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Technology – The Future of Real Estate

smart home

For more than a decade, the Vatican has put the Pope’s holy words onto the Internet. From porno hustlers to religious groups, every corner of society seems to be embracing new technology.

Consequently, now is a good time to officially name the demographic group who is leading this technology waveand who will begin driving American commerce and the U.S. real estate market for decades to come.

Goodbye Yuppies, welcome Tuppies.

Tuppies stands for “Technologically Upwardly-Mobile Professionals.” Real estate technology consultant Roald Marth coined the acronym.

He aptly suggests that, just as the real estate industry kept up with the Yuppies, it needs to get a fix on the Tuppies. Among other trends and breakthroughs, Yuppies brought us garden apartments, condominiums, timeshares, Martha Stewart and adjustable rate mortgages.

Tuppies will have the same influence, already sparking wired apartment buildings, WebTV and rental listings on the Internet.

Who are the Tuppies? They are a blend of younger Yuppies and older ambitious Generation Xers who will not only dictate trends in fashion, art and style, but will re-define how we shop just as Yuppies did with shopping malls and with mail-order catalogues.

Tuppies will lead consumer demand in the new e-commerce economy. Their parking lot to the mall is their Internet Service Provider (ISP); they pay for goods with their personal password and they comparison shop using databases.

They are a group of techno-astute consumers who may not know much about consumer activist Ralph Nader, but who are very familiar with Web auctions, who aren’t afraid to use their credit cards online and who view the world of commerce from their personal computers. They deploy smart cards, are electronically connected 24 hours a day, go camping with gizmos, sport two or three e-mail aliases and are ready to test any technology tool that is available for a discount on the Web.

They aren’t necessarily nerds; instead they are avid users of technology and Web services that the nerds have created.

Tuppies are very comfortable with Internet self-help services, just as they prefer to self-park, buy e-tickets, bank with ATM machines and easily program their VCRs.

Moreover, their homes are wired, they can probably afford more than one house and they see the economy through their stock options and through Web commerce portals.

Fashion houses are designing clothes for the Tuppies; home builders are rigging homes for them and liquor makers are concocting new-age cocktails for this demographic group.

Now the real estate industry must get with this new crew of home shoppers who are eager to find homes, apartments and mortgages on the Web. Tuppies trust the Internet and would prefer to turn on a computer for realty information instead of waiting in a real estate office for assistance or making a telephone call. One reason is that they are on the move–it is easier to go online than reach someone on the phone, and they can’t get a fax in a airport but can retrieve email.

The power of the Tuppies explains why Web real estate services is one of five industry sectors poised for explosive e-commerce revenue growth during the remainder of 1998 according to a study by ActivMedia, an online research group.

According to the “Real Numbers Behind Net Profits,” the top five sectors are computer hardware and software, real estate, publishing and information services, finance, and Internet services.

The ActivMedia survey found that there are now 113 million Internet users worldwide, with the U.S. and Canada accounting for about 70 million.

Tuppies are a big group and just like the Yuppies, their power in the marketplace should not be underestimated.

Written By Brad Inman
Inman New Features