Insight

AI. Intelligently Innovating Real Estate

Artificial intelligence cannot, of itself, innovate. To innovate is deeply human. It is purposeful, it requires intention, vision and context, along with curiosity, empathy and creativity – not to mention domain and market expertise.

This may sound obvious, but with over-simplified headlines on complex subjects like AI for example, the less technical among us may be forgiven for thinking innovation comes in a box with a three-month free trial. Perhaps the way Prop and Tech talk to each other is to blame.

With an abundance of tech firms ready to disrupt us in real estate, innovation is no longer a holy grail; but is a notoriously traditional, slow-moving asset class like real estate ready to transform at such speed?

Could the combined efforts of human and artificial intelligence be the true propeller of innovation in real estate?

In the future, artificial intelligence technologies will undoubtedly integrate into every industry and every vertical there is. AI is already touching how we live and work, think and behave, and we are still sitting on the very edge of its potential.

With super-charged productivity, efficiency and scalability, automation through AI is revolutionising business operations and models. James Allen is a partner in Bain’s London office and author of their 2017 report The Firm Of The Future. He predicts that just about anything that can be automated, will be automated by 2027. The cost of not automating is so high to market positioning, he claims “transactional activity will be almost entirely automated; algorithms and machine learning will simultaneously reduce the need for routine interactions”.

As New York University Associate Professor and gaming expert Julian Togelius points out, “a revolutionary technology is just that: revolutionary. To appreciate its potential, we need to break out of thought patterns that were formed when the technology did not exist … The world is designed to function without AI …and almost all our products and businesses are designed around the lack of effective AI.”

Three start-ups that will break us out of our existing thought patterns in real estate have sparked interest for their disruptive use of AI. Each is applying a different mode of artificial intelligence to their product to serve very specific parts of real estate. We spotlight PropTech startups Habito, AskPorter and Placemake.io.

Read more about PropTech & Innovation in our Insight Report here, A Brave New World? Innovating Real Estate