How emerging AI technology will alter real estate in 2019

December 10, 2018

Artificial intelligence is all the rage in many business sectors, and real estate is certainly included in that. With this simple fact in mind, agents should strive to better understand how AI can help them in the year ahead - and beyond.

Perhaps the simplest way for real estate professionals to understand the kind of impact AI can have on their daily processes is by contextualizing an increasingly common feature on many real estate websites: chatbots. According to Net Scribes, agents can quickly understand the value a chatbot provides at a low cost; these software "assistants" pop up when someone visits an agent's website or sends them a message on social media and collects critical information about the person on the other end, including contact details, why they're reaching out/searching and so on.

That provides agents with a potential wealth of actionable data even as they're not actually speaking with a potential lead, and - in the best cases - that lead might not even fully realize they're communicating with a fully automated program that's designed to respond intelligently to anything that's said to them.

Other effective uses
One of the biggest and most time-consuming tasks agents will likely have to take on in the course of shepherding buying or selling clients through the real estate sales process is simply in document review and making sure everything is as it should be when it comes time to cross all the T's and dot all the I's. AI can help in this regard as well by quickly and easily scanning all pertinent documents and comparing them to a wealth of other legal files to identify potential irregularities.

That kind of function could go a long way for agents in terms of just freeing up time they can devote to other critical parts of their everday work.

Lots to consider
At the same time as AI is revolutionizing many of the daily tasks agents may have had to undertake in the past, it's also changing the real estate business as a whole, according to AI expert Steve Butler, speaking with HousingWire. For instance, mortgage lenders may be able to use AI to approve home loan applications almost instantaneously, and that can impact how agents do their jobs significantly; for instance, it may simply speed up the real estate sales process for buyers and sellers, and provide greater certainty that a deal isn't going to fall through unexpectedly.

Even better, AI could also end up cutting the cost of closing a mortgage, because lenders will have to devote fewer resources to processing and reviewing relevant documentation. That may lead more people to become interested in buying homes as well, as the cost and difficulty of getting approved for a mortgage are reduced, often significantly.

With all this in mind, agents would be wise to educate themselves about the AI options that may be available to them now and how they could provide a potentially massive return on investment throughout 2019.