We recently held an in-depth focus group with some of the top-performing real estate agents and brokers in the St. Louis area to explore how we can improve the state of real estate AI. Some were independent, others were part of a firm. One of our group actually sits on the board of the local MLS.
It was a robust sampling of the real estate industry, and we learned a great deal.
Our focus group was animated.
The group granted us valuable insight into a day in the life of the average real estate agent and broker—everything they love about their chosen career, the biggest pain points they face on a day-to-day basis, and what would make their lives easier (i.e., what would make them more productive).
Basically, they asked, we answered.
And the answer? Capacity for real estate. Specifically, for real estate agents and brokers.
Artificial intelligence has been working its way into the real estate industry for the past few years, but a lopsided focus has been placed on developing tools that empower the consumer. These range from artificially intelligent platforms that help buyers forecast home appreciation to AI that acts as a real estate investment advisor, and, of course, Zillow’s well-known Zestimate, which recently achieved a 15 percent boost in accuracy due to AI.
What’s fascinating is that even though home buyers and sellers now have more AI-powered tools at their disposal than ever before, the real estate industry is still decidedly people-powered.
Agents and brokers are here to stay.
Did you know that in 2018, even with all these shiny new tools at their disposal, buyers “worked with an agent 87 percent of the time” to purchase their new home? But what about millennials? After all, they’re so tech-oriented that the figure must be lower, right? Wrong. Millennials, hyper-digital they may be, relied on an agent a staggering 90 percent of the time.
Real estate agents and brokers aren’t going anywhere.
And we’re here to help them.
Inspired by some of the more salient takeaways from our focus group, here are just a few of the skills Capacity can offer real estate professionals.
Instant access to MLS.
(Note: Prior to rebranding, Capacity was Jane.ai.)
The real estate agents and brokers we spoke to suggested that navigating an MLS is an art form. Knowing which search queries to employ and which filters to leverage are vital to gleaning the key insights that real estate professionals need.
Capacity will significantly streamline this process, all through a simple conversational interface. Agents and brokers can ask Capacity for loads of essential information such as comps, new or total properties for sale by city or zip code, etc. And, as always, we’ll be continually building out new MLS-related features as feedback and demand grows.
Instant access to e-signatures & docs.
We learned that real estate professionals rely heavily on digital e-signing platforms like DocuSign and dotloop for the scores of important documents the industry entails. This makes perfect sense, when keeping track of exactly when a client has signed on the digital dotted line can secure your next commission or defend you against a potential lawsuit.
Of course, these platforms have their own apps, and we’re sure they’re well-built. But what we’re going for at Capacity is a central rallying point, one place where real estate professionals can go for every bit of information they need. From now on, they can just ask Capacity.
Instant access to CRM.
According to NAR’s 2018 Technology Survey, a full 35 percent of agents and brokers are looking for more and better CRM tools. But why?
Well, our focus group attendees revealed that they’re fielding their leads from a greater number of sources than ever before—Zillow, Trulia, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own website, and more. So, it stands to reason that more agents and brokers are beginning to leverage CRM platforms as lead hubs.
However, even a robust “lead hub” CRM makes for one more platform to log into, one more app to open up. With Capacity, agents and brokers can instantly tap into their chosen CRM software and effortlessly surface relevant lead information with the keystroke of a phrase.
Instant access to calendar.
At first glance, this feature might not appear all that revolutionary, but multiple times over the course of our focus group we heard things like, “I just want one place where I can go and find what’s on my schedule.” Sure, everyone has a calendar app on their phone these days, but navigating it can be a pain. An even greater pain can be finding availability between multiple people or setting up meetings.
With Capacity, real estate agents and brokers will now have one point of contact where they’ll be able to execute complex tasks with simple phrases such as…
What’s on my calendar this Friday?
When is Barb Patterson available?
Schedule a meeting with Rory Gold.
What’s my availability March 14?
We were so grateful that these hardworking individuals took time out of their schedules to impact the trajectory of our real estate product, and we’re absolutely thrilled to help people like them attain an even greater level of productivity.
Of course, the preceding skills are just the tip of the iceberg. Capacity is currently integrated with over 50+ applications—email, cloud drive, ticketing, help desk—and we’re looking to double that count over the course of the coming year.