AI isn’t just a buzzword to these housing executives

How six companies are leveraging artificial intelligence

Are you intrigued by AI or tired of hearing about it? At the recent ICE experience conference, I talked to a lot of mortgage lenders and tech folks about what’s making a difference in their businesses. Many were excited about the current or potential use cases for artificial intelligence, while others were a bit more jaded. Will AI turn out to be just the latest buzzword, akin to blockchain and cloud computing in years past?

I’ve interviewed more than 25 tech executives since September for HousingWire’s HousingStack newsletter and to a person they are bullish on AI. Many of these executives are already seeing efficiencies and real gains from AI. Others are in the process of leveraging it for bigger projects and better ROI. Below are excerpts that show how some of those executives are using AI. You can find every interview here.

Shayan Hamidi, REchat CEO:

I think if you want to innovate, you need to be able to think long-term. I don’t think anyone’s ever innovated in the short-term. So you need to be able to have the appetite for that: be willing to take the risks and be willing to be patient for quite some time. And I think AI is one of those things. You can do some fun, cool stuff with it very quickly, but then if you want to start doing meaningful things, it’s a big long-term investment, at least today.

Chad Roffers, Concierge Auctions CEO:

We’re in an environment that is hyper-competitive. In the past, industries would drive technological change — a consumer didn’t realize they needed something until industry built it. But now, especially in real estate, the consumer is pulling the industry along. The consumers want the benefits of tech they have in other aspects of their lives and they are the ones demanding tech innovations. The people and companies in the real estate industry who are recognizing that and accepting it and getting on with it rather that working like they did 10 years ago are the people who are winning.

Paul Hurst, First American Chief Innovation Officer:

Lots of people talk about AI in real estate as: how do we reduce the number of FTEs at our company? I think that’s kind of a minimalist way of looking at things. I like to think about how much more business each of our people could be doing if they are able to focus on the human elements of a transaction. How do you enable these super-powered humans to do more transactions and make more money in the process?

Trevor Gauthier, ACES CEO:

We’re dealing with data lakes and data warehouses, and just massive amounts of data from a variety of different systems of record. So we’re interested in any tools that can help dig through that data and speed the audit process. And then also looking at component size audits. For example, folks will say, ‘Hey, we’re currently testing 10% of the loans that we do, and we want to do a full audit on these 10%, but we want to do a partial audit on the other 90%.’ So how do we have the tools to do that audit really rapidly and have it be lightweight for them?

Uday Devalla, Sagent CTO:

 I think a lot of people are jumping into AI without being prepared for it. It reminds me of the early days of cloud computing, and how everybody jumped on it. But then all they did was ship their data centers to the cloud, and that was very, very expensive. People realized that to actually use their own computing, you have to transform your platform architecture. And that journey took years for people — in places maybe 10 years.

Jim Butler, Stavvy CTO:

What we’re doing today with AI is more horizonal than industry specific. We’re using OpenAI to do a basic first round of triage and false positive detection on the stream of low level security events that we get, which we set up for SOC 2 compliance. It’s a noisy stream and we want to focus on higher-value things. A close cousin to that is the vulnerability scans we’re constantly doing, going through chatGPT, a classification and resolution recommendation that will get slacked to the right person for more efficiency.

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