The use of artificial intelligence protects residents from credit card fraud and can even suggest the most relevant Netflix shows based on user preferences. However, AI is at the stage to impact how agents may show properties and engage potential buyers, both a useful and lucrative possibility for the technology. How may AI be used to help buyers, sellers, investors and property managers?
The Time for AI is Now
Potential home buyers can take advantage of AI when looking for more information about available properties. The use of virtual tours is becoming more popular and individuals can get information on common questions from bots, rather than immediately reaching out to an agent. It is expected that as the technology advances, the bots will be able to provide answers to nuanced queries. Truss is a startup offering a chatbot called Vera with its AI-powered platform for those interested in leasing office space. A sales bot named Holmes is also available to address initial inquiries and transfer users to humans when it cannot provide necessary details or information. It appears, in such instances, that bots are becoming an initial contact point for interested buyers and sellers.
Real estate agents appreciate the technology but some are concerned about the possibility that job automation will threaten their jobs. One school of thought is that many repetitive services provided by agents may be eliminated with AI, leaving only high specialized practitioners standing. However, the new software, when integrated into services offered, can greatly increase efficiency for those looking to rent or buy. Agents and property managers can more effectively handle the needs of various parties with the intelligent use of AI.
Influence on Investors and Agents
Not only may some efficiencies develop for agents and the potential property buyer, but managing properties themselves may become easier. AI automation may allow boutique property owners to delight commercial tenants with AI chatbot interaction using Amazon Echo. This level of superior service and attention can help commercial property owners maintain current commercial tenants and keep machinery and infrastructure in good condition.
AI can also allow commercial agents, brokers and asset managers to get additional visibility when it comes to their property portfolio. Appfolio and VTS provide a visualization dashboard integrating contract documents, accounting systems and market data. These solutions are for those businesses needing to sell, market and manage commercial real estate properties.
Impact on Residential and Industrial Properties
Home and building owners have been enjoying smart technology for years, and automation is picking up speed quickly. On the residential side, Zenplace, Buildium and Rentalutions integrate process automation technology to support tenants and landlords. Renters can use Zenplace’s chatbot via Amazon’s Echo to make payments, request service and make specific demands which were often only addressed by a property manager. Zenplace uses AI to monitor the state of building equipment and proactively . solicit required maintenance before issues arise. One can see that this type of use can help prevent outages and be of benefit in the management of industrial properties.
Improved Responses with AI
Bots may allow prospective buyers to get details on desirable properties faster than the efforts produced by brokers alone. In 2016, agents were put to the test with “Broker vs. Bot”. Inman conducted this challenge in Denver, Co, in which three brokers competed against the “Find More Genius” bot to suggest properties that would be similar to three homes selected from a Denver-area real estate journalist from property listings. This was done over the course of three days and on each day the preferred property was one of those provided by Find More Genius. Bots may potentially make it easier for buyers to get the latest listings that are relevant to their needs and preferences. It may have the effect of improving communications between agents and buyers, a win for those looking to buy, sell or rent a property.
The Future of AI in the Real Estate Industry
There is a great deal of potential when it comes to AI. While it may prove to be a disruptive technology, at this time it can offer benefits to agents, managers, buyers and tenants of residential and commercial properties. Virtual tours are only the first of the improvements that may come with investment into AI technologies.