Imagine you are searching for a house to buy. You walk by one that looks absolutely perfect, but you aren’t with your realtor. What is one to do? SF Gate explains that a company, Zenplace, has created a solution, but not one that you might expect. Enter Robot Realtors. Zenplace launched in the summer of 2017. Now, a few hundred robots are acting as home tour guides in the Bay Area.
Technology’s impact on the real estate industry isn’t a new occurrence, but it is something that’s becoming more and more common. More importantly – it starts the debate about what artificial intelligence, virtual reality and tech’s impact on the job market. Are they improving our careers or eliminating them? What does all of this mean and how does it work?
How does it work?
Realtors can control these robots remotely from anywhere. During showing hours, if a tenant walks by a Zenplace home, they can schedule a tour either through their smartphone or just by unlocking the front door. The app provides an access code for the door and step-by-step instructions for dealing with the real estate robot. Once the potential buyer does that, they are guided through the home by the robot. The remote realtors can even switch out their faces for images of other neighborhood amenities, or information on rental history.
In addition to offering up a lower-cost alternative to brokers, robot realtors use analytics to find prospective buyers. Once they have found the buyer, a motorized screen moves throughout the home while a licensed real estate agent live streams through the robot. Once you are done your tour, the robot realtor still tracks you. it can see what kind of house you own and, through your searches and purchases, what your life is built around. Needless to say, this is all extremely helpful for realtors!
Obviously, some buyers do not feel comfortable buying a home from a robot, especially older buyers. Older buyers, possibly looking to downsize, are much more comfortable working face to face with their realtor. On the other hand, millennials are shown to be much more comfortable with the idea of using a robot realtor.
As with any new technology, it will take time for robot realtors to expand into new cities and towns. However, the adoption of technology in real estate is seemingly inevitable. Buyers are looking for technology friendly processes and real estate is not exempt from this.