What the heck is AI?

What the heck is AI?

Artificial intelligence will significantly transform the way people buy and sell property. It’s already being used by agents (to help identify the hottest leads), by portals (to surface properties that align with a searcher’s preferences) and by agencies (to streamline the settlement and contractual approval process). However, we’ve barely scratched the surface. 

You’ve probably heard a lot about AI and how it’s going to “revolutionise” the real estate industry. It’s a constant topic of conversation at tech conferences as well as blogs, podcasts and every other form of content imaginable. Everyone’s got their opinion too. Some see it as a cost and time-saving tool, others worry they’ll get replaced by a robot.

At Rexlabs, we don’t see AI a threat but rather as an enabling tool. But this article isn’t another opinion piece. Instead, we’re taking a step back and walking you through what the heck artificial intelligence actually is.


  • AI is the ability of a computer program or machine to think and learn.
  • The concept of AI is based on the idea of building machines capable of thinking, acting and learning like humans.
  • You’ve probably used it before – AI exists in tools like Siri, Alexa and even Spotify.
  • It’s able to adapt based on the information it gets from the web or its interactions with people
  • AI is here to stay.

Keen to know more?

Firstly, let’s tackle what AI is not.

AI isn’t a magic bullet that will solve all of your problems. It’s not going to do all of your prospecting for you, nor is it going to stop a deal from ever falling over. Likewise, AI isn’t going to take your job, contrary to what the naysayers tell you. People were worried about the same thing when the wheel was invented, when factories arrived, and computers were first built…and yet, here we are. It’s safe to say AI isn’t something to lose sleep over.

So, what is it?

An official definition goes something like this: “Artificial intelligence is a collective term for smart technologies that consciously perceive their environment and can learn from it to respond autonomously to signals and make decisions. These are computer programs that are able to learn, understand, plan, think and self-correct.”

If anything, that probably just muddied the waters even more so let’s break it down. There’s a simple concept lying behind all the complexity of AI – that is, AI technologies are ones that learn from experience. They adapt based on the information they receive from the web or interactions with people.

AI Tools in Action

Siri is an example of AI in action. This chatbot has one basic function: Analyse and answer questions. That’s pretty much what Google does – except Siri has the capability to interpret voice commands and then relay information vocally. Siri can also handle a lot of admin for you too. A simple voice command can make it record important information in your diary. You can even use it to create restaurant reservations. All the while, it’s learning from you. So, in terms of the technology being used behind the scenes, AI uses deep learning. It also uses something called natural language processing (NLP) – but that’s for another time.

How can AI be used in real estate?

There’s plenty of ways AI could be useful in real estate from automating the mundane (such as assigning neighbourhoods based on coordinates or addresses), to assisting human-led processes in becoming more time-efficient and accurate. As a result, this can help to respectively expand the knowledge directly related to the quality of the decision made.

One day, AI could help evaluate price fluctuations, assess the likelihood of a property being on the market for longer than average or even identify good investments. This is an advanced AI, requiring no human intervention at all.

Buckle in… 

AI is no longer the domain of sci-fi movies. We’re already using it in the healthcare industry, marketing and education – just to name a few. That customer service rep you just spoke to? Yep, they could be AI. The point is, AI is here to stay and we all need to prepare for an industry where AI automation is the standard.

Want to know more? Check out these links:

This article has been written and produced in partnership with Rexlabs – a leading product house based in Brisbane that creates software-driven solutions for the real estate and broader property sector. As a local business with a foothold in the UK, they’re uniquely positioned to understand the complexities Queensland real estate professionals face and cross-pollinate innovation across the oceans. Rexlabs design, develop and support Rex Software, Siteloft & Spoke.

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