August 03, 2020
Very few industries can afford to remain static. Real estate is no exception.
Innovation in other sectors, in due time, is bound to upend many of the norms that guide the information economy of markets around them.
In the real estate world, the wave of big data and artificial intelligence has been steadily advancing on traditional turf. Signs of their emergence have been evident since the dawn of services such as Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and OpenDoor.
The refinement of these services only makes it clearer that buyers and sellers of homes are more empowered than ever before. They have ready access to tools that will help them narrow their decisions before they ever need to contact a broker.
What the sudden shock of the COVID-19 crisis shows us is that there’s never been a better time for real estate brokers to get on board with these trends. Ultimately, they can enhance the value brokers provide to consumers.
Consider RealFriend, an A.I.-powered chat bot that recently entered New York City’s rental market. Two entrepreneurs in Israel developed “Luke,” a friendly robot who helps apartment hunters identify their ideal rental properties, right down to specific features and preferences.
RealFriend is already beta testing for the home buying market. It’s one of several companies that envisions A.I. becoming a driving force in real estate.
RealFriend co-founder Hadar Landau recently explained to Architectural Digest that his company isn’t seeking to get rid of the broker:
“Real estate agents aren’t going anywhere. You need them to work with the property owners, to open the door for you. We’re getting a lot of inquiries from Realtors, asking how they can work with us.” --Hadar Landau, RealFriend co-founder
Over at Forbes, Anton Danilovich examines how artificial intelligence and machine learning can actually keep real estate brokers relevant:
"Many agents are waking up to the fact that they must use technology to boost their credibility, provide real value and build a trusted relationship that clients can rely on. With the increasing availability of public and private data combined with machine learning and AI insights, we can show clients more than just fancy bells and whistles. We can empower them to turn what may be their largest transaction ever into their wisest transaction ever." --Anton Danilovich, founder TopHap
Danilovich is the founder of TopHap, a real estate analytics platform that helps optimize realtor performance.
Among the advantages brokers can gain from A.I. is a more detailed picture of neighborhood trends, from historical and predictive growth analysis to deep data metrics that help correlate factors that calculate a property’s value in real time.
As Danilovich points out, data-driven insight is become a right for the consumer, not a privilege. Increasingly, that makes it an expectation for brokers to be equipped with the knowledge to analyze properties and guide clients to the best possible decisions.
There is no harm in becoming more informed about how to break down real estate in ways that go beyond the basic understanding of dynamics in a local market. Taking A.I. into the fold of the real estate profession will be an advantageous step forward, enabling a degree of transparency that simplifies choices around the most accurate body of information.