Much of the debate around AI and automation in real estate has focused on whether a robot will take the job of an agent. But that’s the wrong conversation.
The right way to think about AI in real estate is to consider how quickly you can have a digital servant do all the jobs in your back office to free you from the never-ending ‘busy’ and give you more time to enjoy better relationships with clients and prospects.
What do those jobs look like? Well, they’re mainly around data collection, sorting, ranking and recognising when actions have – or haven’t – been taken. AI-driven bots are able to speed up your collection of client data in a way that is also accurate and thorough. Bots are by their nature better at repetitive tasks than humans who get bored or distracted. They’ll cheerfully work 24/7 on the same thing, and they won’t get sick or take holidays.
Here are 5 tips on how to use AI to make you more efficient and win more clients.
- Clean up your data
You’ve got a database with thousands of past clients and contacts in it. But when was the last time you contacted any of them? How viable is that data right now? AI and automation are great at analysing your existing dataset, overlaying it with other big datasets (such as homeownership records) and recognising out of data records, incomplete records and filling in the blanks. Now you have a database you can really use to grow your business and no humans were hurt in the process!
- Improve your lead capture and response
You’ve got leads coming in from portal inquiries, email, social media, text messages and phone calls to the office. Where does that information go – or does that depend? How quickly are you responding? Most agents take days to respond to inquiries while customer expectations are for within the hour. AI and automation can really bring an A-game here. It acts as a central repository of inquiries, adding new data to your CRM, responding to inquiries as a chatbot, requesting further information when data is missing, and assessing and ranking inquiries. Best of all, there are examples now of AI that sends SMS alerts to the human brokers to not just tell them that a lead has been received, but which ranks the leads according to the likelihood of action and sends helpful notes about what to talk to that lead about.
- Better insights into your prospects
So now your database has been cleaned up and the new data streaming into it on a daily basis is also pristine and being constantly assessed, your AI assistant is able to analyse what your most valuable customers really look like for your business – and where they come from both geographically, demographically, but also the channel. On that basis, your AI assistant is now also able to identify potential clients and where they hang out. This is lookalike audiences on a whole new scale and it can revolutionise how you spend your marketing dollars.
- Automate your marketing
Automation is great for assembling complex pieces of information from multiple sources. In this way, it can slash the time that it takes to research, write, design and edit reports, videos or social media posts. But add AI and it can go even further. We’ve already identified how AI has analysed your ideal audience. Now it can start to target that audience with the appropriate material in record time. The sequence could go something like this; if contact = family then assemble property listing videos for homes 4 bed or over and rank according to features of the pool (1) and garage (2) and send at 9:30 am daily (after school dropoff) until client emails/send a text.
- Create virtuous loops
The more data that AI can get its hands (?) onto, the smarter it gets and the more it can help you. So from creating great content that engages a well-targeted audience comes even deeper insights. The AI can then identify where, when and how often your audience engaged and then start to rank and sort that information. In the example above, for instance, the person interested in the family home has been sent emails featuring four-bedroom homes with pools and garages. The bot will notice which homes the person clicked on, how long they engaged with the content and other elements of the content that may not have been part of the original selection criteria – such as they spent more time on properties that had renovated kitchens, but skipped through older homes. In the next send, only homes with modern kitchens will be supplied and so on as the criteria are refined even further.
Content marketing strategist, researcher, journalist and presenter specialising in the real estate industry. I'm passionate about proptech, digital disruption and all things property, big data, leadership and entrepreneurial ideas, have an MBA and specialise in social and digital media content creation and automation.