Ask Alex: Could AI take over the property industry?

Alex Hurn, Managing Director, discusses whether or not AI could take over the property industry.

With its ability to analyse vast amounts of data, streamline processes, and provide valuable insights, AI has the potential to transform the property industry – but should we be worried, or should we embrace it?

How will AI affect the property search? 

Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking for a home or a commercial landlord looking to expand your portfolio, finding the perfect property has always been a complex and time-consuming process.

AI-powered platforms are changing the landscape by offering more refined property search capabilities.

They utilise machine learning algorithms to understand user preferences and behaviours, making property recommendations that align with your needs.

Do you think VR is here to stay?

VR has been around for a while, and it’s good to see the property industry making the most of it.

Virtual property tours allow you to explore properties from the comfort of your own home or office, offering a detailed and immersive experience.

AI algorithms can enhance these tours by personalising it based on your own preferences and interactions - which not only saves time for both buyers and sellers, but also provides a more engaging and informative way to showcase properties and will only improve with time,

Could AI help with risk assessments and mortgage underwriting?

I've already started to see how AI is beginning play a significant role in assessing risks and streamlining mortgage underwriting processes.

It's smart because machine learning algorithms can analyse various data points, including credit history, financial records, and property information, to evaluate the creditworthiness of applicants.

This can help speed up the loan approval process and enhance accuracy, helping those in the industry to carry out these processes in a more time efficient manner.

Should service providers be worried?

I don’t think so, yet! But all service providers should be encouraging and investing in upskilling their teams to understand how to utilise and innovate their value propositions and services using AI powered resources.

Ultimately, most AI features and tools are designed to enhance productivity and like when apps, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, came on to the scene, these need to be harnessed and understood.

What about Surveyors, specifically?

Automated and algorithm-based valuation models have recently become a thing, so I can see why surveyors might be thinking ‘what’s next?’.

AVMs leverage algorithms to consider factors like recent sales, property characteristics, and market trends to estimate a property's value which can assist both buyers and sellers in making informed decisions, reducing uncertainty in the negotiation process.

Valuations are just one of the many services our surveyors provide. AVMs would definitely take the pressure off and allow them more time to deliver on bigger projects but I think there will always be a need for sound and useful commercial and pragmatic advice!

Is AI more efficient when it comes to data

AI has the ability to analyse historical data and external factors such as economic indicators and demographic shifts, accurately forecasting changes in property values and demand. Any repetitive or administrative task has the potential to be automated.

Real estate professionals and investors can use these insights to strategically allocate resources, mitigate risks, and capitalise on emerging trends.

Can AI impact sustainability?

Smart home technology, integrated with AI, is becoming a lot more common (especially in new builds) and is great for property owners and managers to remotely monitor and control various aspects of a property, such as temperature, lighting, security, and energy consumption.

So, could AI take over the property industry?

The power and potential of AI needs to be fully respected. I know there are large tech commentators suggesting for the AI sector to be regulated as soon as possible!

Service providers and AI users generally need to appreciate this while adapting or changing their business models to harness its potential.

AI is good for driving efficiency, personalisation, and innovation across the sector and as it continues to evolve, its potential to reshape the property industry and create a more seamless and informed experience for all stakeholders is truly promising.

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