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by G. Sax, Director of Growth Management, RESO

Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards with a goal of humanizing the tech side of the industry, fun included.

This week’s interview is with James Wang, CEO of REAI, a real estate artificial intelligence firm operating out of Silicon Valley and Atlanta.

There has been a lot of buzz about real estate artificial intelligence (AI) within the industry and in national media outlets. A recent CNBC article stated, “Real estate companies are increasingly using artificial intelligence in every aspect of buying, selling and home financing. Algorithms can now go through millions of documents in seconds, looking through property values, debt levels, home renovations…”

Q1: Can you make the concept of AI simple to understand?

James: The term “AI” can be misconstrued in popular media. As with any discipline, there is off-the-shelf stuff available, but a truer product is created from skillfully built algorithms by professionals that know how to streamline property information to make a transaction go faster.

It’s not about borrowing terms but about building patented programming built by engineers and machine-learning experts with PhDs that have undertaken extensive, advanced research.

Q2: What do REAI and other AI companies gain from joining forces with RESO to employ standards in the real estate business around AI?

James: I believe that we can help RESO build new technology standards that create more meaningful housing analytics and predictive trends.

Today, AI is sometimes attributed to simply locating objects within a home – there’s a towel here, a wall there, etc. The technology can go much deeper than that, and we need a clear, systematic standard for industry practitioners to proceed with the ability to create more insight.

It’s not going to happen overnight. We’re talking over the next one to three years. 

Q3: You have joined every RESO workgroup. What do you hope to obtain from these meetings?

James: In the beginning, I just want to understand all that is happening at RESO. From there, I will hone in on where we as an organization can help set some standards for things like AVM (automated valuation model), image intelligence and image capturing.

If we are not proceeding into real estate AI with accuracy, the concept will fall flat and ring untrue in the products that people are consuming.