AI will reshape the industry, not replace agents

Simon Whale, MD and Founder of Kerfuffle and Neil Hope, Chief Technology Officer at iamproperty help to shed some light on the evolving landscape of AI and automation in the property industry

Related topics:  Property Industry,  Proptech,  AI,  Artificial Intelligence
Simon Whale | Neil Hope
24th October 2023
AI Property 625
"As AI becomes more commonplace and all branches have access to the same AI-powered tech, clients will come to expect a certain level of customer service, instead of seeing it as a perk"
- Simon Whale - Kerfuffle

Artificial Intelligence capabilities are constantly developing, helping to improve efficiencies across all sectors and disciplines.

Recent data highlights that the average conveyancing firm saves 115 hours a month through automation. But how is the property industry set to develop alongside, and how can Estate Agents harness the power of AI to accelerate their success?

As AI continues to take centre stage across the industry, helping to streamline and enhance an agent’s day-to-day, one thing remains unequivocally clear – AI is a powerful tool that enhances, complements and empowers Estate Agents, but it cannot replace them.

The differences between AI and Automation

Many Estate Agency software systems, which are now recognised as CRM, use automated workflows to support agents with tasks. From helpful reminders to mail merging, automation helps make day-to-day processes more efficient. While automation is something we are already familiar with, AI is a genuine disruptor.

Simon: “AI can already be used in many ways, such as helping agents generate content quickly and accurately, or help make sense of data and identify trends, often pulling out interesting angles and patterns that might take a person hours to identify.

“AI has so much potential yet to be tapped into. Many suppliers have already implemented AI in their software for Estate Agents, such as being able to use AI to write a compelling prospecting letter, while others have new projects underway that evolve around AI. There’s more to come and it’s an exciting time for the industry from an innovation perspective.”

AI-powered Estate Agents

Technology is designed to improve efficiencies and empower people to do more with less. AI works in the same way, by allowing workforces to be more productive and stay one step ahead. In the Estate Agency world, AI empowers agents by streamlining processes and enhancing connectivity with clients.

AI can support in admin heavy tasks, freeing up Estate Agents to spend more time on tasks that add value and require the human touch.

Neil: “Automation streamlines processes, reducing the time you need to spend on admin to free you up for parts of the job that add the most value to clients, like having face time with them and progressing their transaction. AI and automation can also help power up the service agents give to their clients, through more personalised messaging, faster responses to enquiries and a better understanding of their client base for well-targeted marketing.”

Additionally, AI can support getting clients sale-ready faster, with research from McKinsey estimating that a third of all sales tasks can be automated.

Neil: “Speeding up sales is in the interest of your team and clients so that you can secure fees and clients can get moving faster. Tech has the potential to make significant cuts to your transaction times. Tasks that can be automated include pinpointing times to contact leads, invoicing, onboarding, processing and client management.”

The AI learning curve

As AI continues to evolve in the Estate Agency world, suppliers and agents may face more challenges when it comes to standing out in a market heavily saturated with insight-driven resources.

Simon: “As AI becomes more commonplace and all branches have access to the same AI-powered tech, clients will come to expect a certain level of customer service, instead of seeing it as a perk. This is where the human touch comes in, as agents shouldn’t rely on technology to deliver a great experience to clients.

Enhanced use of technology is all about freeing up agents to do the parts of the job that require their expertise and service. The personal interaction and relationship piece that is key to making a good Estate Agent is hard to recreate, which is why there will always be a need for agents.”

Future of AI

AI has a huge part to play in the future of every business sector, and property is no different. Estate Agents have lots to look forward to thanks to AI and automation, as agent roles become more streamlined to focus on the exciting, face-to-face time with clients that brings success to branches.

Future-focussed agents should keep their eyes peeled for new updates to familiar technology that incorporates AI and automation, creating a better experience for teams and clients.

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