Will Artificial Intelligence Change Real Estate Industry In The Next Five Years?

A meaningful partnership between humans and machines—this is the real estate industry of the future.

By Richard Du June 26, 2017

Globalization and tech progress are the two forces that are irreversibly changing the world. Robots, machines, artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and, of course, vast amounts of data being captured—those are truly exciting times, especially for those who are currently employed in tech industries. All this progress, however, does raise a cause for concern. What industries will change or become obsolete? What jobs will be automated by machines?

This concern exists in real estate, too. Will artificial intelligence change the real estate industry the way we know it? No doubt, it already is. The most obvious example is search engines, AI-empowered machine learning tools which process real estate-related search questions and then direct direct searches to the results with the most relevant data. The unprecedented data abundance and availability means that the once restricted real estate knowledge has now become accessible to virtually everybody.

Related: Why Buy In America Is Smart?

All the drastic changes that have been reshaping the industry do not mean, however, that the human role in real estate transactions will disappear completely. Knowledge, after all, is not everything. No matter how much data AI will be able to accumulate, and how smart machines will get in the future, there is one thing that AI will never learn to produce—wisdom. Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, says, “A robot machine will always be stronger than us, and a computer will always be smarter than us, too. But the human being is not just smart. We have wisdom.”

According to Ma, when it comes to making important decisions, being wise is actually more important than being smart. “Wise” comes from the heart, from being a human. A smart person might know what they want—precise parameters like a number of bedrooms, neighborhood’s ranking, or ROI. A wise person knows what they do not want—gentrification, displacement, or a bland neighborhood, a combination of factors that machine will never be able to measure and comprehend.

Related: While Miami Condos Cool, Neighboring Towns and Cities Heat Up

And this is where real estate agents of the future will come in. While artificial intelligence tools will support them by vast amount of data and evolving knowledge, agents, as humans, will bring to the table their own, unique tool – emotional intelligence. It is true that some of the jobs might at some point become obsolete. In fact, founder of venture capital firm Sinovation Kai-Fu Lee claims that 50 percent of human jobs will be replaced by robots in the next decade. Service industries, however—real estate among them—will escape this fate. Those employed in service industries, says Lee, will likely focus on social aspects of their job.

Deep understanding of human psychology, emotional intelligence, wisdom—this is what real estate agents of the future will offer to their clients. Add to that the vast amount of market data and superior knowledge delivered by AI tools, and one can only imagine how incredibly fast and efficient real estate industry will become in just a matter of years. Here at Agorafy, we do not see technology as a replacement for human presence in the industry—nor do we try to impede the ongoing AI expansion. Delegating “heavy lifting” of data and knowledge gathering to AI tools while humans focus on producing wisdom, creating a meaningful partnership between humans and machines—this is what the future real estate industry should be all about, and we are excited to be a part of this transformation.

Richard Du



Richard Du, founder and CEO of Agorafy, was born in Vietnam and raised in the United States. As a child, he worked to support his family until he had the chance to immigrate to the America. Here, he began his career as an agent at Helmsley Spear, which he eventually parlayed into a lucrative real estate business. More than a decade later, Mr. Du is at the helm of Agorafy.
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