Thanksgiving 2018 is in the books, so all eyes are on either Christmas or the New Year. I’ve got my eye on Christmas, so we will stick with that. A popular Christmas item again this year is the gift of a voice-controlled device. I know you have seen the ads and in my neck of the woods I have even heard of an electric company giving them away if you switch to their company. So major players in this technology are currently Amazon and Google. Apple has a dog in this race, but I haven’t seen much on their products. I received my first Amazon Echo Dot as a Christmas gift myself two years ago and the things you can do with this device has increased every year.
Here’s the basics on how this device works. If you already have a device or don’t want the basics,
PLEASE SKIP TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH FOR AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT.
I will be talking about the Amazon Alexa Echo Dot since that’s the one I own. You download the Amazon Alexa app on your phone or iPad. Your Echo Dot is not mobile so think of where you might use it the most and plug it into a plug. Yes, it will work in the same plug that powers your television, your hairdryer or whatever. You will sync your phone to the echo dot and your echo dot to your internet. You will need that pesky internet password or passkey. Getting the internet to connect is the most difficult part in the set up. I have set up five of these devices so if you need help, give me a shout.
Instead of apps like your phone, the Amazon Alexa devices have SKILLS. Developers, like myself, create the skills for users. To turn on a skill you open the Amazon Alexa app on your iPhone, go to skills, find the one you want to turn on and hit enable. Skills can be found in twenty-two categories:
Yes, there is a lot you can do, and it all starts with the wake-up word: “Alexa” and then you ask her a question or tell her what you want her to do. Don’t like the wake-up word, you can change it in your settings on your phone. You can ask Alexa what time it is, what the weather is, who won the football game, what the news is and so much more. With the help of an additional device you can have the Echo dot turn on the lights or connect to the speakers of your television. You can also use the echo dot as an intercom and talk from room to room OR remotely like a phone.
So much you can do, but here is my big announcement I have created not one, not two but THREE Amazon Alexa Skills for real estate.
Real Estate with Scott Culberson
Selling Homes in The Woodlands, Texas
Real Estate Snapshot Lake Windcrest Magnolia, TX
It is so easy to get started.
STEP 1: Go to the skill section, search for one of these skills
STEP 2: click ENABLE.
STEP 3: say out loud “Alexa play my Flash Briefing?” or “Alexa what’s in the news?”
You will then hear a brief introduction and then the skill will play.
Check it out and let me know your thoughts on my Amazon Alexa skills. Separate from the amazing world of Amazon Alexa is my podcast on ITUNES called Real Estate with Scott Culberson. This is a free podcast and you do not need an Amazon Alexa device to listen. Go to ITUNES, click podcast, search, find, click, download. Super easy. That’s all for now. I’m Scott Culberson, broker associate, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene. I am here to help you and your yours to Live Life to the Fullest.