AI's status today doesn't necessarily color what it will be in the future. But it just might. So we ask, how are realtors using artificial intelligence in their operations? What about homebuyers — are there any AI-driven tools helping them find the best deals on their dream home?
These industry insiders explored the state of AI in the real estate sector. Here's what they said:
1. Attila Toth, founder and CEO of Zesty.ai
“Very nascent. Similar to where the Internet was in terms of consumer adoption in 1994. The difference is that AI will impact all industries, including Real Estate, to a larger extent than the Internet has and it won't take a quarter of a century. The next decade will bring more change in Real Estate than the previous century, primarily due to AI.”
2. Jasjeet Thind, Vice President, AI and Analytics at Zillow
“Artificial intelligence is impacting real estate in a multitude of profound ways, which will ultimately change the way we buy and sell homes. At Zillow, we’re working in the areas of personalization, computer vision, machine learning, and more in order to create a better experience for our customers.
The launch of the Zestimate 6.5, with the ability to ‘see’ unique home features, earlier this summer is a good example of the way we are innovating with AI. The new Zestimate was inspired by the way the human brain interprets scenes, objects, and images. It uses neural networks and computer vision to distinguish between high and low-end finishes and to incorporate the value of features like updated bathroom fixtures, fireplaces, and remodeled kitchens.”
3. Pieter Aarts, CEO and co-founder of roOomy
“AI is all around us in the real estate industry, and it’s all about ease and efficiency. From listing sites to mobile property search apps, AI enables real estate professionals the invaluable ability to streamline their efforts through automation and predictors that ultimately help them to close deals fast and win more listings with less friction each step of the way.
While real estate professionals are at a great advantage from this behavioral learning technology, home buyers and renters are also reaping its benefits as well. They’re seeing and virtually touring listings that are more tailored to their true search criteria, whether it be design, location or even their credit score, helping them to quickly find, fall in love with and move into their new dream home.”
4. Grant Cardone, Real Estate Investor and CEO of Cardone Capital
“Residential and commercial RE have both been using technological developments for some time especially with the adoption of apps, locators, retargeting, chatbots and analysis calculators for buyers, sellers, appraisers, managers and lenders.”
5. Dr. Michael Yuan, co-founder of CyberMiles
“The days of PDFs and electronic signatures for real estate and other legal documents are going by the wayside. Advanced rules and machine learning techniques also mean that algorithms now can detect—and prevent—security lapses. They're upending slow, laborious processing while improving the efficiency and error rate of real estate transactions moving forward.”
6. Saurabh Saxena, founder of Houzen
“Implementing AI on the “transaction side” is a bit difficult in the UK RE industry. Two main reasons for this are (i) reactive mindset of operators, and (ii) lack of clean and relevant data. The two are unfortunately inter connected and (ii) follows (i). Since most operators including on-site staff, property managers or agency brokers are always worried about pushing the transaction forward they develop a reactive mindset and naturally develop low faith in any kind of feedback collection process.
Additionally, due to the extremely fragmented nature of the industry most data is broken, incomplete and simply not a big enough sample. Finally, due to low barriers to entry into the industry, there is a hoarding mindset which includes keeping data close to their own chest, whatever little data pools their internal teams do have. Any kind of intelligent solution in the industry would come from either the collaboration of very large operators or an operator which can aggregate a lot of the transactional information.”
7. Chris Heller, Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs
“The current state of AI in real estate today is considered to be in the first or second inning, with a massive game to be played ahead.. There are a few companies, like OJO Labs, that are laying the foundation for AI and applying the technology at scale. With AI still in its infancy, encouraging widespread adoption and acceptance toward AI as a powerful tool in real estate will have substantial impact on moving the industry forward, while delivering an incredible experience to consumers.”
8. Daniel Cozza, Chief Product Officer of Building Engines
“Extremely early – but promising. For example, using an AI-powered chatbot makes it possible to carry on a personal and direct conversation with every tenant, at once – formerly a pipe dream for commercial real estate (CRE) firms but now a reality.
Tenant requests are repetitive and therefore fit the best application of AI –exposing an algorithm to a series of sessions repeatedly so it learns.
With natural language processing (NLP), the bot can engage with tenants in a human-like conversation to check-in visitors, provide restaurant recommendations for a meeting or inform building management of a leaky faucet in the restroom.”
9. Ben Mizes, co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate
“AI is already being used in several online tools. Zillow's ZEstimates values properties based on house details and by analyzing images, and iBuyers use advanced algorithms to value properties based on similar principles. However, real estate remains a traditional industry. Many people don't feel comfortable solely following the advice of online tools: in-person visits and meetings are still common.
Additionally, though listings might have similar factors (such as the same number of bathrooms or bedrooms) and similar location, there are a wide variety of variables that humans can easily detect, but AI would have a hard time identifying. For example: neighborhood “charm”, small design flaws, and other small factors are hard to take into account with AI.”
10. Mark Choey, co-founder of Climb Real Estate and founder of Climb Labs
“The state of AI today is one of much promise but, thus far, incremental results. Some of the main applications of AI are as follows:
More accurate automated home valuations? Check.
Auto-recognition of features of a room in an image? Check.
Document, contract, text recognition to minimize or eliminate manual data entry? Check.
Cost-effective lead nurturing with natural language processing and chatbots? Check.
The suggestion of “similar” properties according to a buyer’s preferences? Check.
Prediction of when a seller is going to sell their home? Check.
Alerting you when an agent is thinking of leaving your firm? Check.”
11. James McGrath, co-founder of Yoreevo
“I'm sure AI will eventually make its way into real estate but right now, I don't see a great application. A large real estate brokerage just announced they built AI which recommends properties based on what you have already viewed. I don't know if I could consider that AI but it's the most obvious
application. The thing is it's not solving a problem. Buyers love browsing listings.”
12. Marc Rutzen, CEO of Enodo
“AI is just beginning to see adoption in the real estate industry. I think every industry transitions from opacity, to open data, to business intelligence, to AI… we've still got much of the industry just starting to use BI for the first time. I think it will be a while before we see broad adoption, but we're making progress.”
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