Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence has an impact on the future of jobs. However, the common misconception around evolving AI technologies is that they are aiming towards replacing and/or eliminating human positions. While this is not unheard of in some industries, the majority of the time, the implementation of AI is aimed at improving internal functionality by strengthening and enhancing human capabilities, improving overall processes, and gaining competitive advantages in the market. Contrary to common belief, AI functions revolve more around imitating human abilities and mimicking redundant systemic tasks rather than creating new abilities that replace human ones. With these low level, repetitive, and systemic tasks taken care of, humans can utilize their time and focus their efforts on more stimulating and creative responsibilities. 

To narrow the scope and give more concentrated examples on this topic, let’s take a look at artificial intelligence in the Real Estate industry.

Content Moderation

AI Helping-01

A common example of AI enhancing human performance and minimizing routine tasks is content moderation. Many portals and real estate sites feature guidelines on what is acceptable content and rely on large manual moderation teams or even their own users to flag things like: 

  • Watermarked images
  • Privacy violations
  • Duplicated listings
  • Explicit content
  • And more! 

Unfortunately, the sheer volumes of listings and images in real estate (over a million images a day in some countries!) makes content moderation a daunting task. Even with the most efficient of teams, there will always be a lag between when violations are identified and able to be addressed. Furthermore, there is a cost associated with not addressing these issues in a timely manner. Non-compliant content leads to an inconsistent user experience and in some cases, can even result in hefty legal penalties. 

Based on our experience, we know that less than 1% of photos feature a violation, which can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. However, AI and computer vision technologies can greatly aid and enhance your moderation team by flagging compliance violations in real time. Certain items can be automatically addressed by software, but many compliance issues are nuanced and require a human touch. These issues can be immediately directed to a specialist for further review and next steps. As you can see, rather than replacing a moderation team, AI is supercharging them to review uploaded content more quickly and efficiently. 

Beyond making your compliance staffs’ lives easier, leveraging AI also benefits your users. Many agents may not be aware of the penalties that can come with certain violations. For example, if an agent improperly reuses another agent’s image, or even a photo they found on the internet, they may be subject to a copyright infringement. Even if they did this innocently, it could still incur a penalty in the thousands of dollars. With AI, this can be identified immediately and preventing any unfortunate and unexpected outcomes.

Home Buying Process

Another common area we hear concern about AI comes from agents. Is artificial intelligence trying to replace me in the home buying process?

Once again, I think it’s valuable to look at this as how can AI make me more efficient as an agent. Many of the ways AI can improve property search are related to helping users find their dream home in a more timely and efficient way. I’ve detailed an example below.

As any agent knows, many aspiring home buyers don’t know what they want or at the very least, have a hard time articulating it. They may even use the not quite helpful line “well I know what I like when I see it.” If an agent is looking to help them, they will need to spend time and effort trying to understand what they truly want. 

AI can accelerate this process by tracking the properties a prospective home buyer views and spends time on. In the background, the AI is then able to understand the commonalities between the “liked photos” to generate a user-specific profile of their interests. 

Alternatively, the agent could provide the user a collection of sample images and request them to specify the images they like or dislike. As more photos are selected, or even swiped for those familiar with Tinder, AI is able to understand what resonates with this specific person. Without the home buyer having to say a word, the agent is able to generate complex and specific context on their client’s unique interests. Given these details, the agent can better find properties for their client and spend time ensuring they’re able to close the deal on that perfect new home. 

Anyone who has grown tired at answering a long questionnaire knows that humans don’t enjoy long lists of questions, many of which may seem meaningless or irrelevant. It’d be much better for everyone if their responses could just be known. AI’s at its best when it’s in the background gleaning helpful information that can be leveraged by humans with the experience to act on it. Agents will always be the experts of their markets and the ones that learn to lean on AI to more quickly and efficiently understand what their clients want, will be the ones that succeed in the coming years. 

Machine vs. Human

Beyond these examples, there are countless ways artificial intelligence solutions are being adopted by real estate professionals to enhance their internal processes and more efficiently deliver results. CLICK HERE to request a demo, or contact our team to find out more about how our computer vision algorithms can enhance your company!