Technology is one of the most magnificent and ubiquitous entities in our world. It has developed at the speed of light, striking both awe and fear into all that have crossed its path. New technology, such as artificial intelligence, is naturally no exception, especially as these creations become more and more human-like.
These developments have impacted nearly every industry across the board, from business and commerce to real estate.
For instance, in 2016, Zenplace began using artificial intelligence to aid the management side of property management. The San Francisco-based startup would offer home tours to the potential tenants using robots.
Although the technology has not yet advanced to the point where a C-3PO-like bot greets individuals at the entrance or shows them around while looking like a scene from Epcot Center, the machines resemble those fictional drones as human realtors operate them from a remote location.
Zenplace simplifies the process of searching for a new place, as the prospective tenants could plan to tour the home during showing period. Or, on the other hand, they could take a tour on the spot with their smartphone, thanks to an app that grants users an access code to unlock the front door and enter the house.
The dedicated device which takes someone around the property resembles a cross between a floor lamp and a Roomba. Mounted on top is a tablet used by the realtor to communicate. As the robot wheels around the apartment, it is kept in line by a GPS chip.
Thankfully, it does not take too much practice to master operating this device. One of Zenplace’s own realtors, Rabia Levy, told Curbed SF that she had carried out close to 20 robotic tours within one day of practicing with its controls. However, Rabia did note that it felt like she was driving a remote-control car at first.
Additionally, prospective buyers did not expect to be greeted by a robot upon entering the home, and such an event still catches folks off guard. However, that does not stop them from touring — or even purchasing — the property.
Evidently, there is a very large window of opportunity for these realtor-operated assistants, especially as the real estate market continues to heat up not only in San Francisco, but across the remainder of the nation as well. It will certainly be intriguing to watch how this technology continues to develop and potentially disrupt the real estate industry.