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What 2024 has in store for AI in real estate

From virtual makeovers to automated chat bots, AI is reshaping the real estate game

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“Must have artistic flair” isn’t likely on any job description for a realtor — but might be in the foreseeable future. 

Realtor Vadim Vilensky, from Vaughan, Ontario says he uses AI on a regular basis, adding that he relies on the technology for his social media posts and to improve his property visuals. 

“Let’s say I need a beautiful sunset, but there is no sunset,” he says. “I will use AI to give it the command that there is going to be a sunset.” 

Andrew Klepner, co-founder of Automated Marketer, adds that today, thanks to AI, property photos might be redesigned to appeal more to buyers — and you wouldn’t even know it.

Klepner works with Boca Raton-based realtor Matthew Maschler and said he’s used Photoshop’s new generative fill feature to remove objects from an image and replace them with other elements in one click. For example, cars in driveways might instantly become a picnic table, shrubbery or pavement — or stains on a wall suddenly look freshly painted. 

In another exciting arena, he said ChatGPT allows the user to make their own chat bot — a tool he predicts will be a boon to realtors as “everybody’s joining the bandwagon,” he says.

“My bot is based only on real estate. It answers all your real estate questions, and writes your real estate emails, and writes your listing for you, whatever it could be,” Klepner told DX Journal.

“For instance, make believe you were running a real estate agency and you wanted somebody to respond to your customers, help you book appointments. There are bots that do that now. We develop bots that will make appointments for you, actually go back and forth with you in a text message, answer any questions regarding a property … The bot will answer your questions, and continuously try to book an appointment — until you book an appointment.”

A recent video of Klepner’s outlines how ChatGPT can write solicitation letters for buyers, spur a bidding war, and write blogs from scratch with little tweaking. 

Virtual reality is changing how people find their homes

Nuno Tavares, also co-founder of Automated Marketer, discussed the advancements in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology with DX Journal. He mentioned Matterport as a tool that allows users to virtually explore properties using VR glasses. The technology extends to changing the interior design to the potential clients’ specifications. According to one report, this method became more pronounced after the pandemic, at a time when people weren’t leaving their homes for viewings.

“It takes home shopping to a whole ‘nother level,” says Tavares. “One of my favourite technologies of all time. Especially house hunting in a different country — I can’t see in the house, but, man, can I come close here” 

Someday soon, he adds, the VR will come to the customer, rather than the customer coming to the VR. For example, someone seeing a house on a street with a “for sale” sign will soon be able to don a pair of VR glasses and find out the price in a click of a button — “even go ‘in’ the home, and start exploring the home without leaving the car,” he says. “All that’s on top of the stuff that’s happening.”

A CBC report explained how one realtor does his staging virtually by “showing buyers what a living room or den could look like without all the actual heavy lifting,” while saving on significant cost and time. Additionally, AI can now be used to generate customized property recommendations with automated alerts sent when it’s available for sale. 

AI is also being used as a matchmaking tool for clients to find their preferred property in places like New York, California, and Seattle

AI as a problem solving tool for realtors

Meanwhile, others are using AI to make their own work more efficient.

Toronto realtor Tom Stopnicki says he’s been “playing with AI” for a few months, and recently needed to break down some complex financial solutions to clients that were not familiar with real estate financing. “I used AI to explain and simplify the concepts, and I found it most effective in this area,” he told DX Journal.

These experiences are reflective of the trend, as there’s been a storm of articles in recent months about how AI is changing the real estate industry. 

An article in JLL spoke of many ways AI is already being used: price modelling, scheduling for construction, and matchmaking for leasing and investment transactions. Other ways include chatbots to handle tenant queries, summarizing documents, and floorplan and design generation.

Meanwhile, a McKinsey study predicts generative AI could generate $110 to $180 billion or more in value for the real estate industry, reflective from efficiencies in tenant retention, optimized architectural plans, and crafting a negotiations script. Of the latter, AI can transcribe a phone call, analyze the call transcript, and red flag any words that add unintended risk to the negotiation as a learning tool for buyers or sellers.

Appraisals and estimates — once based on neighborhood comparisons and opinion — now benefit from AI-based algorithms, according to The Motley Fool.  Zillow, the leading online real estate marketplace, is already using it in their “Zestimates,” by analyzing millions of photos and home values  and falling just within a 2.4% margin of error. 

The writer noted that investors and agencies hope to use predictive modelling “to get an edge on the competition and buy at the right price.”

Stopnicki says he expects something of an AI “space race,” where people will look for ways to leverage it to edge out competition.

“My working theory is this is going to become more and more a component of my field,” he says. “And I believe that whoever figures this out first will have a significant advantage. I’m hoping this is what gives me my competitive advantage. The potential for time savings is my goal.” 

Proceeding with caution

Toronto-based Ophira Sutton, a sales representative from Sutton Group, says her team started using AI to create efficiencies in several areas, such as client database management and content creation. 

“AI is a great compliment to the work that we do,” she says. “It saves time, and there are certain tasks that AI can do better and faster than a person.”

Her team has started experimenting with using AI to generate listing descriptions — but the output still needs to be edited by a human who knows the material. 

“It is a starting point, because there are nuances that AI cannot pick up on,” she says. “There can be inaccuracies in the information being produced.”

At least for the time being, the young technology still has a bit of learning to do, according to Sutton. 

“So much of what we do is in the details, the psychology, personal experiences, human interaction, and art of negotiation, all of which cannot be farmed out,” she says.

As for the future, she expects AI to fill in a lot of tasks — from automated responses for leads to analysis of statistics and market trends. 

“The possibilities are endless,” she says.

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5 tech advancements sports venues have added since your last event

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Uniqode compiled a list of technologies adopted by stadiums, arenas, and other major sporting venues in the past few years.
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In today’s digital climate, consuming sports has never been easier. Thanks to a plethora of streaming sites, alternative broadcasts, and advancements to home entertainment systems, the average fan has myriad options to watch and learn about their favorite teams at the touch of a button—all without ever having to leave the couch.

As a result, more and more sports venues have committed to improving and modernizing their facilities and fan experiences to compete with at-home audiences. Consider using mobile ticketing and parking passes, self-service kiosks for entry and ordering food, enhanced video boards, and jumbotrons that supply data analytics and high-definition replays. These innovations and upgrades are meant to draw more revenue and attract various sponsored partners. They also deliver unique and convenient in-person experiences that rival and outmatch traditional ways of enjoying games.

In Los Angeles, the Rams and Chargers’ SoFi Stadium has become the gold standard for football venues. It’s an architectural wonder with closer views, enhanced hospitality, and a translucent roof that cools the stadium’s internal temperature. 

The Texas Rangers’ ballpark, Globe Life Field, added field-level suites and lounges that resemble the look and feel of a sports bar. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers are building a new arena (in addition to retail space, team offices, and an outdoor public plaza) that will seat 18,000 people and feature a fan section called The Wall, which will regulate attire and rooting interest.

It’s no longer acceptable to operate with old-school facilities and technology. Just look at Commanders Field (formerly FedExField), home of the Washington Commanders, which has faced criticism for its faulty barriers, leaking ceilings, poor food options, and long lines. Understandably, the team has been attempting to find a new location to build a state-of-the-art stadium and keep up with the demand for high-end amenities.

As more organizations audit their stadiums and arenas and keep up with technological innovations, Uniqode compiled a list of the latest tech advancements to coax—and keep—fans inside venues.


A person using the new walk out technology with a palm scan.

Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register // Getty Images

Just Walk Out technology

After successfully installing its first cashierless grocery store in 2020, Amazon has continued to put its tracking technology into practice.

In 2023, the Seahawks incorporated Just Walk Out technology at various merchandise stores throughout Lumen Field, allowing fans to purchase items with a swipe and scan of their palms.

The radio-frequency identification system, which involves overhead cameras and computer vision, is a substitute for cashiers and eliminates long lines. 

RFID is now found in a handful of stadiums and arenas nationwide. These stores have already curbed checkout wait times, eliminated theft, and freed up workers to assist shoppers, according to Jon Jenkins, vice president of Just Walk Out tech.

A fan presenting a digital ticket at a kiosk.

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox // Getty Images

Self-serve kiosks

In the same vein as Amazon’s self-scanning technology, self-serve kiosks have become a more integrated part of professional stadiums and arenas over the last few years. Some of these function as top-tier vending machines with canned beers and nonalcoholic drinks, shuffling lines quicker with virtual bartenders capable of spinning cocktails and mixed drinks.

The kiosks extend past beverages, as many college and professional venues have started using them to scan printed and digital tickets for more efficient entrance. It’s an effort to cut down lines and limit the more tedious aspects of in-person attendance, and it’s led various competing kiosk brands to provide their specific conveniences.

A family eating food in a stadium.

Kyle Rivas // Getty Images

Mobile ordering

Is there anything worse than navigating the concourse for food and alcohol and subsequently missing a go-ahead home run, clutch double play, or diving catch?

Within the last few years, more stadiums have eliminated those worries thanks to contactless mobile ordering. Fans can select food and drink items online on their phones to be delivered right to their seats. Nearly half of consumers said mobile app ordering would influence them to make more restaurant purchases, according to a 2020 study at PYMNTS. Another study showed a 22% increase in order size.

Many venues, including Yankee Stadium, have taken notice and now offer personalized deliveries in certain sections and established mobile order pick-up zones throughout the ballpark.

A fan walking past a QR code sign in a seating area.

Darrian Traynor // Getty Images

QR codes at seats

Need to remember a player’s name? Want to look up an opponent’s statistics at halftime? The team at Digital Seat Media has you covered.

Thus far, the company has added seat tags to more than 50 venues—including two NFL stadiums—with QR codes to promote more engagement with the product on the field.  After scanning the code, fans can access augmented reality features, look up rosters and scores, participate in sponsorship integrations, and answer fan polls on the mobile platform.

Analysts introducing AI technology at a sports conference.

Boris Streubel/Getty Images for DFL // Getty Images

Real-time data analytics and generative AI

As more venues look to reinvigorate the in-stadium experience, some have started using generative artificial intelligence and real-time data analytics.  Though not used widely yet, generative AI tools can create new content—text, imagery, or music—in conjunction with the game, providing updates, instant replays, and location-based dining suggestions

Last year, the Masters golf tournament even began including AI score projections in its mobile app. Real-time data is streamlining various stadium pitfalls, allowing operation managers to monitor staffing issues at busy food spots, adjust parking flows, and alert custodians to dirty or damaged bathrooms. The data also helps with security measures. Open up an app at a venue like the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and report safety issues or belligerent fans to help better target disruptions and preserve an enjoyable experience.

Story editing by Nicole Caldwell. Copy editing by Paris Close. Photo selection by Lacy Kerrick.

This story originally appeared on Uniqode and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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Import costs in these industries are keeping prices high

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Machinery Partner used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to identify the soaring import costs that have translated to higher costs for Americans.  
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Inflation has cooled substantially, but Americans are still feeling the strain of sky-high prices. Consumers have to spend more on the same products, from the grocery store to the gas pump, than ever before.

Increased import costs are part of the problem. The U.S. is the largest goods importer in the world, bringing in $3.2 trillion in 2022. Import costs rose dramatically in 2021 and 2022 due to shipping constraints, world events, and other supply chain interruptions and cost pressures. At the June 2022 peak, import costs for all commodities were up 18.6% compared to January 2020.

While import costs have since fallen most months—helping to lower inflation—they remain nearly 12% above what they were in 2020. And beginning in 2024, import costs began to rise again, with January seeing the highest one-month increase since March 2022.

Machinery Partner used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to identify the soaring import costs that have translated to higher costs for Americans. Imports in a few industries have had an outsized impact, helping drive some of the overall spikes. Crop production, primary metal manufacturing, petroleum and coal product manufacturing, and oil and gas extraction were the worst offenders, with costs for each industry remaining at least 20% above 2020.


A multiline chart showing the change in import costs in four major product industries.

Machinery Partner

Imports related to crops, oil, and metals are keeping costs up

At the mid-2022 peak, import costs related to oil, gas, petroleum, and coal products had the highest increases, doubling their pre-pandemic costs. Oil prices went up globally as leaders anticipated supply disruptions from the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. and other allied countries put limits on Russian revenues from oil sales through a price cap of oil, gas, and coal from the country, which was enacted in 2022.

This activity around the world’s second-largest oil producer pushed prices up throughout the market and intensified fluctuations in crude oil prices. Previously, the U.S. had imported hundreds of thousands of oil barrels from Russia per day, making the country a leading source of U.S. oil. In turn, the ban affected costs in the U.S. beyond what occurred in the global economy.

Americans felt this at the pump—with gasoline prices surging 60% for consumers year-over-year in June 2022 and remaining elevated to this day—but also throughout the economy, as the entire supply chain has dealt with higher gas, oil, and coal prices.

Some of the pressure from petroleum and oil has shifted to new industries: crop production and primary metal manufacturing. In each of these sectors, import costs in January were up about 40% from 2020.

Primary metal manufacturing experienced record import price growth in 2021, which continued into early 2022. The subsequent monthly and yearly drops have not been substantial enough to bring costs down to pre-COVID levels. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting shows that increasing alumina and aluminum production prices had the most significant influence on primary metal import prices. Aluminum is widely used in consumer products, from cars and parts to canned beverages, which in turn inflated rapidly.

Aluminum was in short supply in early 2022 after high energy costs—i.e., gas—led to production cuts in Europe, driving aluminum prices to a 13-year high. The U.S. also imposes tariffs on aluminum imports, which were implemented in 2018 to cut down on overcapacity and promote U.S. aluminum production. Suppliers, including Canada, Mexico, and European Union countries, have exemptions, but the tax still adds cost to imports.

U.S. agricultural imports have expanded in recent decades, with most products coming from Canada, Mexico, the EU, and South America. Common agricultural imports include fruits and vegetables—especially those that are tropical or out-of-season—as well as nuts, coffee, spices, and beverages. Turmoil with Russia was again a large contributor to cost increases in agricultural trade, alongside extreme weather events and disruptions in the supply chain. Americans felt these price hikes directly at the grocery store.

The U.S. imports significantly more than it exports, and added costs to those imports are felt far beyond its ports. If import prices continue to rise, overall inflation would likely follow, pushing already high prices even further for American consumers.

Story editing by Shannon Luders-Manuel. Copy editing by Kristen Wegrzyn.

This story originally appeared on Machinery Partner and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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The states where people pay the most in car insurance premiums

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Cheap Insurance compiled a ranking of the states where people pay the most in full-coverage car insurance premiums using MarketWatch data.
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Nearly every state requires drivers to carry car insurance, but the laws vary, and many factors affect the cost of coverage.

Some are controllable, at least to degrees: the type of car you have and your credit history. Some are not: your age and gender. Your marital status, place of residence, and claims history are among the other variables that go into it.

Across the United States, premiums are soaring, rising 20% year over year and increasing six times faster than consumer prices overall as of December 2023, CBS reported. Last September, CNN noted that car insurance rates jumped more in the previous year than they had since 1976.

CBS pointed to many potential reasons for these increases in prices. Coronavirus pandemic-era issues have made buying, fixing, and replacing vehicles costlier. Extreme weather events caused by climate change also damage more vehicles, while insurance companies are increasing their business costs. Severe and more frequent crashes are to blame as well, CNN reported.

On top of these, local factors such as population density, the number of uninsured drivers, and the frequency of insurance claims all affect premiums, which can lead motorists to change or switch their coverage, use other modes of transportation, or even alter decisions about when to buy a vehicle or what to look for.

To see how geography affects cost, Cheap Insurance mapped the states where people pay the most in car insurance premiums using MarketWatch data. Premium estimates were based on full-coverage car insurance for a 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record. Data accurate as of February 2024.


A heat map showing full-coverage car insurance premiums across the US

Cheap Insurance

Americans pay $167 per month on average for full-coverage insurance

There are common denominators among the five states where it’s most expensive to have car insurance: Michigan, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, and Kentucky. Washington D.C. is another pricey locale, ranking #4 overall.

Three of these six are no-fault jurisdictions and require additional coverage beyond coverage to pay for medical costs. Michigan notably calls for $250,000 in personal injury protection (though people with Medicaid and Medicare may qualify for lower limits), $1 million in personal property insurance for damage done by your car in Michigan, and residual bodily injury and property damage liability that starts at $250,000 for a person harmed in an accident.

Other commonalities between these states include high urban population densities. At least 9 in 10 people in Nevada, Florida, and Washington D.C. live in cities and urban areas, which leads to more crashes and thefts and high rates of uninsured drivers and lawsuits. Additionally, Louisiana, Florida, and Kentucky rank #5, #8, and #10, respectively, in motor vehicle crash deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2021 based on Department of Transportation data analyzed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A highway in Louisville.

Canva

#5. Kentucky

– Monthly full-coverage insurance: $210
– Monthly liability insurance: $57

A car driving through the desert and mountain scenery in Nevada.

Canva

#4. Nevada

– Monthly full-coverage insurance: $232
– Monthly liability insurance: $107

Cars parked on a street in New Orleans.

Canva

#3. Louisiana

– Monthly full-coverage insurance: $253
– Monthly liability insurance: $77

A bridge over turquoise water.

Canva

#2. Florida

– Monthly full-coverage insurance: $270
– Monthly liability insurance: $115

A truck on a highway surrounded by Fall foliage.

Canva

#1. Michigan

– Monthly full-coverage insurance: $304
– Monthly liability insurance: $113

Story editing by Carren Jao. Copy editing by Paris Close. Photo selection by Lacy Kerrick.

This story originally appeared on Cheap Insurance and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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