Impact of AI Across Real Estate and Various Sectors: A Discussion at The Annual Columbia Business School Real Estate Symposium

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March 21, 2024

How is AI Transforming the Real Estate Industry?


Welcome, everyone! I'm Mark Peter Davis, Managing Partner of Interplay. I'm on a mission to help entrepreneurs advance society, and this podcast is part of that effort. Recently, I had the great honor of speaking at my alma mater, Columbia Business School, during their annual Real Estate Symposium. Today, I'll share insights from that talk, focusing on the impact of AI on the real estate industry.

What is AI and Why Should You Care?

Understanding AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a simulation of human intelligence in machines. These machines are programmed to think like humans but are limited by their programming and framework. They are not creative. However, the concept of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) goes further, performing tasks as well or better than humans, adapting, learning, and being creative.

The Importance of AI Today

AI's significance is undeniable, marking a milestone in human history. We're at the beginning of a major shift where AI's capabilities are rapidly evolving. The sheer volume of data generated in the past two decades far exceeds what we can process. AI, acting as a "brain," can make sense of this data, opening new possibilities across industries.

How is AI Impacting the Real Estate Industry?

Real-Time AI Video Analytics

AI-powered video analytics can identify threats, such as someone carrying a gun into a building, enhancing security measures in real estate properties. This technology provides real-time insights, ensuring a safer environment for occupants and visitors.

Remote Monitoring and Inspection

Companies like Onset IQ use AI to create navigable floor plans from 360-degree video images taken by individuals walking through properties. This allows developers and lenders to monitor construction progress remotely, reducing the need for frequent on-site visits and enhancing efficiency.

AI in Property Management

AI can revolutionize property management by automating routine tasks. For instance, AI-powered chatbots can handle customer service inquiries, reducing the workload on human staff. AI can also monitor properties for unforeseen risks, such as structural issues, and alert managers in real-time.

What Are the Broader Implications of AI in Real Estate?

Minimizing Costs and Maximizing Quality

AI tools can help real estate professionals minimize costs and maximize quality. By leveraging AI for tasks such as data analysis and predictive maintenance, companies can operate more efficiently and effectively. This shift could lead to better investment decisions and improved property management practices.

Changing Investment Decision-Making

AI can enhance investment decision-making by considering a vast array of variables that traditional methods might overlook. AI algorithms can analyze market trends, property values, and other factors, providing more accurate and comprehensive insights. This allows investors to make more informed decisions and potentially achieve higher returns.

Evolving Hiring Practices

The rise of AI means that certain skills, like traditional Excel proficiency, are becoming less critical. Instead, skills in AI and data analytics are becoming increasingly important. Real estate firms will need to adapt their hiring practices, seeking professionals who can leverage AI to drive business success.

The Convergence of AI with Other Technologies

AI and Augmented Reality (AR)

The combination of AI and AR can revolutionize the way we interact with our environment. Imagine a world where you have an intelligent visual overlay, guiding you through complex tasks. In real estate, this could mean interactive property tours or virtual staging, enhancing the buying and renting experience.

AI and Robotics

AI integrated with robotics is another area with significant potential. Companies like Anduril are developing drones for various applications, including property inspections and surveillance. These drones, powered by AI, can operate autonomously, providing real-time data and insights.

AI and Quantum Computing

Quantum computing, expected to be millions of times faster than current computers, combined with AI, will have transformative effects. For real estate, this means the ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data in seconds, leading to more accurate forecasts and strategic planning.


Q: What is the difference between AI and AGI?

AI refers to machines programmed to simulate human intelligence, performing tasks based on their programming. AGI, or Artificial General Intelligence, goes further, performing tasks as well or better than humans, and can adapt, learn, and be creative.

Q: How can AI improve security in real estate properties?

AI-powered video analytics can identify threats in real-time, such as someone carrying a weapon, and alert security personnel. This enhances the overall safety and security of the property.

Q: What are the benefits of using AI for property inspections?

AI can create navigable floor plans from 360-degree videos, allowing developers and lenders to monitor construction progress remotely. This reduces the need for frequent on-site visits, saving time and resources.

Q: How can AI change investment decision-making in real estate?

AI can analyze vast amounts of data, including market trends and property values, providing more accurate and comprehensive insights. This helps investors make more informed decisions and potentially achieve higher returns.

Q: What skills will be important in the real estate industry with the rise of AI?

As AI becomes more prevalent, skills in AI and data analytics will become increasingly important. Real estate professionals will need to adapt by acquiring these skills to stay competitive in the industry.


AI is poised to revolutionize the real estate industry, offering new opportunities to enhance security, streamline operations, and make better investment decisions. As we navigate this transformative period, it's crucial to stay informed and adapt to the changing landscape.

For those interested in exploring more about AI and its impact on various industries, be sure to listen to more podcasts on Interplay’s blog. If you are an entrepreneur looking for support, consider joining our incubator program. Together, we can leverage AI to advance society and drive innovation in real estate and beyond.