As the landscape of the property industry changes, as it has done in line with all new technologies over the decades, there are continued concerns raised about how much AI and the use of technology will impact the industry and in turn potentially replace people’s jobs.
It is in some cases a relevant concern – a good example that highlights the dangers of this would be the rapid transfer from paper format and one computer per office through to the introduction of email and websites and portals. Many time served readers may well recall that there were agents at the time who resisted the change and refused to adapt and there were those that embraced it.
The weekly newspaper as the prime and dominant source of marketing was quickly replaced by digital communication mediums. Agents either had to adjust and evolve quickly or face losing their market share and as sadly happened to some who refused to adapt, their businesses soon disappeared.
Now let’s not forget moving home is a stressful business and the need for human interaction, reassurance and action is as prevalent today as it ever has been, so we do not need to worry to that degree. These new processes which are developing aren’t there to eliminate professionals from the market, but rather to enhance current output.
There is no doubt AI will improve accuracy across the board within the property industry, making it a safer, more informed and reliable service than ever before. AI will allow for personalised communication strategies for both clients and agents and will be able to analyse large datasets very quickly to provide custom services for clients beyond what you’ve dreamt of.
AI will also improve efficiency by automating tasks like data entry, lead generation, passive communication, aspects of property management and much more as well as making reaching multiple marketing platforms easy. This means that for those who adapt, working models will change and so will current jobs and their activities – working alongside each other rather than eliminating.
Estate and letting agents jobs are in reality made up of ‘tasks’ such as lead generation, branding, data entry, social media, client communication, marketing etc and the purposes behind these are known as ‘why’s’ such as serving and supporting clients through the emotional journey through a transaction, problem solving, creating better access to housing in the market and helping people who have never purchased a home to do so.
The introduction of AI will certainly change the tasks of estate and letting agents as new options arrive but will not change the ‘why’s’. Agents who value tasks above focusing on the fundamental purposes of the job will find themselves in trouble and this is where understanding and adaptation needs to come in.
The future that AI brings to our industry is an exciting one and it is certainly one that should be embraced fully to reap the rewards.
The answer to this is, frankly, you’ve got to be in it to win it. By that, I mean, that without embracing these technological advances, you’ll be left behind and it is very unlikely that AI will replace jobs, but those who are embracing it, however, will.