Tuesday, February 27, 2024

UtahRealEstate.com advances search with Restb.ai’s intelligence

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UtahRealEstate.com’s new skill leverages a form of artificial intelligence called computer vision from Restb.ai to scan images for rapid description creation, item tagging and room identification, the company said.

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By partnering with artificial intelligence software company Restb.ai, the 20,000 members of UtahRealEstate.com (URE), can use property photos as live information sources when creating new listing content.

The new “skill” leverages a form of AI called computer vision to scan images for rapid description creation, item tagging and room identification, according to a June 8 announcement sent to Inman. When translated to the front end, consumers can search against items tagged in interior and exterior photos as well as room type, without requiring a traditional filter-based search experience.

“We wanted to lead the country and the MLS industry in using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform the search experience for our members and the clients they serve,“ said CEO of UtahRealEstate.com Brad Bjelke. “As the photo database builds, searches will become more powerful, the data will be enriched. The possibilities for searching will go far beyond what we could have imagined 10 years ago.”

Restb.ai’s suite is rapidly making its way through the space as is the concept of by-room and AI-driven lifestyle search. Consumers can create a view on their phones and laptop browsers that juxtapose kitchens, primary baths or the backyards of their preferred homes, thus giving them better, more actionable data to drive showings.

While multiple property comparison tools have long existed in home search, they lacked the type of per-room specificity AI-based tagging provides. It can reduce the need for multiple showings and increase the level of technology service a brokerage offers clients.

Restb.ai’s influence on this trend can’t be overstated as it marches its way across the multiple listing service playing field, having fastened itself to multiple MLSs in recent weeks. However, other providers are in the game, too. Localize is pushing the AI envelope with its lifestyle, highly granular chat-based search functionality, and Mosaik, a client experience platform, has deftly integrated computer vision and large language modeling (LLM) into its own MLS-fed search experience. Doss, a brokerage and technology company, is using a ChatGPT integration to power natural language search.

“In practice, URE members will be able to search for standard fields like bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, in addition to the hundreds of photo tags now available, [such as] things like outdoor kitchens, solar panels, architectural styles, vaulted ceilings, paneled refrigerators, mud rooms, etc.,“ the release stated.

Image tags will be served in conjunction with traditional search results to create a comprehensive query result.

It should be noted that room-by-room comparisons and specific item tagging also help surface homes that would not have been found in a standard search based only on the number of rooms and location, for example. The benefit is an aspiring buyer can see that a living room, for example, in a house perhaps smaller than desired or slightly out of geographic desirability may have the exact design and look preferred by the buyer. Computer-vision tagging has the ability to shorten search times, a long-desired wish by any agent who has suffered through months of home tours.

Restb.ai released an automated property description product in April.

Property Descriptions by Restb.ai leverages three types of AI to create descriptions using a number of tonal approaches, including, descriptive, playful, standard, professional and simple. And it can do so in 50 languages.

“Our eight years of experience building real estate-specific computer-vision models, deep ties to MLS software vendors, and the recent developments in generative AI models make our solution a truly unique and unmatched offering,” said Chief Product Officer Nathan Brannen in the April announcement.

The company linked up with Plunk in 2021, a company that uses AI to power live market analysis and post-construction property valuation forecasts, among other uses. Both companies are using inter-industry partnerships to expand their footprints in an increasingly data-powered real estate space. Plunk, for example, has released an API that other proptechs are attaching to, including Mosaik and Roomvu.

The more connections AI-backed proptechs make, the more prolific the “intelligence” part becomes.

“AI-powered automation is driving a paradigm shift in how Realtors showcase properties,“ said Lisa Larson, Restb.ai’s managing director of North America, in a statement. “It’s clear that AI is improving operations and inspiring industry-wide innovation and time-savings for MLS Members while it also enriches consumer search.

Email Craig Rowe

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