When was the last time you searched for information about a property in the classified section of a newspaper? It would most likely be a long time ago. When all the information that you wish to know is available at your fingertips or a few taps on your smartphone, there is no reason for you to look elsewhere. The fact is technology has added a new dimension to the real estate industry. From buying homes to renting them out or selling them, technology just makes it a cakewalk compared to how the earlier generation went about doing the business. But what’s awaiting us is even bigger as Artificial Intelligence or AI is all set to change the way we seek information, communicate and transact in realty.
The use of AI has experimented across different industries and it has already shown the possibilities it has on offer. Even the realty industry has been experimenting with it for the last few years but the year 2020 would be a major inflection point as far as the use of AI in the realty segment is concerned. 2020 is no ordinary year as we step into a new decade and real estate businesses are gearing up for offering better services, more information and the ability to interact with their platform to the users all thanks to AI. If the dawn of the millennia was about real estate information going live on the internet and the start of the 2010s was all about offering better services online this decade would all be about embracing AI in the real estate market.
The big question is how will AI change the real estate business in 2020 in real terms? What are the tangible benefits that realty business, as well as their customers, would experience with AI? Let’s take you through some of the changes that we will see in the real estate business as more business start adopting Artificial Intelligence tools –
AI Revolutionizes Recommendations
Customers have a unique definition of a ‘perfect property’ when it comes to buying or renting one. Some like to live near the central business district while others prefer seclusion. Some want disabled-friendly properties while others look for plenty of fun and activities nearby. Some like to move into pet-friendly locations while others may not want to live in a neighborhood full of pets! It can be difficult for even the most seasoned realty agent to offer the ‘perfect’ recommendation to an interested buyer or renter based on their exact preference. AI solves this puzzle based on the input provided by the user. These tools can come up with the most relevant recommendations. Since there is no human intervention involved here there are no chances of oversights or biased recommendations.
AI makes realty business 24/7
If you own a real estate company you’d say that your business already runs 24/7 through your website. While that is true, albeit partly. While your potential customers can come and browse all the information that needs about your properties and other offers there is no way they can get immediate response from your team unless of course, you have a 24/7 customer support team. This is where AI is going to be a game-changer in the real estate market in 2020 and beyond. Your AI-powered chatbots would offer all possible assistance to your website visitors while your team is away. Today’s Chatbots are highly adaptive and they are able to offer human-like assistance to all queries interpreting the exact queries out of the conversational communication instead of relying on a keyword-based response as was the case with the previous generation of chatbots.
Improves Lead Follow Up
Following up leads was easy for realty businesses in the pre-internet era. Leads would be generated via customer walk-ins or phone calls. This offered agents and developers the touchpoints to follow leads and convert them into transactions. But the Internet changed that all as potential customers used websites to gather information on properties rather than physically doing it. It was a missed opportunity at selling. While thousands of pages views were generated daily for all realty companies it was difficult for them to follow up with such customers unless they left behind their contact details. AI is coming to the rescue of realtors in this regard as chatbots and other AI tools now make it possible for companies to follow those leads. These tools can gather contact information about potential customers from different channels including social media and follow up with them improving the odds of transactions.
Buying a property or leasing one involves tons of documentation. From meeting legal requirements to verifying the paperwork the process is cumbersome and often can overwhelm the customers. This is often a sore point in an industry that has otherwise embraced the best technology has on offer in terms of information and communication. For an analogy just go back to the days when we were required to file tax returns manually without the aid of computers and software and you’d not like to go back to that era. AI eases the whole process of legal paperwork and documentation. Advanced algorithms can even detect fake documents instantly thus easing the whole process. With technologies such as digital signatures, transactions can happen remotely.
AI helps buyers/renters take Virtual Tours
In the pre-internet era, a buyer or a renter would have to physically visit every shortlisted property before making a final call. The Internet allowed them to get a glimpse of the property through images provided by the realty companies or agents. But as you know images don’t always tell the truth and most importantly hide details about the fourth wall! Virtual Tours is one of the biggest customer-centric benefits that Artificial Intelligence has on offer as it allows users to take virtual tours of the property. A customer can be sitting thousands of miles away but will be able to get first-hand experience on the look and feel of the property, the neighborhood and all other information that determines the final buying or renting information.
AI improves Safety & Security
Has the property been constructed following the local building codes? Has the builder adhered to the local regulations in terms of fire safety? These are some of the concerns that customers usually have when it comes to buying or renting real estate. With Artificial Intelligence it is possible to verify all this information from a remote location. This is also a big incentive for property developers who follow the regulations as they can sell their properties quicker highlighting these as one of the incentives of investing in these properties.
To sum up, these are some of the immediate possibilities with AI. With these changes, AI is expected to drive the real estate business towards a new dawn. But if you thought this is all AI is all about, it is just the beginning. As experts in AI say the use of AI in 2020 is similar to the late 1990s when most businesses were starting out with their websites and customers were writing their first emails to these companies to get answers on their queries. AI will help make real estate transactions quicker, smoother and minimize fraudulent activities. The game has just started.