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The first Realtor association in the country of Canada to roll-out a major artificial intelligence initiative is in Saskatchewan, Inman has learned. And they’re doing it in partnership with Barcelona-based computer vision software firm, Restb.ai.
The Saskatchewan Realtors Association’s (SRA) 1,700 members will benefit from the innovative technology company’s ability to extract and use in multiple ways actionable data about properties from still images. Restb.ai is already in place within a number of American multiple listing services and proptech companies.
The primary use to start will be in listing onboarding, allowing users to drastically shrink the time required to input properties for sale or lease by overlapping image information with existing data fields. It can identify finishes, appliances, room category, exterior characteristics and a number of other aspects that sellers want to highlight and buyers covet. Restb.ai will also automate image captioning and alt-text/metadata.
The software also ensures image compliance standards and helps agents more quickly create property descriptions. CoreLogic’s Matrix software powers SRA’s system, and the computer vision-derived pages, once approved, will also be published into the public search space.
Chris Guérette, CEO of SRA, said the partnership is due in part to the proptech momentum emerging from the Saskatchewan market. “It’s one of the fastest growing in Canada,” he said in the release.
“Our real estate community in Saskatchewan provides an ideal landscape to innovate and push boundaries. The magic of AI isn’t just in its potential but in its tangible impact to real estate in Canada. We aren’t just peering into the future; we’re actively molding it with dedication and excellence.”
Restb.ai, a 2023 Inman Innovator Award winner, has made its presence felt in the industry since 2017, but it’s expanding especially quickly in the last 18 months as other forms of AI, such as large language models, helped break down the business world’s hesitancy to adopt such new technologies. The company has locked in deals with entities like Black Knight and Bridge MLS, among others.
The company also launched a valuation suite geared at modernizing the appraisal process and assisting in compliance with new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs that make it easier to get loans approved without an appraisal.
Alt-text/metadata functionality, which SRA will leverage, identifies image content for readers to be used in accessibility efforts, especially for the vision-impaired. Up to 1.5 million Canadians identify themselves as having sight loss, according to the release.
This is Restb.ai’s initial enterprise foray into Canada.
“I commend Saskatchewan Realtor Association Leadership for their innovative and strategic move to integrate AI technology, setting a new benchmark for real estate across Canada,” Lisa Larson said in a statement, Restb.ai’s Managing Director of North America. “Saskatchewan Realtors are not just expanding their presence, they are redefining the landscape of real estate in Canada. This bold move is paving the way for a transformative era in real estate, and I am confident that other Canadian Realtor Associations will be inspired to follow in their footsteps.”