ANAHEIM, Calif. (November 16, 2023) – At this year’s NAR NXT, The Realtor® Experience(link is external), experts gathered to discuss the intersection of real estate and the latest technological advancements. The event featured two standout sessions that highlighted the evolving role of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) on the real estate landscape.
On Wednesday, the Emerging Business and Technology Forum featured four companies using automation and AI to help reshape real estate marketing and operations.
Michael Glazer, CEO of Back At You, emphasized the importance of automating real estate marketing to save time and money. He explained how his company recently released a new design studio that can connect to an agent’s MLS and brokerage to automatically pull in relevant information for marketing collateral.
“All you need to do is click, and it creates the whole design,” Glazer said.
Andrew Sims, vice president of revenue at SentriLock, highlighted the efficiency gains his company brings to property showings. SentriLock’s showing service features an AI-enabled assistant that can integrate with Google Maps to provide agents with real-time traffic alerts based on their showing schedules. It can also send alerts about MLS status changes on appointments and reshuffle a calendar as needed.
“I love machine learning when it’s automating something, and I don’t have to think about it,” Sims said. “As we move into the future of real estate, agents will need to continually show the value that they bring to a transaction. It’s all going to be about how efficiently you can serve your client.”
Suzy Julius, senior vice president of product and engineering at Realtor.com®, focused on how her company uses AI to enhance the home buying experience and help agents pinpoint the most relevant properties for their clients. She shared how Realtor.com®’s Dream Home tool allows consumers to simply describe the style of their dream home to see an AI-generated rendering of the home and receive a list of actual properties on the market fitting that description.
“I hope you embrace AI as an ally, not just for you, but for the industry,” she said. “Embrace it because the future is inevitable.”
Joseph Wihbey, COO and head of product at Productive.ai, echoed this sentiment, and he used a simulated phone call to show how his company uses AI to help agents enhance their ability to build relationships. Productive.ai pulls real-time information from phone conversations and provides automatic notes, summaries, tasks, events and CRM logging.
“AI automation is great – it’s going to be the standard for all of us. If you don’t do it, you’re going to fall behind,” Wihbey said. “But relationship building is still important. What differentiates you as a Realtor®? It’s your ability to build and maintain relationships.”
In another insightful session on Wednesday, “ChatGPT is Coming for Your Job (and that’s a good thing),” Christopher Linsell from Elm Street Technology captivated the audience with a deep dive into how AI, particularly ChatGPT, is becoming an indispensable tool for real estate professionals.
Linsell delved into the nuanced relationship between a real estate agent’s job and their purpose, highlighting the role AI plays in this dynamic. He explained the clear line between the tasks that define an agent’s job – such as lead generation, branding and social media marketing – and the deeper purpose behind their work, such as serving the community, creating greater access to housing and protecting the environment through responsible development.
He emphasized that while AI will automate many tasks traditionally performed by agents, it cannot replace the core purpose and personal touch they bring.
“Purpose is why we do this,” he said. “If your value as a real estate agent is based on the fact that you can execute tasks, you are in trouble. On the other hand, if your value to your buyers and sellers is based on why, AI tools are going to give your business the speed and agility it needs to focus only on what’s important.”
He cautioned that ChatGPT and other new technology tools are poised to transform the landscape of routine tasks in real estate. “AI is coming for your job – the tasks, but it’s not coming for your purpose.”
Concluding his session with a powerful statement, Linsell underscored the urgency for real estate professionals to integrate AI into their business models, not just to stay competitive, but to redefine their role in an AI-driven market. “AI isn’t going to take your job as a Realtor®, but someone using AI probably will.”