Here come the machines. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s not. Robots are about to be everywhere, including real estate. And with all due respect to my humble Roomba, this new crop of ‘bots is going to change everything. In fact, they already have. Robots are in the wild, cleaning up nuclear waste, sanitizing hospital rooms, and entertaining us all. How will they impact real estate? It’s anyone’s guess at this point; but here’s five ways I think robots will impact real estate within the next five years.

1. Telepresence helps agents scale New telepresence robots, like the ones from Double Robotics, will finally let us be in two (or more) places at once. Control the robot from your iPad and communicate face-to-virtual face with co-workers and potential clients. Send a telepresence robot along to an open house. Invite brokers and clients to attend previews from the comfort of their home or office. The possibilities of telepresence are limitless.

2. An extra set of hands Robots like Romo could lend a helping hand. Need exterior shots? Send a Romo out to the street for wide angle views. How about a cameraman for your video? Check. Need a BPO? A Romo with some simple software can canvas a street and send back data while you meet with clients.

3. On the spot underwriting How about a robot who can issue conditional approvals and underwrite loans in real time? Robots with natural language processing could collect data from a client interview and, connected to an underwriting engine, produce financing options and approvals in minutes.

4. Eyes in the sky The issue of private drones is unfolding in front of our eyes. Federal, state, and local governments are racing to issue guidance on drone use; but no matter the outcome, drones will become fixtures in our skies. Depending on how legislation shakes out, drones could be used for aerial views, home fly-throughs and more. This is already happening with remote controlled quadcopters. The machines will handle it with a few taps on your iPhone tomorrow.

5. Finding the perfect home Robots could make finding the perfect home a breeze. Imagine a robot that could use information about your client, their Facebook interests along with some simple questions about their income, to query and sort MLS listings for the perfect place for them. You’ll look like genius for finding a home that is just what your clients were looking for, close more transactions and spend less time showing homes.

Of course, how exactly the future will play out is anyone’s guess; but one thing’s for sure, robots will be a part of it. Want to learn more about robots in real estate? Join us at Inman’s Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, where the top robotics experts will share their thoughts on when and how robots will change real estate. Come see the future at Connect, meet Rovo and his friends, and own tomorrow.

Reposted from InmanNext. Morgan Brown is an online marketer focused on user growth, digital strategy, and social media marketing. He is working as a consultant for Inman News to help put together the program for Real Estate Connect San Francisco, which takes place July 10-12 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

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