
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