Thursday, June 13, 2024

Academia to proptech, PropPal offers promising AI applications

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The multifaceted software, built by the Atlanta-based company REAI, is designed to automate for agents a range of tasks that can often occupy hours of a standard work week, the company said.

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PropPal is a new artificial intelligence-driven marketing and business solution for real estate agents developed by a team of academics from Georgia Tech and Berkley: The Atlanta-based parent company is called REAI.

The multifaceted software is designed to automate for agents a range of tasks that can often occupy hours of a standard work week, ranging from listing descriptions to image reading, according to a June 6 announcement sent to Inman.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to bring real, powerful AI capacities to the real estate industry, beyond the limited capacity of ChatGPT,“ said REAI CEO James Wang, in the announcement. “Our industry will not be left behind compared to others.”

The pace at which AI is making its way into real estate is becoming hard to track, with a new company releasing a use for it seemingly every day.

While listing descriptions are now table stakes for any application of AI in real estate, PropPal is enhancing its take on it with a lineup of supporting uses.

Its REfax, for example, is a tool for automating home reports, as CarFax does for automobiles. It also provides a home-matching tool, chatbot for buyers and sellers, and a tool for reading property photos and videos, a form of AI called computer vision, made popular by Restb.ai which has been offering it to agents and MLSs for more than five years.

PropPal also has the ability to regenerate descriptions in a range of styles, or tones, another common trait of AI-backed marketing tools, such as ListAssist, Nila June and Addressable, a direct-mail marketing company.

REAI Community Director Jeremiah Long echoed a familiar refrain among proptech entrepreneurs in an email to Inman.

“REAI started partially out of Georgia Tech, also Berkeley, with some top-notch machine learning PhDs, basically out of our personal frustration of suffering from bad property purchase pushed by some agents,” Long said. “REAI is so far the only company with advanced AI patents (USPTO awarded utility patents with AI technologies) on real estate applications. We have developed unique technologies not only on properties [but on] users analysis and projection, [too].”

Long said the company was founded in 2017, but given the team’s collective commitment to academia, it has put little time into its market-facing outreach efforts.

“We’ve been under the radar,” he said.

Inman contributor Ken Sisson — agent, Realtor and associate broker with Coldwell Banker Realty in Studio City, California — said that while AI is demonstrating its usefulness in a number of ways, agents remain critical to ensuring it is used productively.

“While AI can be an incredibly powerful and useful tool, it is important to remember that it is only as good as the data and the algorithms. Using the tool without the human operator (in this case, an experienced real estate agent) would be a mistake,” Sisson wrote.

REAI is clearly aiming to become part of the rapidly rising supply of AI-first proptech providers, claiming on its website to have former executives from the National Association of Realtors and industry consulting firm T3 Sixty.

Inman is awaiting confirmation of the makeup of REAI’s founding team.

Email Craig Rowe

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