It won’t be long before artificial intelligence (AI) will be prevalent in our daily lives, whether we chose to embrace it or not. Experts predict that robots will get smarter, analysis will get faster, and advances will enable more natural interactions.
While some are intimidated and concerned that Skynet will come, tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg see clear benefits to having a Jarvis run his home. AI will save us from menial tasks, like walking across the room to turn off the light or making sure the door is locked.
However the benefits extend beyond convenience. AI and sensors give houses the capacity to shine just the right about of luminosity, save energy by turning off/on the A/C and air purifier at optimal hours, and alert homeowners to dangers, such as burglaries and air quality levels. AI will even help prevent disasters before they happen, like major water leaks.
These underlying benefits may not seem obvious now, but will play a major role in our lives in the near future. They will also transform the way businesses, across sectors, operate.
Let’s take a look at four ways AI will impact the real estate industry over the next five years.
Leads are the lifeblood of all real estate businesses. The ability to generate leads, and more importantly, to validate and enrich those leads, is the foundation on which sales rest. Without a strong pipeline of leads or data that gives agents what they need to nurture those leads, agents can’t close deals.
Over the next five years, AI will enhance the lead enrichment process by gathering all available data about prospects and turning it into valuable insights that agents can use to build relationships and deliver better service. Real estate professionals have access to more information than ever before about potential clients and when analyzed effectively, that data can reveal each leads’ preferences and behaviors. It can even reveal preferences the buyer didn’t know they had.
AI will help provide more context around leads, as well as nuance. This information will help agents identify the best way to assess, approach, and nurture leads, as well as quickly find properties they love. Furthermore, AI will be able to predict what prospects want based on available data, enabling agents to be proactive. All these capabilities will lead to a shorter sales cycle and higher close rate.
Virtual Agents and Chatbots The process of buying or selling a home is intensely personal, which means human contact will always play a central role in the process. Clients want to know that there is an expert helping them navigate what can be a confusing and stressful experience. While some queries require a thoughtful, empathetic answer, others do not. Many clients, especially those going through the process for the first time, have the same questions, such as how long it takes or what kind of credit score they need. This is where AI can step in.
Virtual agents and chatbots can help agents field questions and automate discussions. Over the next five years, these technologies will provide significant benefits for home buyers/sellers, who will be able to have their queries responded to immediately and accurately.
Chatbots will also reap benefits for agents, who will no longer have to spend their time answering routine questions. This will free up their energy to give each client more holistic, focused attention. In addition, agents will be able to take on more clients since the virtual agents can share part of the workload.
Questions and answers are not the only form of communication involved in the real estate process, nor the only form of communication AI can streamline. All agents know just how important timely, relevant and consistent communication is. Smart, appropriate follow-ups that move the conversation forward are essential. However, it is extremely time consuming and resource intensive to provide this level of communication to every client. AI can help.
AI technology can analyze user patterns of when someone opens up an email, or message, and can send a message at the optimal time someone will read the message, which allows a better penetration rate of conversion.. It takes care of the “grunt work” of drip communication and intelligent action plans, which guide prospects through the sales pipeline. This enables agents to cultivate connections and cement relationships without having to worry about the nitty gritty tasks along the way.
It’s not secret that closing real estate deals involves a tremendous amount of paperwork and attention to detail. This is a laborious process for agents and buyers/sellers alike. Fortunately (for everyone), AI will assume much of this load over the next five years and make the process as seamless and painless as possible.
Natural Language Processing and Image Recognition will quickly scan transaction closing documents, digitize the information and automatically import the data into an agent's CRM. Nothing falls through the cracks, and agents don’t have to push paper.
All these applications of AI ultimately boil down to one main point: Over the next five years, AI will automate aspects of the real estate process, creating a better experience for agents and customers alike.
Freed from the binds of entering data at their desk, guesswork, and constant communication, agents will be able to direct their energy towards the things they are best at, the things that are most important when closing deals. And clients will be able to get the caliber of service they deserve.
That sounds like an appealing (and non-threatening) prospect to me.
(About the author: Matt Murphy is co-founder of Chime)
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