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AI in PropTech: Transforming Real Estate with Intelligent Solutions

Many executives have been disenchanted by the promise of AI. What they see is robots doing backflips and computers beating Chess Grandmasters. What they fail to see is AI investment resulting in a boost to their bottom line. So much of what is spoken about in the media does not actually translate into feasible AI business applications. Not only do executives need to find the applications most likely to succeed, they need to identify use-cases that are likely to drive business value early in the investment lifecycle. Below are 3 possible use cases in real estate to help management understand how to move forward.

  1. Property Value Estimates Using Computer Vision

Deep Learning algorithms have proven to be extremely accurate in interpreting images. Using this technology, which is trained on millions of photos and home prices, real estate companies can easily and accurately predict home values. They can then use this information to advise their clients on the most likely selling price, which can lead to increased sales.

  1. Property Matchmaking Through AI Recommendations

By leveraging the data on real estate websites, and capturing which homes clients ultimately purchase, companies can produce recommendations much quicker than traditional browsing. The home buying process often includes hours searching online and viewing homes in person. Real estate agents can free up their time and resources by using AI to select high-quality homes for their clients, which can lead to more sales and the ability to serve more customers.

  1. Conversational AI for Customer Profiling

Chatbots have begun to receive a lot of negative attention lately. This is for good reason. Many companies do not take the time to determine why they are using a chatbot, or how this may impact relationships with customers. That being said, this use case in real estate is compelling. Conversational AI has been used to triage customers, identify high-potential prospects, and connect them immediately with an agent. This ensures that serious prospects get in touch with an agent immediately, and the chatbot can handle questions from those who are not serious and connect them with an agent later in their purchase journey. High-quality leads are like gold to a realtor, and AI can help uncover these with ease.

Global investment in real estate technology companies- now known as PropTech- has grown from US$1 billion in 2012 to US$18 billion in 2018. According to PwC, PropTech was a US$4.6 billion industry in North America in 2016. Last year, that figure climbed to US$7.3 billion, showing that the real estate market is rapidly going digital.

As the industry adopts new technologies, management needs to understand not only how AI works, they must identify which applications of this technology are most likely to drive profits. Many of the most promising opportunities act to free up realtors to better serve their clients and convert more interactions into sales. AI has the ability to make home-buying more about people and less about transactions. Managers who understand how to turn AI into reality will turn huge investment returns into reality as well.