6 Reasons to Buy a Turnkey AI Solution Instead of DIY

Peter Lee, a vice president inside Microsoft Research, once said that the cost of acquiring a top AI researcher had about the same price tag as signing a quarterback in America’s National Football League (NFL). So how does a real estate website, with thousands (if not millions) of images to curate, gain the technological edge it knows it needs to attract and retain clients?

AI expertise that has already built specialized computer vision tools for property listings makes the most business sense. Restb.ai has previously saved real estate companies around the world millions of dollars by creating a plug-n-play, AI-driven technology that takes only hours to get up and running - not months, as in-house solutions piloted by rare talent require.


What’s The Connection Between Artificial Intelligence and Real Estate Sales?


A specialized branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) called Computer Vision is playing an increasingly relevant role in keeping real estate websites competitive.

Computer Vision identifies, categorizes, and correlates features in and across photographs on online property listings to provide consumers with a treasure trove of results.

The key to providing the level of detail customers now search for online is image tagging. Tags cross-categorize photographs and the features in images to provide perspective to search results. Specialized AI technology can tell consumers the property contexts (living rooms, kitchens, etc.) and the features (fireplaces, skylights, etc.) that precisely match sophisticated search criteria.

The more efficiently users find properties on an agency’s website that matches their requirements, the more disposed they are to work with the agency’s representatives to close transactions.

 real estate AI solution


Should I get a turnkey AI solution or just build it in-house? 

AI is a hot topic right now and the latest developments in deep learning algorithms have made its real world applications more accessible and more powerful. So if everyone is talking about it, why shouldn't I just hire some engineers or ask my existing IT team to build an AI solution in-house instead paying for a solution like Restb.ai’s?

There are at least six reasons why it makes more sense to invest in a turnkey vertical market solution like Restb.ai’s than doing it yourself, including:


1) Cost: 

The cost of AI talent to set up and train the leading-edge technology isn’t just expensive; it’s astronomical. Based on a study of public job listings among US employers, the top 20 AI recruiters are spending more than $650 million annually to hire talent in this field, according to Forbes Magazine.


2) Complexity: 

Aside from the costly need for specialized talent, the reality is that the actual machine learning code is only a fraction of the end-to-end process of building a full AI solution. Like an iceberg, there is large hidden and often overlooked cost related to data preparation, feature engineering, and operationalizing the distributed systems infrastructure necessary to perform these tasks at scale. On the flip side, using Restb.ai's solution consists of nothing more than a simple API call. 


3) Accuracy:

Building an AI solution can require months of training to recognize contexts relevant to real estate property sales. Even then, its accuracy rate will typically be less than 90-percent. Restb.ai has already extensively designed and trained its AI exclusively for real estate and can attain accuracy rates as high as 99-percent. 


4) Specialization:

Customers are increasingly asking highly specific and nuanced questions about property listings. After spending much time and money, a DIY effort might deliver a passable solution but only for a very limited catalog of tags. Restb.ai's solution already tags over 100 different property features and over 65 different home types, thus better tackling the need of the market.


5) Maintenance:

It's one thing to build a solution one time but it's another thing to maintain and update it. Hiring a vendor like Restb.ai, which specializes in maintaining and refining AI technology for real estate, is more cost-effective than to keep an AI expert on the payroll at a salary level that will only increase in leaps and bounds.


6) Time to market:

Last but not least, companies that attempt DIY efforts to build computer vision in-house simply risk falling behind competitors who can easily, quickly and cost-effectively just plug into Restb.ai’s turnkey solution. 


The temptation for any business is to control its investments in-house. However, the exorbitant overhead of hiring a group of AI and Data Science professionals quickly becomes prohibitive for all but those with the deepest pockets. Further, developments in AI and the evolving attitudes of customers require the attention of a group of dedicated professionals, which is why real estate companies around the world have included Restb.ai’s team in their line-up.

Read more about Image Recognition.