AI is not only a very real concept for Automabots founder Grant Gould, but it’s also what he believes to be the future of buying and selling real estate. Gould, who has been following the development of AI since 2001, recently established Automabots, a “real estate Bot” company that utilizes AI and large data sets to automate lead qualification for real estate agents.
Automabots is currently in beta and is set launch to its first set of 30 customers in January 2017 with another batch of customers soon to follow. Though the company is still in the early stages, and currently seeking additional funding, its prospects and results seem promising. The Bots are able to access and utilize the MLS database in order to provide information for users. Once Automabots are completely up and running, the Bots will be able to actively engage website visitors, qualify buyer and seller needs, and capture contact information.
Bots for The Real Estate Niche
Though Gould expects the Bots’ utility will extend into other industries before long, Automabots is currently focused solely on real estate. Gould is a real estate veteran and understands the kind of help agents need to be productive. Gould likes to call his line of product “Productivity Bots,” which are designed to enhance rather than take over business. He explains, “consumers today want instant gratification,” and his Bots help realtors provide that gratification by remaining on active duty 24/7. While realtors can get thousands of visitors to their websites, social media profils, and other lead sources, the Bots are trained to convert visitors into leads.
While the Bots are currently being put to use in the real estate industry, it’s obvious how a data-crunching artificial intelligence workforce would be useful in streamlining lead qualification in related fields, including home services. Gould believes home services and mortgages might be the next logical step for his Bots. He has already begun building relationships with mortgage and home services professionals. Gould says there is a strong connection between those markets that will keep the Bots “pretty busy for 3-4 years.”
The Data Behind the Bots
One of the most exciting features of Automabots is that they have full access to Google, Amazon, and Facebook APIs. Automabots has built a flexible platform using natural language parsing.
“There’s really not a lot we can’t do with time and talent,” Gould says of his team and their platform.
They are currently using Google Cloud for all of their computing, where they can utilize Google’s Prediction API and TensorFlow. Gould hopes to soon take advantage of Facebook’s Bot ads and targeting abilities. Eventually, he would like to push the Automabots’ real estate Bot into Amazon’s Alexa so that future customers can ask her about real estate and it will be as if they are communicating directly with Automabots.
As Gould is also the co-founder of Home Junctions, a real estate data company, Automabots has access to an enormous amount of raw real estate data. Home Junction can provide the Bots with data on schools, demographics, neighborhood and community, as well as homes sold and home valuations.
What a Productivity Bot Can Actually Do
Gould’s “Productivity Bots” are productive. The Lead Qualifier Bot is designed to save real estate agents time and money; for just 14 cents an hour, “you get a ready-to-work real estate Bot that is trained to do a specific job and do it great.” The Automabots website explains the basic functions of the Bot:
- “Greets Every Prospect.” It is designed to engage potential customers 24/7 on real estate websites, social media, and other listing sites. This provides instant gratification for consumers, which they don’t receive with website contact forms or email.
- “Qualifies Buyer and Seller Needs.” The Bot can interact with customers to determine what they’re looking for and can dole out information from the massive amount of stored data.
- “Captures Leads and Intel.” Not only can it record information about prospects, but the Bot can also transfer information directly to the realtor or to an automatic lead nurturing program.
Of course, the functions of this AI are meant to grow beyond these basics. Automabots “build intelligent Bots that [they] teach to perform important tasks and that gets smarter as it does its job.”
While it is still early stage for the company, it is obvious that Gould expects the Bot and its functions to evolve with each new stage.