Robots are coming — and in many cases, are already here — but are they out to steal your jobs or just make life easier? At Inman Connect in San Francisco on Tuesday, real estate technology experts tried to allay the fears that many have about robots in everyday life.

“To me a robot isn’t what we see in The Jetsons or what Boston Dynamics is doing,” said Kylie Davis, CoreLogic’s head of content for Australia and New Zealand. “To me it’s about [artificial intelligence] and voice activation — any sort of virtual assistant.”

What are robots already doing?

California-based property management company Zenplace is already using robots to show rentals.

Imagine driving by a property and seeing a for-rent sign on a home or apartment you like. If it’s a Zenplace listing, you can send the company a picture of your identification, and it generates a unique, one-time code that will allow you enter the property where you’ll be greeted by a 3-foot tall robot — or multiple if there’s more than one floor because they can’t climb stairs yet.

“It will give you a property tour, it will answer questions that you might have,” said Rahul Mewawalla, CEO of Zenplace. “And it’s all being managed by agents.”

He added, “You could be sitting at the Inman conference and be doing a property showing in Denver.”

In Australia, Davis said she’s already seeing robots take hold to automate content, videos and reports or clean up databases.

“What [robots are] going to let us do is deliver a higher quality of customer service more consistently,” Davis said. “As human beings, we find it very hard to be consistent all the time because we get so busy doing stuff.”

What can robots be doing in 5 years?

In the next five years, Davis is hoping that robots will be able to push technology enough to actually make life easier as has often been predicted.

“For every job it took off of us, it gave us five more things to learn,” Davis said. “What I see with the robot technology is that it will take all of that busy stuff away from us and let us be humans again.”

Mewawalla said the biggest roadblock for business productivity is time and five years down the line, robots will help businesses be more productive but completing tasks more expeditiously.

There’s a thought, he said, that robots will make people lazy, but the technology can actually just simply increase your business. If robot technology allows Zenplace to lease a new apartment in just a few days, then it can manage more properties.

Email Patrick Kearns

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription