RE Blog
Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Real Estate?
07 / 21 / 2017

skynet

 The rise of the machines...  A long time ago it was just a figment of the imagination and the stuff of science fiction.  But with the birth of the silicon chip/circuit and computers in the 1970's, the imagined and farfetched now seemingly were possible and real.  Today our lives are literally intertwined with technology.  From the cars we drive to the way we communicate with each other it is all done through some medium of technology that is derived from the dreams of generations past.  With the hopes of simplifying and bettering our lives we've embraced technology and its advancements wholeheartedly but is this the answer for everything?

For many the answer could be a resounding "Yes!"  Robotics has found a solid niche in industries that are extremely difficult, repetitive, mundane, and dangerous.  The automotive industry has been utilizing robots in its workforce since the mid-1970's and the amount of robotic use continues to grow and trickle into other aspects of the business.  Welding with precision, helping with placing large objects onto other components in the production line, and even painting, robots are currently an invaluable necessity for auto manufacturers.

Amazon, Inc. has made recent headlines with its acquisition of the high-end supermarket chain Whole Foods, Inc.  Their innovation and proven success in being able to streamline customer orders to quick deliveries are what have given Amazon their meteoric growth over the years and is a major factor in the fall of many slow maneuvering retailers who are forced into closing stores and filing for bankruptcy.  In 2012, Amazon acquired a robotics company called Kiva Systems for $775 million to help make their automated fulfillment centers more time and cost efficient.  Amazon now has over 45,000 robots working alongside 230,000 spread out in over 20 fulfillment centers, a 50% increase in the robot workforce from the same time a year prior since January 2016.  Their widespread use of robotics in fulfillment centers will eventually be applied towards their grocery distribution warehouses where Amazon hopes will help to reduce costs to the consumers.

Kiva Amazon robot

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a newer field of technology that is closely tied to robotics.  We've had so many movies and books about this topic and has become a rather controversial discussion as newer and better AI comes into play.  Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has recently expressed his concerns about AI and its potential to derail the human civiliazation based on the fact that AI equipped robots will be accomplishing goals and completing tasks better than their human counterparts.  The caution is certainly warranted.  Have you seen 2001: A Space Odyssey or the Terminator movie franchise?

What About Real Estate?

CPGI believes that the future of real estate will be all done on an automated platform.  Robots/Androids will be setting up times to go meet sellers to obtain listings, scheduling showings for properties, assist with property management, perform broker appraisals, and also write up purchase offers for their brokers who are too busy having lunch.  In fact, robots/androids will be the main negotiators for their brokers and be the new proxy-agents for their employing brokers.

WALL-E-382-1

So the previous paragraph was rather facetious.  And if you were reading it and thought we've done lost our minds writing this RE Blog post, you'd see and feel the same way we do.  The AI factor for real estate is something that can't be replicated at this point in time.  Not saying it won't happen, but here's why.  The human condition is an intangible and unquantifiable combination of emotion, logical reasoning, illogical reasoning, personal experiences, beliefs, random thoughts, premeditated goals, and the list goes on and on.  Until there's a way to randomize the programming and create a "soul" within a robot/android and account for the many motivations we as humans have for the things we do there will never be an AI to fully be as effective as another person.  Is there a place for AI and robotics in real estate?  Sure, I believe there will be.  Answering phones, filing documents, or other remedial tasks that help with efficiency come to mind.

But when it comes to negotiating and getting a feel for what the client wants or is expressing, whether explicitly or implicitly, this is where the human connection cannot be duplicated or replicated.  As individuals, we all seek and require that individual attention, and is especially true for large, life-changing decisions that involve real estate.  For some, a real estate transaction will be the biggest monetary event in their lives--don't leave that to automation.

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