Nationwide deploys voice-tech to help house hunters

Nationwide Building Society is piloting an innovative voice-tech service designed to assist home buyers in their choice of location. It clearly has potential interest for estate and letting agencies.

The “Nationwide Local Voices” feature is being rolled out in Bristol and is being  developed by Nationwide’s media agency, WPP’s Wavemaker.

It allows users to explore the twenty most popular neighbourhoods in the City by using voice commands and to hear the stories behind the areas through short audio documentaries voiced by local people.

The aim of the content is to provide homebuyers and home-movers with useful insight into what life is really like in an area

The Nationwide Local Voices feature is free to download and accessible via devices with Alexa, by asking “Alexa, open Nationwide Local Voices”, or Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google, talk to Nationwide Local Voices”.

Sarah Salter, Head of Innovation at Wavemaker, said: “Voice offered an opportunity for Nationwide Building Society to pioneer a new experience by connecting with its audience of prospective home movers both in car and on the move.

“After all, the use of voice search on smart devices continues to grow exponentially, and according to YouGov data sourced from Statista, 58% of smart speaker usage in the UK is to answer general questions.”

Anna Bentham, Director of Marketing at Nationwide, added: “We wanted to help prospective house hunters make the most informed decisions when it comes to researching a new city or neighbourhood.

“And despite 36% asking estate agents for advice when buying their home, three in 10 admitted they wish they’d been able to speak to residents of the area they were moving to instead. With this in mind, we believed that the best way to do this was by speaking to those in the know – the residents who live and work there, who can give first-hand advice.”


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