How to Win Real Estate's Race Against the Machines

Fewer jobs are at risk of automation than previously suggested, new research published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicates.

The study is at odds with the influential 2013 Oxford University paper published by experts Michael Osbourne and Carl Frey, who found that 47% of jobs in the U.S. are at risk of automation. The OECD, on the other hand, asserts that only 14% of jobs from high-income countries, including the U.S., are highly automatable.

The chances are good that artificial intelligence will make a significant impact on real estate, especially on the role of agents. But the good news is that A.I. is still in its infancy. And its slow advancement gives real estate professionals time to sharpen their skills. They can also develop new knowledge to make A.I. an asset in their work, instead of a liability to their well-being.


What jobs are most at risk of automation?

Most jobs will be difficult to automate because they deal with complex social relationships, and they require the ability to recognize cultural sensitivities, the OECD posits. Rest assured, a real estate agent won’t have to worry about being replaced by a bot any time soon.

Frey and Osbourne also arrived at a similar conclusion. They believe it’s unlikely that robots will replace human real estate agents. They revealed that brokers have a 5% chance of losing their jobs to A.I. systems. Although A.I.-enabled tech may be able to respond to clients’ queries at a faster pace and answer questions during property tours, they don’t have the social skills needed to close deals.

What A.I. Tech Do Real Estate Agents Need to Prepare For?

Artificial intelligence is gradually reshaping the real estate industry. But instead of fighting this change, agents should learn to embrace it. Realtors can get through mundane tasks easily with A.I. technology. Once agents have set aside the routine aspects of their work, they will be able to focus all their energy on carrying out more critical responsibilities. They should also be more likely to succeed in their endeavors.

Personal Assistants

Tech companies large and small are rolling out A.I.-driven personal assistants. Some of the most recent entrants are Facebook M, Amelia, and Conversica. All of these assistants are purpose-driven, which means they are designed to assist users with specific tasks such as answering sales inquiries and setting meetings. For a realtor, this should be very important as it provides them with more time to deal with clients face-to-face.


Bots could be the first A.I. tech to go mainstream within the real estate industry. As of now, bots can do what virtual assistants can and more. They can answer search queries and provide clients with listings based on their preferences. Artificial intelligence is an evolving project, though.

In the future, algorithms will have increased capabilities to learn about professional fields. Machines should be able to provide agents with relevant insights by crunching massive amounts of property listings and market data. Best of all, they could make the work of agents more profitable with suggestions like the best time of the day to contact a prospective client or to close a deal.

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What Skills Will Help Realtors Thrive Because of A.I.?

People Skills

Robots will never be able to shake hands as humans do. Empathy, patience, and local market wisdom are skills that will distinguish real estate professionals from mere amateurs.

Networking Skills

Business is all about building relationships and maintaining them. To thrive in this new economy, realtors must push beyond the comfort zone of those who look and sound like them to reach out to people and markets they have yet to tap.

Entrepreneurial Skills

In this ever-changing landscape, society needs a workforce that proactively adapts to unforeseen events. It’s time to reinvent our notion of work, drop the nine-to-five mentality, and start exercising our creativity as entrepreneurs.


On the Horizon

Realtors must take action to prepare themselves and their workforce for an era where A.I. technology and human ingenuity can usher in new forms of growth. Although algorithms may take over specific tasks, careers in real estate won’t end. The integration of A.I. into real estate means that job functions will change. A.I. can take care of chores so realtors can focus all their attention and energy on the most important investment people make in their lives: their homes.