On a stage at Inman Connect New York, industry insider Kendall Bonner of Team KBT, RE/MAX welcomed a full house to a panel discussion on AI. This article captures the highlights of the discussion, with a full recording of the session available here.
With Bonner as moderator, the panel included Omer Granot, CEO of LocalizeOS and recently awarded an Inman Power Player for innovation and entrepreneurship in leading AI for the real estate segment; Ori Freiman, a post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University’s Digital Society Lab; and Jonathan Klein, Founder of PropTech Consulting and NAR Reach Advisor.
“I’m obsessed with AI right now, and I really do think that it is the future,” Bonner told the standing-room-only crowd. “We need to learn how to not only implement it into our business creatively but also with boundaries, respect, and safety.”
How is AI different from other technologies?
Ori Freiman: What makes AI so different is that it converges with other technologies and it opens so many other possibilities. Unlike other technologies, AI-based technologies are able to learn with machine learning, so they become better and better. They make decisions and they do it autonomously.
Jonathan Klein: AI isn’t something new. Obviously, ChatGPT has made this more of a consumer-friendly mainstream discussion recently. However, when it comes to real estate, there are probably five or six main buckets of use cases. Predictive analytics, pricing, and valuation, fraud detection, as well as virtual tours and renderings, marketing, and advertising. And then lastly, everybody’s favorite, automated customer engagement.
AI is one of those technologies that is sitting on top of everything. It’s making the data much richer and more powerful, taking away some of that human manpower behind generating some of this rich data and streamlining the process.
Should real estate professionals be concerned when it comes to AI?
Omer Granot: Many people are concerned with the fact that AI can do things quicker or do things in a way that we were just not used to technology being able to do. But the reality is that it doesn’t replace the human. What it does is it pushes the starting point.
In the context of real estate, if you’re an agent, you have potentially thousands of people that you should be having a meaningful relationship with. But it’s very hard to do everything from scratch every single day. Nevermind have the insights into how to prioritize your business and outreach.
Technology doesn’t replace people in this equation, It amplifies them. It allows us all to start from a more advanced point. Technology can ask the basic questions, and it can do profiling and qualification — the generic back and forth to understand what the buyer is looking for, in the case of real estate which we have a room full of pros here and you know these tasks too well. They are time-consuming and often best guesses or most persistent customers gaining our attention and being prioritized. LocalizeAI can scan through thousands of potential properties and start recommendations, seeing what the buyer responds to. But it’s an emotional decision. So eventually we’ll end with an agent, but the agent can, if leveraging technology correctly, basically jump in at the right point with a deep customer profile built for them and then engage and do what they do best.
What excites you most about the potential for AI?
OG: The technology is going to get me to a point where I can shine as a person. I think that’s how it will change how business is done, and how relationships are managed. Relationships will still be between people on a personal level. But all the mechanics leading up to the matchmaking and building of the business case can be significantly improved.
OF: The world is changing so rapidly! The ChatGPT technology from OpenAI was adopted so fast; faster than any other platform before and those people who adopted it in the first few days, were walking the streets with this feeling something has happened to humanity. But when we embrace these positive things, we have to carefully think about how we adopt it to avoid undesirable consequences.
JF: I would say there are three things that I’m most excited about. I think just the learning component is really what’s most exciting, fundamentally. Secondarily, from a B2B perspective, things like coding are also extremely opportunistic. So, you know, having 50% of your code written by AI is just going to ramp up the process. And then I would say that the economic shift that comes with that, with blue collar jobs that come back to being just as valuable or more important because being on the front lines, doing things in person, across all different industries is back to basics and essential. So I think the economic shift is going to be really interesting.
Get more heavily informed insights and exciting future perspectives on AI in the real estate industry and beyond. Watch the full session here. And see Omer Granot announce on the company’s 2023 vision on the mainstage of Inman Connect.