Artificial Intelligence isn’t a new concept, but it continues to be a hot topic among the tech community. While natural intelligence is utilized by humans, artificial intelligence is applied when a machine mimics cognitive functions, such as problem-solving. It’s certainly becoming more and more embedded in our daily lives whether we realize it or not - from Siri on the iPhone to self-driving Teslas, AI is here to stay. It’s already starting to make an impact on industries that have long been acquainted with otherwise very traditional formats and means of delivery. Real estate brands, for example, are now discovering that tapping into what AI has to offer will actually yield greater results in the long run.
Currently, when asked about the amount of technology their brands offer, 45% of real estate agents polled said they would like to see the amount of technology offered expanded. On top of that, 48% of all firms cited keeping up with technology as one of the biggest challenges facing their firm in the next two years, and 51% of firms with three or more offices cite keeping up with technology as a challenge as well. What this tells us is that real estate brands are realizing that traditional platforms and old-school technology are no longer cutting it in a digital age where anyone can whip out their smartphone, and, within seconds, find out best price listings for a variety of houses that would suit their needs at their current stage in life. They need to not only get in the game, but be able to anticipate what potential audiences are looking for - quickly, efficiently and as accurately as possible.
According to Skyline AI CEO Guy Zipori,
“[...real estate markets..] are comprised of an intricate web of interactions that affect every decision, and AI technology is now mature enough to tackle these highly complex transactions...asset managers [are] looking to develop new investment vehicles defined by AI that will enable enhanced performance in uncertain economic conditions, adding value throughout the entire investment lifecycle.”
Forward-thinking real estate brands recognize the incredible potential that integrating this advanced tech into their core operations could mean for their overarching business goals.
For example, some US AI platforms help brands achieve more by aggregating public records nationwide, and pit those records against an extremely comprehensive database that would demonstrate demographics, behavioural and buying trends. Rewind a few years back, and we’ll remember that direct marketing was often followed by online leads, and then list optimizers would narrow the search of perhaps a 100,000 homes down to the most relevant 80% based on property description. Now, with AI and machine learning, that same list could be whittled down to the most relevant 10% with a greater degree of probability that these higher quality leads would lead to conversion, and ultimately, revenue.
What AI and machine learning ultimately provides brands with is an engine where branching data composed of user preferences is provided to best-match property portfolios that fits those filters and criteria.
1. AI will drive automation
AI can be applied with varying degrees of depth and detail, and the solutions it provides has already made it easier for companies to keep better track on operations, enhance communication methods, develop an easier and smoother user interface online - for example, customers no longer have to be kept on standby when they call in customer care. AI implemented into the system can not only respond to their calls or messages quickly, but gets them the most relevant solutions in a timely manner. These ‘chatbots’ are pre-loaded with content relevant to a specific industry, and can understand a customer’s chat or call history, ask for more clarity, direct them to human reps, and of course handle multiple customers at the same time.
2. AI can eliminate geographical issues
Geography will no longer pose a problem as it always had in the past for the industry, because now with AI the whole selling and buying experience can be processed online if desired, even if the property is in another district entirely. In fact, AI gives the added bonus of giving consumers the opportunity to appraise and acquire homes in other places at perhaps much more competitive prices. Machine learning improves the user experience because it offers real-time insight on the market unlike previous experiences before, while giving realtors and brands a wide net with which to find properties that meet their investment goals remotely.
3. AI Promotes Personalization
It doesn’t sound likely, but it’s true. AI will allow brand software to get increasingly smarter when it comes to interacting with client behaviour. AI platforms can also be developed as a “recommendation engine” that determines the best investment portfolio based on customized preferences, using machine learning to recommend property portfolios that achieve very specific investment goals while continuously learning from online behaviour throughout the sales cycle. This is valuable because this information can then be passed onto the sales team, and it will be their next goal to further that personalization (how to contact them, when, by which format, move them towards a real estate transaction etc).
4. AI will generate and qualify better leads
Even a simple AI chatbot installed on the company homepage will do a great job when it comes to generating leads. By being the first point-of-call when someone clicks on your page, and interacting using its pre-stored database of ‘quick solutions’, it can quickly qualify leads and identify those that are yielding high potential for conversion.
AI technology is continuously proving that it is capable of giving real estate brands and consumers alike a better experience in the property industry. Reducing management costs, allowing better flow of communication and overall efficiency across the board are just some of the pluses. While manual research and discovery are well and good, it’s hard to ignore the sheer volume of data that AI platforms are able to sift through, and that much faster too. The world of real estate is changing every day, and best-performing brands and leaders have already realized that it isn’t just about location, location, location - anymore.