WASHINGTON (November 18, 2020) – Artificial intelligence, also known as A.I., and automation technologies will have a growing influence on how real estate professionals and consumers buy and sell property, according to a group of technology and data experts who spoke at the 2020 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.
David Conroy, director of Emerging Technology for the National Association of Realtors®, moderated Tuesday's discussion and opined that A.I., broadly defined as technology that mimics cognitive functions, has the potential to transform real estate.
"A defining feature of artificial intelligence is that it can continually learn from the data it collects," said Conroy. "Many of the greatest applications for A.I. today have a direct impact on the consumer and have an opportunity to change the course of our industry.
"A.I. can be a complete game changer and give you an edge against your competition."
Automation technologies, including A.I., are increasingly serving a broad range of functions across a variety of real estate applications.
"Chatbots and voice assistants are extremely popular right now as they allow real estate professionals to provide around-the-clock support that doesn't require a human," said Vin Vomero, CEO of Foxy AI. "Foxy AI's ‘Remodel It' uses computer vision to help consumers get instant and customizable home renovation estimates by analyzing the photos on listing websites by ZIP code.
"Automation technologies increase the speed and efficiency in which to complete a task," Vomero continued. "From search engine optimization that automatically tags images to building information modeling used to improve a structure's energy performance, A.I. saves time and boosts productivity in real estate."
Even with its proven benefits, some organizations are hesitant to implement A.I. within their data operations.
"Some companies avoid using A.I. because of the perceived costs and resources required to use it, a lack of trust in A.I. products, the difficulty in explaining what it does behind the scenes and a fear of an A.I. takeover related to job displacement," said Julianne Heller, data scientist at NAR.
Heller explained, however, that A.I.'s benefits can help overcome these challenges, real or perceived.
"A.I. does not equate to replacement, but it supports human work and makes our lives easier," she said. "A.I. can improve the buyer and seller experience."
As an A.I. driven organization, NAR uses this technology to improve the member experience. The association's COVID-19 chatbot answers questions about the pandemic, its impact on real estate and NAR's response to the virus. The Certification and Designation Achievement Prediction helps Realtors® by recommending courses that they are more likely to be interested in for a more customized experience. The program expands the number of members who use Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education courses for credentialing.
The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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