If you're looking for the next big tech tool for your sales toolbox, ask Alexa, or Siri. They'll most likely have the answers—because Alexa, Siri, and their AI (artificial intelligence) siblings are reshaping the way real estate agents and lenders manage the business cycle in 2019 and beyond. There is a great deal of uncertainty in the real estate market; rising interest rates and a volatile stock market are combining to soften expectations for the new year. Adding to that, the biggest groups of home buyers in the foreseeable future are empty-nesters and millennials—both of whom are tech-savvy and accustomed to using the Internet for everything from books to cars…so why not houses?
This creates a golden opportunity for agents and loan officers who are using some of the new AI technologies to sharpen their lead generation, retention, and finally, their closed sales. Cutting-edge advances in AI are generating the new "conversational AI" apps and software that are the perfect virtual assistant—on call and available 24/7. Now, and coming soon, AI developments are laser-focused on your marketing and your clients’ intuitive preferences.
Gone are the days when AI's limits were a call-center robot that told you to press 1 or 2. These days, conversational AI apps feature algorithms that are collecting massive amounts of data, finding patterns, and making decisions at lightning speed—much faster than a human can see the patterns and consistencies. If all this seems entirely too complicated, consider this. When iTunes suggests songs for you, that's using AI based on your listening habits (and those of your friends). Apple "knows" what you like, and are likely to buy if they tell you that your friends like it. Same thing with sites like TripAdvisor, where you see where your friends have been, and if they've rated a resort or a restaurant.
This is the here-and-now, chatbox software that's your virtual assistant. The live chat feature guarantees that an inbound call is always answered, and the lead is qualified by the magical AI algorithm, grinding away in cyberspace to ask the lead the right questions and guide them to set an appointment in a completely seamless manner. You can intervene in the call at any time—so if a lead is super-hot you catch it right away. The point is, you have the capability to engage leads when you are not available—and stop wasting time with site visitors who are "just looking."
Believe it or not, in the tech world these days this is considered "weak" AI. Because what's coming will turn your business upside down—if you're ready for it.
The Future Is WOW
Before much longer, AI will be indecipherable from humans—Mother Jones magazine says that will happen by 2025. Tech geeks use the Turing Test—when a human interacts with a computer and another human, but can't distinguish between the two—to figure out just how good their AI is. AI that's indistinguishable passes the test. More AI is passing that test by getting better at nuance, and that's where the next frontier is in marketing. Until now, most real estate technology has been geared towards the client—they're driving the searches via the information they put in their profiles, and Zillow spits out houses for buyers and completely off the wall sales data for sellers. You're the end user in that equation, and have no control over search results.
Next generation, or "strong" AI will allow you to define a buyer profile by more than the current bedroom/bathroom/zip code filter. Future filters will be softer: location, weather, time of day, even life-event driven—so that the communication you send is directly targeted to that prospect. Imagine you have a lead and you know they're retiring soon, and like to play golf. A condo on the eighteenth fairway comes on the market and it's a perfect day for golf, so you can engage with a targeted, personalized message that's more likely to get clicked and opened than a generic, here's what's new on the market today snoozer of an email or text.
Zillow is So Old School
There is no relationship in real estate that's as much of a love-hate as the one you have with Zillow, and to a lesser extent, all their competitors. Their success is in collecting huge amounts of listing data from all over the world, and putting all hard date on their website. Price, number of bed and bathrooms, and square footage are just the basics, and that's all these sites can gather.
AI, on the other hand, collects soft data—from lifestyle to the prospects’ personal values and personality traits. It's the Match.com approach to houses—perfect for a world where buyers probably met their spouses online. When your leads fill out their online profiles, AI takes over and does the rest. It selects houses that meet lifestyle and personality goals, pulls together smaller list for buyers to be sure, but carefully curates them so that the homes they see are great matches for their expectations.
Enough of the tech talk—the bottom line is these technologies are on the horizon, and you need to be ready for it, or get left behind. The paradox to that point is the more AI integrates into your business, the more important that human touch will be to your clients. At Velocity Title, we are ready for the future. We use the latest technologies, including Qualia—a cloud-based closing platform that provides seamless and secure coordination between everyone involved in the real estate closing process—to streamline you and your clients’ transactions. Contact us today for a seminar or subscribe to our blog below for the latest in tech trends in real estate, and how to successfully and seamlessly implement them into your business.
Velocity Title Moves Your Business Forward
Velocity Title supports the real estate industry with a comprehensive line of title services including purchases, refinances, commercial, title insurance, attorney consulting, 1031 exchange, and short sales. With a focus on the best CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, Velocity Title incorporates leading title TECHNOLOGY and EXPERTISE into every transaction—enabling the final step in the home buying process to be EASY, EFFICIENT and INFORMATIVE. To learn more, contact us today!