SANTA FE, New Mexico – Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game changer for the real estate industry. The more prominent AI becomes, the greater its potential to transform all aspects of the work lives of real estate professionals, the real estate industry and overall property investment.
Here are just some of the ways AI has already affected real estate.
Predictive maintenance and property management
Problems will always occur with a home or a property. Owners may have a team of trusted, reliable contractors, subcontractors, plumbers, roofers, handy people, property managers and so forth. Even so, they may find that professionals charge premium fees when a problem has to be fixed immediately.
AI, however, makes it possible to predict when maintenance might be needed, in advance of the problem occurring. AI is able to analyze sensor data from homes and properties, and it can predictably estimate when maintenance may be required.
AI is even able to schedule when that work might be done. AI can also identify whether a property is being misused by a tenant. Property managers and home or property owners can then remind tenants of the rules.
Computerized property searches
For several years now, property and real estate search sites have used the latest and greatest AI-based algorithms to provide potential clients or tenants with a property’s specifics and amenities. Want to know the size of the property? The rental or sales listing price? If it has a three-car garage? Does a condominium development have a community room for entertaining? Want to know the property’s rental history?
A quality AI algorithm on a property or real estate website will provide all that information, as well as “write” listing descriptions by using automated generative AI. AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT, are generative AI tools that can write property listings, social media posts and legal documents.
When a real estate professional types specific keywords into a chatbot tool, it can answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) in seconds.
Identifying strong leads for agents
AI tech can help agents identify their ideal clients – those who are serious about buying or selling – by identifying data points (income level, employment history, family size, etc.) that distinguish “real” buyers/sellers/investors from those who are daydreaming or “just looking.”
Homeowners, as well as tenants living in a home or property, often forget to turn off lights or heating systems when they’re not at home. Using owner-installed smart technology, such as motion sensors and remote thermostats, AI can learn the patterns of the home or property occupants so that lights, heating systems, TVs and so forth, can be switched on and off remotely, based on when occupants are expected to leave and return home.
This means that AI can help the homeowner or property owner reduce utility and electrical costs and reduce environmental impacts.
Predictive market analysis
AI can look at and leverage an enormous number of data points, such as historical trends, redevelopment plans, businesses that are coming and going within the neighborhood, comparable pricings, and rents and crime stats. It can use algorithms to evaluate market conditions, property values and investment opportunities in a comparative blink of an eye.
Without having to do their own research to gather all this data, real estate professionals using AI-generated market analyses can instead focus on making better informed decisions, mitigating risks and optimizing their strategies while working directly with their clients.
Tools such as ChatGPT compose property listings in seconds when a real estate professional types keywords into the tool. According to a recent CNN article, some residential and commercial real estate agents say that ChatGPT has already changed the way they work. Generative AI can also be used to automate repetitive tasks, especially those, as noted above, like answering FAQs, but also for handling complex calculations.
For years now, outfits such as Matterport, Zillow and Redfin have been using AI for 3D mapping and to produce floor plans and create pricing tools. The more sophisticated and specific 3D modeling tools become, the more precise the output.
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” applies here. This facet of AI focuses on property images and videos that give potential buyers and investors opportunities to “see” and evaluate properties from anywhere in the world. As more and more people buy and invest in homes and properties without actually seeing them in person, the more essential AI computer vision becomes.
AI has extended its reach into property mortgages and financing. Increasingly, AI tools are used to analyze borrower information, such as credit scores, income and employment history. They are used to detect and prevent fraud, as well as to handle loan servicing tasks, such as payment processing and customer communication. Mortgage lenders that use AI, such as Rocket Companies, can offer mortgage approvals in as little as eight minutes.
A word to the AI-wise
AI tools remain vulnerable to error and must be audited by professionals. Why? Because according to the New York Times, versions of AI tools, such as Bard and ChatGPT, often get things wrong. They can reflect human biases and are not secure enough for businesses to trust with confidential information.
Companies that use these tools get around these obstacles with tools that tap technology in a so-called closed domain. This means they train the model(s) only on certain content and keep any inputs private.
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