This post is part of our new Future of Real Estate series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
The following is an interview we recently had with Nick Kljaic, Co-founder and CEO of Apartment Ocean.
1. What’s the history of Apartment Ocean? Where and how did you begin?
NK: It all started in NYC. Junjie and I first created a tool to help renters find apartments based on their lifestyles and needs, not just characteristics of the apartment (regular filters). The user experience was very similar to what we see in chatbots now – Q&A style, so we morphed into a chatbot once the larger messenger platforms opened to chatbots.
2. What specific problem does your company solve? How do you solve it?
NK: Realtors are missing on many leads and potential clients solely because they don’t have the time to answer every inquiry they receive. Apartment Ocean has created a chatbot, which engages with customers to gather necessary information so the realtor can follow up and help them. Chatbot can ask questions but It can also answer questions that customers have, it serves as a true assistant to realtors.
3. What’s the future of real estate?
Prediction #1: I believe that real estate transactions on the web/mobile will become more common in the future. Chatbot and VR technology will help people make a buying/renting decision right on the spot.
Prediction #2: Artificial intelligence will have a big influence on how people make real estate investment decisions. There’s tremendous amount of data available, artificial intelligence can analyze it and help investors answer questions like “What neighborhoods in cities across the US have seen the highest growth in the last 10 years?”, “What cities had the highest growth in the last 2 years?” and similar questions. These answers can give the investor information needed to make a better-informed decision.
Prediction #3: Internet of Things will continue to evolve for real estate. We’ll be able to control every part of our home with a web or mobile app.
4. What are the top 3 technology trends you’re seeing in real estate?
Trend #1: Chatbots
Trend #2: Visual recognition
Trend #3: Virtual reality
5. Why is the real estate industry ripe for disruption?
NK: Real estate has always been considered a traditional industry that doesn’t change, now we are starting to see real estate companies embracing change and utilizing tech tools to make their businesses more efficient. Whenever there are inefficiencies present in an industry, investors willing to put in the money to solve those inefficiencies and startups offering technologies to tackle these inefficiencies: disruption will occur.
About Nick Kljaic
As co-founder and CEO of Apartment Ocean, Nick oversees the strategy and business development. He has been involved in the real estate tech for many years, working with real estate companies to improve the communication with their customers and to make the process of buying/renting properties more efficient. Previously working in the finance industry, Nick uses his understanding of business and skills in team building and leadership to grow and develop the company and establish strategies for its success. Passionate about real estate and technology, he is always looking to connect with real estate professionals.