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  • Writer's pictureKerwin Donis

The Dangers of AI in Real Estate

Robots will replace us.

This is a common belief - and fear - circling the internet in the wake of recent AI programs that have been taking the world by storm.

ChatGPT, one of the most mainstream AI softwares, has rekindled the conversation surrounding the role Artificial Intelligence will play in the future. Salesforce and Microsoft are two massive companies that launched AI tools in recent weeks. ChatGPT wasn’t just a fad, it seems.

Artificial Intelligence is defined by Britannica as “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.”

It also seems that ChatGPT is now becoming more widely accepted and popularized, from teachers and students seeing it as an educational tool to Slack using it to improve customer service.

ChatGPT’s growth and sudden impact on various industries is not common for a technology as new as this one.

Despite what you may have seen in movies or sci-fi TV shows, AI has the potential to improve existing inefficiencies in multiple different industries, ranging from education, marketing, sales, and even real estate.

1. Getting Ahead of Maintenance

Expenses at a property can be high if something at a property takes a turn for the worse. Certain situations need to be addressed as soon as possible, but these emergency repairs can be very expensive. The cost of these repairs can be reduced by using a strong team of vendors you have experience working with. But in real estate, you’re always going to have some kind of unexpected maintenance issue, especially if a portfolio consists of multiple properties.

AI offers a potential solution to this problem. AI might be able to use sensor data from a property to detect when an issue needs to be addressed, and could even handle scheduling the repair itself. This would be useful for property management companies or landlords who are managing multiple different properties.

2. Smart Homes

Utility bills can be high at certain properties. If a property is rented as a house in multiple occupations, then utility expenses may be high per room.

AI can help reduce the cost of these utilities by automatically turning on and off the lights in communal hallways, using motion detectors. This same technology can also be used to change the thermostat as needed. The thermostat can also be connected to the weather. AI can memorize schedules, and know that if the renter isn’t normally home around a certain time but the TV is on, AI can turn it off.

The integration of AI into rental units can result in lower expenses, improved environmental impacts, and positive resident experiences.

3. Running The Numbers (with AI)

Analyzing a market takes time. Whether you’re researching property prices, looking at what companies are moving in, searching for development projects, or jumping into historical patterns, hours can go into this process. It’s also important to note that we as humans can only do so much in the face of an abundant amount of data points. AI is not faced with the same limitations.

AI can digest millions of data points about a market and analyze what they suggest for other similar markets. AI could analyze media reports, crime data, business trends, and more to even predict upcoming market performance and possible investments.

Any investor who would use a software like this would have a leg up and would be able to identify opportunities faster than their counterparts with inferior market analysis strategies.

Dangers of AI

Now for those of you having flashbacks to the 2004 film I, Robot (starring Will Smith, if you haven’t seen it, consider it an AI-research homework assignment for the weekend), it’s still too early to fear an AI-apocalyptic takeover. But there are some potential drawbacks of using more AI in the real estate space.

For one, many owners have concerns regarding privacy. Residents might not like the idea of having their units and their behavior monitored by AI. If a property plans to implement this technology, they should have ongoing discussions with their residents to educate them on how it works, and listen to any concerns they have.

AI is not perfect either, and is more than capable of mistakes. If you’ve used ChatGPT multiple times, you’ve probably noticed that it isn’t the most accurate source of information. When it comes to AI and real estate, AI could make the mistake of turning off the lights when someone wants to use them, or turning them on when no one is there. A solution to this potential problem could be to allow residents to manually operate the utilities and override the default AI setup.

When it comes to analyzing markets, AI could involve risk for investors. If an investor is relying on an AI’s analysis of massive amounts of data, the investor can’t review the AI’s work. What is the AI misinterprets a datapoint? This could result in the investor making an expensive bad investment, or it could mean they miss out on an amazing opportunity. So, investors shouldn’t completely depend on AI for their analysis.

As AI continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative ways it’s being integrated into the real estate industry. We’re excited to see the many ways this cutting edge technology will revolutionize the industry, and we’ll be keeping track of it every step of the way.

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