In the UK alone, there are 21,641 estate agents – all of whom are paid salaries ranging from £14,000 to £60,000 per year.
As the world begins to once again open up, estate agents across the globe are once again out in force but, maybe not for long.
As businesses look for new ways to cut costs, many people feel that there may be a new real estate kid on the block – the robot.
The role of the real estate agent can be a varied one and involves a number of tasks, including:
- Customer service
- Marketing of properties, including using social media and hashtags
- Valuing of properties
- Producing reports
- Handling enquiries
- Inventory management
- Showing potential buyers / tenants around properties
- Finance and payment management, including e-wallets
- Choosing and publishing photographs with the right file extensions, for example, TFF or RAW
Real estate agents are also often required to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the local area in order to inform potential buyers about important aspects of the region including schools, transport and nightlife.
If you’ve ever viewed a property to either buy or rent, you’ll no doubt have been shown around the place by a real life, human estate agent – but all of that may be about to change.
German estate agency, Kampmeyer, recently introduced Sam – the first ever robot estate agency. Born of the pandemic, Sam was enlisted to show potential buyers and renters around homes in order to limit the risk of transmission of Covid-19 but, post pandemic, it looks like he’s here to stay.
The robot estate agent presented a pandemic solution when customers preferred to view properties in real life rather than online.
As well as offering virtual, 3D viewings, Sam is also able to “walk viewers around a property” in order to allow them to see full details of the house or flat.
Customers are also able to use Sam to communicate directly with the mere mortal estate agents who are back at the office.
With wheels instead of legs, Sam stands at 1.70 metres tall and features a high resolution rotating camera, a microphone, sensors – and a sunny disposition.
Kampmeyer’s CEO, Roland Kampmeyer, says: “Sam is turning open houses into dynamic, fun digital experiences. We’ve had great feedback so far.
“Unlike other virtual viewings, Sam offers those looking to move house maximum freedom and independence to view the property at their own pace. The fact Sam can answer all their questions through direct access to our office is also a big plus for potential buyers.”
As the technology becomes more widespread, robots like Sam, which use Cloud Computing, may be used as standard in order to save agents’ time as they will be able to remain in the office while Sam or one of his siblings conducts viewings.
This technology is also likely to save estate agents’ money as the robots will almost certainly evolve in order to take on a number of customer service tasks.
Plenty of scope
While we’re sure that Sam and his pals won’t be replacing real life estate agents just yet, there is plenty of scope for agencies to get onboard with this technology and for it to work hand in hand with the humans.
With nothing but doom and gloom in the financial news headlines, businesses are looking to save cash wherever they can and, the robot estate agent may just be the solution to those businesses struggling to keep their heads above water.