AI for Real Estate
AI for Real EstateTechnology for Real Estate and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been in the news often in the past year. Specifically, when it comes to AI for real estate and what to expect from its impact. Real Estate touches all of us every day – the homes we live in, the places we work, how our transportation system is laid out, where we shop, and even where we go for entertainment and rest.
Technology likewise touches virtually all of us every day – the HD televisions we watch, the smartphones we carry, the laptops, tablets, and computers we use. In fact, AI is a part of many of our lives already. We use AI every time we access apps like WAVE powered by Google’s AI-Powered Predictions, we use it when we use ride-sharing apps like UBER and LYFT that calculate our rate and time to pick up, and if you fly on a commercial aircraft, they use AI-powered autopilots.
So, here are two things that touch our lives every day: Real Estate and Technology. Technology seems to be always with us. The average cell phone user is checking their phone about 63 times each day. Real estate is the largest industry in the country, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real Estate transactions account for 3,942.5 Billion (this a B not an M) in our economy.
Here we are in the largest industry in the country, where billions and billions of dollars pass hands every year, we are hooked on technology, and yet as whole real estate agents, teams, and brokers spend very little on technology. Fifty-three percent of real estate professionals spend $5000 or less on marketing (technology) every year. That figure has to change if you plan to survive in real estate.
Millennials, the largest group of home buyers at the present time, are technologically savvy. Nine in ten own cell phones. They grew up using laptops and other personal electronic devices almost daily. If that doesn’t convince you that you need to embrace technology, look to the future a little.
Generation Z, those born from 1990 to the present, account for 25% of the population. The oldest ones are just entering the time when they will be thinking of renting apartments and buying homes. The grew up with i-phones, tablets, laptops in the classroom, art homes, virtual libraries, and more. They are constantly connected to technology. They are accustomed to immediate gratification when they are looking online. That being said, they still desire experiences to be customized to them.
While our industry has been slow to adopt technology, real estate as a whole may be the least innovative industry in the country; things are changing. Artificial intelligence will be a new standard of excellence, as Generation Z starts to influence the housing market.
Imagine if you can a voice-activated app on a customer’s cell phone that can list for sale properties for them. One that can compare those properties, rank them based on the customer’s needs and wants, and then direct them to the real estate agent that can show them the property. Imagine an app for real estate agents that connects your GPS, and your calendar, and your MLS. An app that, if you and your clients’ are stuck in traffic, running late for an appointment, then it will voice notify you, and ask if you would like to call the listing agent to advise them, and then will dial the number for you while you are driving. (Or while the driverless car you are in is traveling down the road.)Imagine an app that can keep track of a hundred different variables for 20, 30, or 100 different clients, and predict what houses in what neighborhoods are likely to come on the market that meet all or most of the criteria for each individual client. Can you imagine the advantage of a team or an agent with an app like that would have?
Now you may question if this is all a bit of science fiction. I can tell you that it is not. There are companies, ZipperAgent included, that are currently working on apps that will do these very things and more. Are you the agent that is going to be an early adopter?
Are you an agent that is ready to grow their business in the future by meeting the needs of Millennials and Generation Z?
Rethink the ways you are doing business. It is hard to change, apparently more so for real estate professionals than many other businesses. However, just like MLS’s replaced the old Sales Books, AI will replace many of the apps and technologies that we in the real estate profession are using today. AI will be used by many to enhance their productivity and their customer interactions. The others will rely on the same technologies that they have slowly adopted.
To paraphrase a quote from a movie I saw long ago, “When people try to expand their territory into the territory occupied by other people, the one with the best technology wins.”?