It wasn’t long ago that Nigel Dalton, chief inventor at the REA Group, said that real estate robots may eventually replace the average agent in 2020. Now a new partnership between Chinese international property portal Juwai.com and Macau-based robotics company Singou Technology Ltd means that this reality may be coming sooner than expected.
However, Dave Platter, Global PR & Communications Director at Juwai.com, asserts that the robots “are not intended to replace agents or salespeople – but to increase the range of buyers that these can serve”.
As part of the partnership, Singou Technology will supply Juwai.com with an estimated 5,000 customer service robots per year to serve Chinese international property buyers with Australia being one of the pilot countries.
Designed to be friendly and approachable, the bilingual robots, named Butler 1, can speak both Mandarin and English and are intended to help real estate agents and developers better communicate with Chinese buyers.
Butler 1 will be powered by Singou Technology’s artificial intelligence (AI) engine and programmed with Juwai.com’s data and insights from the last five years to improve chatbot features and user experience.
"Singou’s AI chatbot engine will enable Juwai.com to improve and scale the service we provide to consumers. We will use the AI and chatbot to crunch data, handle basic requests, and speed processing,” said Carrie Law, CEO of Juwai.com.
As early as next month, Juwai.com will be showcasing the robots at international property industry events in China and deploying them to the offices of international property marketers in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, the US and either Canada or the UK for training purposes. Data and insights gathered from these pilot countries will be used to train the AI engine.
Law notes that “China plans to be the global leader in artificial intelligence and robotics by 2030” and a few hundred Butler 1 robots are expected to be in operation by the end of 2019.
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