Artificial intelligence, machines that think, are going to change the way we live, work and play. In fact, AI is already having a major impact on a number of key sectors in the global economy, and “early adopters” in these industries are already seeing phenomenal return on investment as AI opens up new business opportunities and creates value through identifying new process efficiencies.
A recent report from Fleishman Hilliard highlights that 59% of American consumers already use AI technologies on a regular basis. Akhilesh Tripathi, the Chief Commercial Officer of outsourcing industry leader TCS, comments that “We expect AI to become mainstream and permeate into every walk of life well before 2025, akin to computers in the 90’s and internet in the year 2000. We are beginning to see this already in our smartphones, connected home devices, connected cars, etc. It is hard to imagine existence of an enterprise business or a service without AI by 2025.”
Although the application of AI in real estate has not been common until the last few years, this shift is increasing quickly. Real estate agents and brokers, as well as execs in major real estate firms, are discovering how AI can make their jobs easier and faster, and the adoption of AI technologies continues at a rapid pace. Note that the mortgage industry, in particular, has been an early adopter of AI inside the Real Estate industry. This trend toward using machine-learning technologies is already beginning to reshape the way business is done in both commercial and residential real estate.
AI Revolutionizing Marketing in Real Estate
AI can streamline almost every aspect of the real estate marketing process. Using the latest AI software tools makes it possible for real estate professionals to direct their marketing efforts to those who are actually in need of their services, saving time and money in bringing in new business.
An example of this revolution is REX Real Estate, founded in 2014. REX has already raised $25.5 million in funding, including multi-million dollar investments by well-known businessmen such as Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy and Best Buy founder Dick Schulze.
REX is all about “smart marketing”. The REX AI system starts by sending a batch of online ads to a large number of potential homebuyers that fit a complex set of criteria indicating they might be in the market for a residence. The algorithms are designed to determine relationships between all of the people who clicked on the ad. The AI analyzes this data and suggests the most promising new leads based on the patterns it sees in the data.
Analysis of online behavior is one criteria REX uses to identify potential home buyers and sellers. A simple example might be that people who’ve made lots of trips to Home Depot over the last month or two, but have a prior history of substantially less visits to Home Depot, are more likely to be fixing up a house to sell.
AI Chatbots Cut Labor Costs; Harvest Useful Data for Real Estate Firms
Another example is OJO Labs, an Austin-based startup developing AI chatbots for the real estate industry. The firm has raised $26.5 million in capital from investors to date. OJO’s AI system uses its ability to create and understand natural language to provide various types of customer service for a real estate agent or broker. OJO can answer a wide range of questions and also assist in home searches.
A customer could ask the chatbot the size of the backyard of a specific property. The chatbot can then provide the dimensions of the backyard, and also offer extra details such as there are four large oak trees in the backyard that provide lots of shade. Image recognition software integrated into OJO will also make housing matches simply based on a text conversation about open floor plans, thus directing targeted sales leads to the real estate professionals.
AI Systems Reduce Maintenance Costs for Commercial Real Estate Owners
The massive amount of data being generated by all of the sensors in the billions of IoT devices in homes and offices all across the globe can be analyzed by AI, which can then suggest process or system improvements.
For example, smart sensors in lighting and heating systems, elevators, and security systems collect data that can be used to help hotel, mall, or office building owners identify problem areas and improve energy efficiencies.
At the end of the day, AI is taking over and improving both business operations and the user experience, so you’re either on board or you’re falling behind.