Not wanting to be left behind, it seems that real estate portal companies are catching the AI bug or, depending on how you look at it, jumping on the bandwagon for some press attention.
This week, three real estate marketplace operators have announced integrations with AI technology. The announcements come from three very different companies and are in different stages of development.
The largest of the three companies integrating AI this week was U.S. portal giant Zillow which put out a press release saying that its engineers have built a plugin for the popular AI platform ChatGPT.
The Seattle-based company said that users of ChatGPT will be able to search Zillow's listings using natural language based on criteria such as location, price range, and bedroom and bathroom count.
"Generative AI is changing the way people search for information. At Zillow, we've been embracing AI and machine learning starting with the Zestimate in 2006, and later introducing personalized recommendations and natural language search – which means we're well-equipped to help customers search and find homes in this new way," said David Beitel, chief technology officer at Zillow Group.
"As the first major residential real estate marketplace to bring advanced, AI-powered search to the home-shopping experience, we understand its immense potential, and we look forward to developing more tech innovations with OpenAI technology in the future."
Zillow's release was at pains to point out that the plugin is still in the early stages of development and that it might not work exactly as expected yet. For now, the plugin has likely generated more headlines than users and is only available to select ChatGPT premium account holders.
Another portal operator looking to AI to help its users search through its listings is Global Listings, a Florida-based portal that markets listings from around the world.
The company, which has 3.4 million listings across 112 world markets, circulated a press release claiming it is currently exploring "various Generative AI options that include OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard AI, and Amazon’s newly released Bedrock AI" to drive voice-driven listings search.
"Effectively, we are creating an artificially intelligent digital Bloomberg Terminal, a correlated information display search engine, but for the global property industry," said founder and CEO Michael Gerrity.
The Canadian multifamily marketing firm RentSync operates several real estate portals (or ILSs as they call them over there) alongside a software and digital services business for large apartment building operators.
The company this week announced that its users will soon be able to generate property and location descriptions using ChatGPT by plugging in the data from its platform.
In a Linkedin post, the company CEO Max Steinman said that his company was not simply integrating generative AI technology because it's trendy.
"For us, GPT is incredibly applicable to our platform and I know many of our most innovative clients are already leveraging its power to help them market their properties more efficiently and effectively.
We figured we should just bring this right into our platform and make it easier, more accessible, and a free value add for our clients."