Some food for thought:
If you’re in real estate, you’re not going to lose your job to artificial intelligence…
You can lose your job because of artificial intelligence.
It’s not the actual technology you should be worried about, but rather who is adopting it—i.e. your competitors.
For years, real estate professionals have powered their industry expertise on personal experiences, local market knowledge, and a network of business contacts.
What some might call human intelligence…
There’s a new dawn arising, however. And if you’re still relying solely on human intelligence to win new business, the rate at which your competitors are growing will soon reach a speed that you can’t keep up with.
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way business is done in the industry.
Below, we explore why and how that is the case.
A Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
The term “artificial intelligence” describes the capability of certain machines such as computers to analyze their environment and use algorithms, logic, and data to make intelligent decisions and solve complex problems.
Similar to humans (or at least some of us), AI-capable machines learn from past situations in order to improve their future behaviors and choices.
Some examples of artificial intelligence behaviors include playing games such as chess and Jeopardy!, operating driverless vehicles, comprehending human speech, and even recognizing emotions.
The term “artificial intelligence” dates back to 1956 and is attributed to John McCarthy, a computer scientist who is now considered one of the founders of the AI discipline in academics.
Notable Implementations of AI
In 2011, IBM used the Jeopardy! television game as a platform to showcase the capabilities of Watson, its question-answering computer.
Watson competed against two of the show’s greatest players, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, and won the game by a landslide.
Watson was created using a number of advanced technologies including human speech processing, machine learning, automated reasoning, and information retrieval.
Another great example of harnessing the power of AI is self-driving cars.
While we are yet to see the first completely autonomous vehicle hit the market, there are number of companies including Google and Tesla that have been working tirelessly to perfect the technology.
Self-driving cars operate by using a number of sensor technologies such as GPS, radar, sonar, and lidar, and a control system to perceive and analyze its environment.
The autonomous vehicle then reacts accordingly in order to navigate roads safely while avoiding obstacles such as other vehicles and abiding by driving rules.
AI’s Immense Impact on Real Estate
Tech has been slower to enter real estate compared to other industries.
Some of the resistance to innovations such as AI in the industry has been rooted in the fear that such technologies may possibly replace many of the jobs currently performed by real estate professionals.
In reality, artificial intelligence is actually something that can help these professionals more than it’ll ever detract from their work.
These new tools can complement their industry knowledge and experience, and empower them to be exceedingly efficient at their jobs.
By utilizing AI-powered platforms:
Real estate brokers can find better locations for clients much faster and property investors can identify the most lucrative opportunities.
Property managers can make building operations more energy- and cost-efficient, while increasing tenant satisfaction and the owner’s bottom line.
Developers and general contractors can streamline the construction process by forecasting schedule delays and unexpected costs.
Lease administrators and property accountants can process lease documents faster and more accurately.
The list goes on and on; as a matter of fact there are hundreds of proptech startups and established companies working simultaneously on developing new and improved tools for every imaginable niche in the real estate field.
Turning Artificial Intelligence into Property Intelligence
Reonomy’s part in real estate AI is this—turning big data into property intelligence.
Property Intelligence is merely a version of artificial intelligence specifically geared towards providing immediate insights to any person or company looking to access actionable info about real estate—which could be anything from a holistic market overview, to a granular deep dive on a single property.
The Reonomy platform helps real estate professionals including brokers, lenders, investors, and appraisers.
The platform also helps all non-real estate professionals looking to grow their business with property owners (for example, roofers, solar installers, or insurance agents).
Anything from prospecting, to general research, to direct owner outreach can be expedited and made more efficient—and it wouldn’t be possible without artificial intelligence.
Proptech Companies Offering AI-Powered Solutions
It is worth noting that not every proptech company is employing AI in creating their products.
While companies such as Opendoor, Zillow, NavigatorCRE, and RealPage have done a great job of providing a breath of fresh air in a digitally-stale industry, their solutions typically offer task automation, online access to services, or simply present already existing data in a new user interface.
The companies we review in this section on the other hand have taken advantage of the limitless potential of machine learning and big data to develop intelligent, useful solutions and represent only a small sampling of the organizations working in the real estate AI tech field.
Developed in Chicago, Illinois, Enodo is an AI-assisted platform that provides underwriting services for the multifamily industry.
The tool can evaluate asset performance by analyzing historical data for rental revenue, lease turnover, and expenses. Enodo uses the most accurate comparables to determine the competitiveness of similar properties and can discover value-add opportunities in potential investments.
Enodo’s proprietary machine learning solution can identify the top 40 comparables for any multifamily property and can calculate its similarity score across 5 criteria, including location, number of units, unit types, year of construction, and available amenities.
The platform allows users to upload rent rolls in PDF and Excel format from property management tools such as MRI, Yardi, Rent Manager, RealPage, Entrata, and others. Enodo can also evaluate the return on investment for ground-up developments or value-add opportunities, empowering users to feel confident in their investment decisions.
The company’s price plans start at $99/month and are based on the three levels of technology it offers – parse, compare, and analyze.
SetSchedule uses data analytics and artificial intelligence to generate qualified real estate leads for brokers and realtors.
The multi-patented platform analyzes market insights and AI-powered predictive data to match real estate professionals with interested buyers and sellers.
SetSchedule offers multiple features that allow its users to close more deals.
Its Referral Radar™ can scan a specific territory for qualified leads and match the agent with the ones that best fit their history of deals, as well as pinpoint prospects that are “highly likely to move” within 6 to 12 months.
The Setvalue™ Search tool provides property estimated values from various sources and the people search option allows agents to learn more about their potential clients.
SetSchedule uses data from top industry information sources including Zillow, Eppraisal, RealtyTrac, CoreLogic, Onboard Informatics, and continuously looks for new partners that can further feed the analytical power of the platform. The company charges a 20% referral fee for any closed deals that were sourced through their platform’s leads.
Demand Logic is a UK-based company that uses data intelligence to simplify property management and improve resident experience by analyzing and optimizing the performance of building systems such as HVAC, utility meters, air-quality, humidity, and CO2 sensors.
The software can help save 10% to 30% of energy costs, improve efficiency of maintenance processes while reducing downtime, and eliminate up to 100% of residents comfort complaints.
The company uses a single Data Acquisition Device (DAD) gateway to collect up to 200,000 data points from the building’s system every 15 minutes.
The platform then uses this data to analyze the building operation, pinpoint potential issues, and assign actions needed to correct faulty or inefficient equipment performance.
The tool also enables users to compare system performance before and after adjustments, and calculate the savings achieved through its use.
The Demand Logic platform can be used not only for existing property optimization, but also for portfolio benchmarking and new construction and development planning.
Restb.ai is an image tagging software built specifically for the real estate industry.
The computer vision platform employs AI technology to recognize the objects in a photo and classify it accordingly, allowing users to organize their property photos in a variety of new ways such as by room or specific architectural feature.
Restb.ai includes automatic classifications for over 30 types of rooms and over 15 exterior styles, and can detect dozens of interior and exterior home features, such as fireplaces, hardwood floors, home appliances, pools, and even the level of natural light.
Additionally, Restb.ai can analyze multiple photos from the same property in order to estimate its condition and price.
The software can also assist with compliance and privacy laws by identifying possible violations such as faces, phone numbers, and license plates in photos.
It can also detect watermarks, logos, and text by examining the image for artificially added content.
Restb.ai works as a plug-n-play artificial intelligence API. It can process images in real time while being able to support a limitless number of requests.
Named as one of the National Law Journal’s Legal AI Leaders, eBrevia uses machine learning and natural language processing to extract data from contracts.
The software empowers users to analyze contracts and abstract lease documents quicker and more accurately.
eBrevia can process over 50 documents in less than a minute, while increasing the review accuracy by 10% as compared to the manual process alone.
The software can be further trained by individual users to extract custom data and to process documents in multiple languages. It can be deployed as an on-site solution or used in the cloud.
The analysis summary produced by eBrevia can be exported to Word, Excel, Argus, Yardi, and other lease or contract management platforms.
The company has offices in San Francisco, New York, and London, and was acquired by Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN) in late 2018.
In addition to commercial real estate, eBrevia serves clients in a number of industries, including financial services, legal, technology, consulting, education, energy, and many more.
SiteZeus® helps multi-unit companies select the right locations to expand their operations.
Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, the platform offers location intelligence features such as sales forecasting, cannibalization analysis, customer segmentation, and portfolio optimization.
It also allows users to compare subject sites with existing stores, analyze revenue and demographic heat maps, evaluate custom subject location features, study competitive sales comps, create customized reports, and a lot more.
Used by brands such as Burger King, Subway, TravelCenters of America, and The Vitamin Shoppe, the platform also provides its users with access to advanced data including demographics, directional traffic counts, mobile device location, geosocial customer segmentation, restaurant performance, points of interest, and more.
A recipient of multiple technology and business awards, SiteZeus® is based in Tampa, Florida.
In addition to corporate retail and restaurant clients, the platform is targeted at commercial brokers, consultants, and other real estate professionals.