Artificial intelligence is one of those things that everyone thinks they understand but is often misunderstood because the hype doesn’t live up to reality. In the case of real estate, artificial intelligence has some practical uses, but the technology also comes with its limitations. Therefore, it’s important to understand it from a purely technological perspective in order to fully appreciate its practical every day uses for the real estate industry. For that reason, I offer this short overview of artificial intelligence as technology.
What Artificial Intelligence Is And Isn’t
In a nutshell, artificial intelligence is a computer science technology that allows computers to make decisions and solve problems that before could only be solve by humans. That does not mean that computers can solve every problem that man has. For instance, a computer cannot choose which woman a man should marry because that decision requires a level of self-awareness and emotional experience that is unique to every individual human and that is not currently accessible to computers. In fact, any decision a computer makes using artificial intelligence is only going to be as good as the data that computer is fed for the purpose of making that decision.
In other words, artificial intelligence is intelligence because it is based on analying complex sets of data that allows a computer to figure out the best course of action based on the information available to it. It’s artificial because it isn’t natural to the computer’s existence the way real intelligence is natural to a human’s. Rather, machine intelligence requires human programming in order to be successful.
How Artificial Intelligence Is Used in Real Estate
In July 2017, Tech Emergence published an article detailing three uses of artificial intelligence in commercial real estate. These three uses are:
- Analytics for building automation systems
- Property management automation
- Machine learning for real estate marketplaces
To be fair, predictive analytics is useful in more than just commercial real estate. In fact, it has become quite useful in residential real estate and many non-real estate professions. Anywhere real estate professions collect information on customers and market opportunities, artificial intelligence can be used to gather the data, analyze the data, and interpret the data, often in real time.
For property management, artificial intelligence can be used to collect sales and performance data on agents in the field. This same technology can be used in real estate brokerages to improve business development processes and results. Chatbots are also becoming more popular and can take on tasks that once were handled by customer service representatives.Real estate marketplaces can use artificial intelligence for a number of uses including property analytics, matching buyers with properties and sellers, underwriting, and optimizing deal flow.
The bottom line for artificial intelligence in real estate is the potential for saving money on the processes and outcomes of business-related tasks. If computers can be used to streamline processes in order to save real estate companies money and to increase potential profits, then it can pay for itself. For this reason, many real estate businesses are using artificial intelligence and machine learning functions to teach computers to deliver search results optimized to customer interests, suggest properties and financial arrangements based on user preferences, and even to identify images.
The Future of Real Estate Belongs to Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is not some future development. It is here today and being used by real estate companies from real estate brokers to real estate crowdfunding websites. In October 2017, Inman published a blog post promoting an artificial intelligence-based lead analysis and management solution. Such practical uses allow real estate professionals in many capacities the ability to organize their business tasks in such a way that they reduce expenses and increase profits. That in turn helps their customers get the service they want and will help the real estate industry grow as technology improves its processes from the bottom up. That’s certainly something to look forward to as more real estate business adopt this powerful technology with practical benefits.