The Jetsons lasted on TV for just three seasons, but its impact was far greater. According to Smithsonian Magazine, “The Jetsons stands as the single most important piece of 20th century futurism.” As we stand on the cusp of a revolution in AI and robotics, it’s amazing how much the show informed the way “Americans think and talk about the future.”
In the coming decades, we will see a world where every person has a team of robots working for them, all powered by AI and Deep Learning. These robots will take care of tasks like cleaning our homes, driving our cars, and acting as our personal assistants. They may not look like Rosie (the Jetsons’ robot), but they will bring the world of The Jetsons closer to reality.
One major result of this AI transformation is how much time it will free up. Without having to worry about doing laundry or walking the dog, humans will be able to work less and be far more productive with their time. For example, a self-driving car turns a daily commute into an opportunity to catch up on reading or email, rather than keeping eyes on the road. We are still far away from the day when computers and robots will be able to react to emotions, but doing basic tasks will be here before we know it.
This has profound implications for business, and AI is already redefining how companies across sectors operate and approach their work. Real estate is no exception.
AI and Real Estate
Real estate professionals can leverage AI to quickly validate and enrich the data that a lead provides an agent. Leads are only as valuable as the data behind them. Data is what yields insight into how to best assess, approach, nurture and close leads; however, data in its raw form is not particularly useful, and this is where AI comes in.
AI can help contextualize lead data and provide nuance so agents have all the information they need to cement those relationships. Along the same lines, AI can also help agents match properties to customers by using information about their preferences (which perhaps customers are not even aware they have) to automatically identify good fits. It opens up the opportunity to be proactive and predict what customers want.
In addition, AI helps automate communications on behalf of the agent to potential customers. Sending the right message to the right customer at the right time is essential to cultivating a connection. AI takes the grunt work out of these interactions by automatically deploying drip communication and intelligent action plans, so prospects receive smart emails and text messages that guide them through the sales pipeline.
AI can also streamline the real estate sales process. For example, Natural Language Processing and Image Recognition can quickly scan transaction closing documents, digitize the information, and import the data into an agent’s CRM. “Robots” take care of the nitty-gritty, mundane tasks so real estate professionals don’t have to. This frees up their time to focus on the more “human” aspects of buying and selling home, saving their energy for the tasks that really matter. Furthermore, it creates a better experience for customers by ensuring all documents are timely and organized.
And by handling many of these procedures—such as validating and enriching lead data and automating the communication and workflows within a CRM system—AI liberates agents from their desks. They do not need to be tied to their computer to manage their business, but rather can be out and about in the community, secured in the knowledge that everything is under control.
Chatbots are another AI opportunity in real estate. Certain client questions may require a human answer, but in many cases, chatbots (especially as they get more sophisticated) will be able to field questions for agents and automate discussions, enabling them to take over part of the customer service/support process. If agents do not have to constantly juggle questions from various clients, they can take on more clients and provide them with more complete attention.
These possibilities are just the tip of the iceberg. We may have computers beating humans in Go, but we have a long way to go before they will be able to truly understand how to think like a human and understand emotion and empathy. More often than not, buying and selling a home is an emotional process and customers want the support of an expert. AI won’t remove the human touch from the real estate sales process, but it will allow agents to offload the menial tasks, and in doing so, unleash their full potential.
This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends.