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5 Ways AI Is About to Change the Real Estate Industry

These are some of the biggest AI disruptions we can look forward to in the real estate industry.

The real estate industry has enjoyed some of the benefits modern technology has afforded us. For example, most real estate agents now take advantage of online listings for homes (especially on sites like Realtor, Zillow, and Trulia), and may even have custom-built private showcases of homes online that fit their client profiles.

But as you can imagine, real estate professionals are eager to see the next wave of advanced technology develop to help them and their clients sell better homes. Artificial intelligence (AI) software is already starting to emerge to boost profitability and efficiency in the industry, and it’s only going to accelerate from here.

Changes to Watch For

These are some of the biggest AI disruptions we can look forward to in the near future:

1. Better market timing.

Most of the advice for timing your home sale, while practical, is also general and based on averages. For example, according to Green Residential, homes sold in spring sell about a month faster and for one percent more than homes in other months. With AI, real estate agents will be able to process much more specific, detailed data about the trends of home sales, down to individual areas and neighborhoods, as well as specific features of properties. This will help not only with the timing process, but will allow agents to calculate and set more effective prices that accomplish their respective homeowners’ goals.

2. Personalized listing showcases.

Every prospective homeowner looks for different things. They’ll have different priorities, with “must have” features, “nice to have” features and other requirements. Some will be incredibly picky, while others will just want the best possible deal. Historically, real estate agent have had to use this information to manually select handfuls of homes to showcase (either digitally or in person). Most search engines have attempted to digitize the process, but are limited to only a few fields. With AI, agents will be able to intuitively and quickly assemble complete suites of home offerings that fulfill all their clients’ criteria.

3. Automated communication.

Communication is one of the biggest barriers for real estate agents to overcome. You need to build a bond with your clients, and communicate with them both proactively and responsively, addressing their questions and concerns as quickly as possible while maintaining the rest of your schedule. AI systems could feasibly automate much of this process, giving clients alerts when prices have changed, when offers have been accepted, and other notifications.

4. Digitizing and automating the sales process.

According to the Balance, it can take between 30 and 45 days to close on a home. The final sales and closing process is long and often complicated, and historically, it’s involved signing lots of documents. With AI in place, real estate agents can digitize and automate much of this process. After scanning various documents, AI would be able to highlight the important components, explain them to prospective homeowners, and collect signatures to complete the process. They may even be able to expedite the filing process, getting homeowners in their new houses even faster.

5. Validating and enriching lead data.

Finally, real estate agents need to process and filter leads like any other salespeople. AI would allow them to go through this process more efficiently. After analyzing historical lead data and gathering more information on current prospects, AI lead management and CRM software could feasibly validate client information and hand-pick the best clients to pursue. This could make agents more efficient, thorough, and ultimately, more profitable.

The Timeline

When can we expect to see these AI trends develop? In some ways, they’re already here. Lead and customer management platforms like Conversica, Infer, and Growbots are already harnessing AI and predictive analytics to improve lead pools and help salespeople better understand their performance and target demographics. The pace of technological development is as fast as it’s ever been, and as new competitors emerge to improve the real estate industry, that pace is only going to escalate further. We estimate within the next five years, the majority of real estate agents in the country will be using at least some AI tools to improve their customer service, profitability, or overall capabilities.

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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.