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Your Next Real Estate Agent Might Be a Robot


Automation has spread to almost every industry. And even real estate may not be safe. The next time you buy a house, it might not be from a real estate agent. At least, not an agent of flesh and blood. Real estate agencies and some startups have started ...

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The next time you buy a house, it might not be from a real estate agent

At least, not an agent of flesh and blood

Real estate agencies and some startups have started employing robots to do some of the perfunctory jobs that their realtors typically do, incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their workplace. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) highlighted three of these companies: A brokerage firm in Woodland Hills, California named REX, another California property management company, Zenplace, and a Brooklyn-based startup called VirtualAPT

Both REX and Zenplace employ robots to interface with clients

The former places a robot named REX in seller’s homes to answer questions and collect data, while Zenplace uses robots to help their human agents communicate remotely with clients. VirtualAPT built a bot that can make three-dimensional videos of real estate property

Virtual property tours are a convenience for prospective buyers with busy schedules, or who can’t physically visit a location. Robots may be able to simplify the process of buying property. They might also cut down on potential real estate agent commission costs that buyers typically have to pay

REX, for example, charges only a 2 percent commission — that’s below the 5 to 6 percent commission that agents usually bill sellers.