Artificial intelligence is poised to be “everywhere” in real estate in the near future, and soon smart computers may be able to build listings on their own so that Realtors don’t have to.

Lucia Fortier

Lucie Fortier, a product management executive at real estate analytics company CoreLogic, explained Monday morning at Inman Connect New York 2019 that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing both the way that people search for information, and the way that data gets processed. That has profound implications for real estate, and could potentially streamline Realtors’ jobs.

“There is a day in the not-so-distant future when agents don’t have to do anything to enter a listing,” Fortier said.

Scott Petronis

Moments later, eXp Realty’s chief product and technology officer Scott Petronis turned to the audience of a few hundred people and asked: Who was already interacting with some form of AI? Roughly half the people in the crowd raised their hands. The moment illustrated the pervasiveness that AI has already achieved in the real estate industry.

Petronis went on to argue that machine learning — a subset of AI that involves training computers to perform specific tasks — could soon be able to build listings out of photos. That means a computer could scan photos, for example, and identify things like granite countertops or new appliances.

Neither Fortier nor Petronis speculated on a specific timeline for these developments, but a number of companies are already rolling out these types of AI-enabled features. Perhaps most notably, Zillow has been experimenting with using AI to scan photos in an effort to improve its Zestimate.

Restb.ai is engaged in a similar project and uses AI to scan photos to identify things like room size and features.

“There’s a lot of real power coming into that space and how we look at photos not just as an accessory to a listing but as informational,” Fortier said of machine learning technologies.

AI was just one of several transformational trends that Fortier and Petronis identified Monday morning, with others including voice-based interfaces and virtual reality.

The unifying thread running through all the trends, however, was that technology is radically changing the way Realtors work and that consumers are looking for a more streamlined experience.

“Artificial intelligence,” Fortier added, “is everywhere.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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