New York’s real estate industry is undergoing a transformation, thanks to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) assistants. These silent revolutionaries are changing the way New Yorkers find their dream homes, taking on the roles of leasing agents and providing valuable assistance to apartment hunters.
One such AI assistant, known as Emily, works at the Biltmore on West 47th Street. Nilanka Sandanayake, a Las Vegas native looking to move to New York, had been communicating with Emily to set up tours and ask questions about the property. Little did he know that Emily was not a human but an advanced AI assistant. Sandanayake’s experience is not unique – many New Yorkers unknowingly converse with AI bots when searching for their next abode.
Another apartment hunter, who shared their story on Reddit, discovered the same phenomenon. They were scheduled to meet an agent on the Upper East Side, only to find out that the agent was actually an AI assistant. This chatbot had such human-like responsiveness that it managed to convince the apartment hunter otherwise.
The integration of AI in the real estate industry has proven to be highly lucrative. Elise AI, a New York-based startup that offers an AI platform for tenant interactions, recently secured $35 million in Series C funding. Their platform is used in approximately 30,000 units across 250 buildings in the city, and they have even developed a new voice product that mimics human conversation. Most users are blissfully unaware that they are speaking with an AI device, often showering it with compliments and even asking it out on dates.
Francesca Loftus, Elise’s head of operations, explains that these interactions mostly occur outside of regular work hours, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The AI assistants assist human agents who require rest to power their own systems.
Elise AI is not the only player in the field. Douglas Elliman’s Eklund-Gomes team recently introduced “Maya,” an AI assistant similar to ChatGPT. Maya has been described as captivating and has been developed over several years with significant investment. What sets her apart is her ability to always respond promptly, which many find enticing. In a city where time is of the essence, these AI assistants are making their mark.
While some might find it unsettling that an imaginary woman is considered an ideal broker interface, the advantage is clear – she actually responds. Many New York City brokers have developed a reputation for being unresponsive, leaving potential renters frustrated. As the real estate industry quietly embraces the digital age, these AI assistants are proving to be valuable allies in the search for the perfect apartment, available 24/7.
The robots have officially arrived in Manhattan, and they are here to help New Yorkers navigate the complex world of real estate. As AI technology continues to advance, we can expect even more innovative solutions and possibilities for the industry.