Artificial intelligence and machine learning are not just buzzwords – it is a burgeoning industry with tens of thousands employed across the UK. The AI market is valued at over $21bn and it is estimated to grow to over $1tn by 2035, according to The International Trade Administration. The UK is the third largest AI market in the world after the U.S. and China.
The great news for the property industry is that the best application of AI is streamlining and automating various operational processes, as well as handling repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as property valuation; lease management; and property maintenance.
That is not to say that it will replace jobs, as estate agency remains a people business. In fact, AI will free up valuable time for property professionals to focus on more strategic and value-added processes. Estate agency has bucked the trend of replacing people with AI, by maintaining staffing for all vendor and buyer touchpoints. Increasingly, we are seeing AI used in the financial services sector, across a range of areas including fraud and money laundering detection, assessing insurance risk, and assessing creditworthiness and affordability.
PropTech that utilises AI needs to provide supportive technology for the day-to-day working life of estate agents to make them more efficient; help them do their jobs better and quicker; and ultimately operate more efficiently. That’s where AI will come into its own.
For example, predicted buying cycles. AI’s predictive capabilities can help estate agents understand market trends and make data-driven decisions. By analysing historical and current property data, combined with external factors such as economic indicators and demographic data, AI can forecast future market trends accurately.
How many times have you heard someone say ‘I know my area’ with a gut instinct. What AI will be able to do in the future, is replace gut feel and experience. It will allow estate agents to make very accurate business decisions.
Estate agents have huge amounts of data and alongside with other large data sets AI will be able to tell negotiators and managers when people will be buying and selling a property, and perhaps even when they will divorce! Machine learning algorithms can analyse vast amounts of property data, helping estate agents gain valuable insights into market trends, pricing patterns, and investment opportunities. These insights can lead to more informed decision-making and reduced risks, across the property value chain.
AI will also enable estate agents to personalise the customer journey. By harnessing the power of natural language processing and chatbots, AI can engage with customers in real-time, answering their questions; recommending suitable properties; and facilitating smoother sale, purchase and rental transactions. There is the potential for Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to offer immersive property tours, allowing users to visualize and explore properties remotely, saving valuable time.
From streamlining operations to revolutionising customer interactions, AI stands poised to revolutionise the property industry like never before. The potential uses of AI are vast and far-reaching and estate agents which embrace AI can gain a significant competitive advantage.