Ready to learn Artificial Intelligence? Browse courses like Uncertain Knowledge and Reasoning in Artificial Intelligence developed by industry thought leaders and Experfy in Harvard Innovation Lab.
Real estate is a field that might sound like a strange fit for AI applications. It might even sound like a possible threat to your business model or livelihood. If a computer can be taught to provide sound investment and purchasing recommendations, what need is there for financial advisers or real estate agents in our lives?
As it turns out, there's quite a lot of room for overlap here — and more than a few exciting opportunities along the way for humans to work alongside AI in the complex, fast-moving real estate world.
Artificial Intelligence Can Supercharge Real Estate Recommendations
Real estate agents' bread and butter is not necessarily their access to more or better properties. It has more to do with their knowledge of the area, the minutiae of the would-be homeowners' desires and needs, and their ability to come up with compelling real estate recommendations for clients. However, it's now more than likely the real estate agent of the near future will do lots of work alongside AI programs.
No doubt about it: You're still going to need considerable knowledge of the industry and the area you represent. You'll also need an unimpeachable sense of patience and caring when it comes to looking out for your clients and landing the right property. The beauty of applying AI to matching clients with ideal purchases means the process gets smarter over time. Your client interactions, marketable features and designs, and successful closings all become useful data points.
With the right software, this data could help algorithms become more successful in providing relevant recommendations to clients based on their manual searches, publicly available information about geographical regions, visitor responsiveness to certain images and types of listings, and more. It might also help real estate agents better understand trends and pinpoint emerging opportunities in their communities.
Faster and More Accurate Property Valuations
There's a lot of data and many points of interest that contribute to the overall value of a property or piece of land. It's not just about the attributes of that single property, either. If you've ever bought or sold a home, you know historical property values and time on the market for similar properties play a role as well.
Property valuations are another clear opportunity for AI to add clarity and precision to parts of the real estate process. Beyond the obvious advantages of eliminating some sources of human error, leveraging an AI-powered property appraisal system also makes it simple to gather and organize all of the required information, stay compliant with any procedural regulations and ultimately complete the necessary steps faster than without AI intervention.
AI-Powered Chatbots Provide 24/7 Responsiveness and Reliable Answers
If you've searched for an apartment or home, you know the search process doesn't abide by usual waking hours in many cases. Between touring neighborhoods and fretting about the quality of the local schools well into the night, it's clear real estate agents, no matter how attentive, aren't available around-the-clock. Even if they were, they might not have instant recall for some of the issues that might be on a client's mind.
Therefore, another proposed vision for bringing AI into the real estate fold involves using chatbots. Consider the benefits of a customer-focused, AI-powered chatbot that could:
- Maintain availability 24/7, or no matter when house-hunters are searching new listings.
- Answer questions about, and provide resources for, any or all parts of the process, including searching for homes, making bids and securing a mortgage or other loan.
- Help customers gather a better-rounded list of potential properties based on an even larger number of specific criteria, such as proximity to landmarks, the quality of schools, the walkability of the area and general sentiment about the region on social media.
- Provide updates in real-time about documentation and financial approval, building site status and more.
That's a lot of plates to keep spinning and a lot of potential variables. It's not hard to imagine how an AI companion could help filter through some of the noise on the customer side of things, provide assistance with the procedures and documentation, and generally keep the process moving — even if the human agent is unavailable.
Early tests indicate AI can make surprisingly relevant property recommendations, even if we're not quite ready to begin replacing real estate agents with robots entirely.
AI Powers Property Management and Deeper Insights Into Communities
Some property management items don't necessarily happen at intervals that are easy to predict or schedule, especially when different seasons offer variable degrees of busyness. This is another area where AI might come in handy.
As an example, some heating oil providers use algorithms to predict when customers will require deliveries, and even stake their no-run-out guarantees on those algorithms. It's not a surprise to hear that some other elements of property maintenance could benefit from machine learning and predictive algorithms, too.
On the financial side of things, some real estate companies might find applications for AI in predicting when clients are likely to default on a loan or when their past history indicates a possible credit check failure. In terms of establishing roots in an area, expect AI to assist agents in providing better tools and a deeper dive into historical and demographical trends, including property prices, crime rates, fluctuations in tax rates and more.
In other words, every part of managing and selling residential and commercial properties stands a good chance of leveraging some kind of artificial intelligence in the future.
The Near Future of AI in Real Estate
Is there room in the field for both flesh and silicon? If any of these concepts and use cases are any indication, the answer is clear. There's still no substitute for the human touch and intuition, but with a helping hand from AI, tomorrow's real estate agents will be even more effective, knowledgeable and organized.