Google recently launched its Google for Jobs tool, powered by AI. Mete Varas wonders whether real estate will be the next sector they tackle.
Two weeks ago Google held its I/O Dev Conference which got me thinking about their new tool, Google for Jobs. This is a recent initiative/product that will let you search for jobs in your area, with listings pulled from sites like Monster, LinkedIn, Facebook and others.
Google thinks the search process is broken; most job descriptions are limited and archaic if not poorly written, but more importantly job titles vary from company to company. Their new tool replaces professions and jobs with roles and tasks. On top of that, corporate software that companies use to manage the recruitment process (posting jobs, inviting for interviews...) are poor, and it’s difficult to make accurate decisions. In short, there is a big efficiency and mismatch problem.
Google's CEO Sundar Pichai says its new jobs tool eradicates the ambivalence from job searching because it uses pattern matching to get you the exact kind of jobs you are looking for. For example, if you're searching for a "retail" job, this could mean anything from sales, to store manager, to shop clerk, so Google is sorting this information through AI technology to make the process simpler for the job seeker.
Before Google for Jobs, Google transitioned into the travel industry by acquiring ITA Software -IATA- back in 2010. The software stores, calculates and distributes flight schedule data and seat availability to satisfy millions of queries per second. They also launched a tool (Google Compare) to sell car insurance -only in US- but closed after a year or so. As far as I know, this is the first time they actually experimented with a transaction-based business in their industry.
But I wonder if they will soon transition into real estate? They have already transitioned into the travel industry with Google Trips and have used AI to re-define job searches, but will they be able to apply this to real estate?
This area, in many ways, is more complicated. First; it’s not standardized. I’m not talking about universal, even country-wide in most parts of the world. There are also many types of real estate and attributes to cover. Real estate especially, in emerging markets, is not regulated. There is no single registry system allowed to keep track of each property, transaction and agents which is a prerequisite for any significant shift.
However, when blockchain-based peer-to-peer marketplaces and MLS’s will be widely available, Google’s positioning will be much stronger than today -and yesterday; current search and discovery processes will be obsolete, as the future will be about unstructured search queries (similar to travel industry) and voice-based search. That’s Google’s playground and we may expect a similar industry-specific initiative by that time. Being a leader in AI and providing businesses AI infrastructure and tools, on the other hand might change Google’s future moves.
The forthcoming Google Lens is the company’s computer-vision platform, making smartphone cameras much more smarter. It could help agents to take better pictures (for instance you may even remove a fence of the baseball field from the foreground) and send users to a broker’s website once the camera scans the storefronts on the street.
Google Translate will help firms to offer full multi-language content , which could be useful on a property portal.
Google Image Recognition
With Google’s image-recognition AI, marketplaces can automatically categorize/identify pictures that agents upload for each property allowing better recommendations and predictions.
I encourage you to share your thoughts and feedback to help further discuss this subject!