If you always wanted to work with Chinese real estate investors but had no idea how you would start the conversation, Singou Technology of Macau (STM) and Chinese international real estate website Juwai.com may have some answers for you. Juwai.com announced this week that it will partner with STM to introduce a line of Mandarin-speaking robots. The machines will be called “Butler 1” and have artificial intelligence programming. They are intended for use in real estate offices.

“The robots are really designed to help offices that do not have a Mandarin speaker, said Juwai.com CEO Carrie Law. She suggested the robots could “assist the receptionist in greeting Mandarin speakers until the Mandarin-speaking agent or salesperson can come and take over” in offices that do have such an individual.

Law said the robots will first debut in a pilot program designed to identify common phrases and questions. “This will allow the A.I. engine behind the robots to work better with consumers,” she explained.

Interestingly, Juwai.com is already thinking far beyond the receptionist capabilities it currently touts for the robots. These capabilities may ultimately include marketing the robots as monitoring services for seniors living on their own. “Imagine a situation in which a solitary elderly person has a health emergency,” Law explained. “No one is there to notice or call for help. The robot could do so.”

The pilot program is slated to begin within the month in Malaysia, Singapore, the United States, Australia, Canada, and the U.K. The U.S. could have “a few hundred” of the machines in place by the end of 2019 “if demand is high enough,” company representatives predicted. However, they emphasized, the robots are not intended to replace humans, but support them. “Will this innovation threaten the niche that many multilingual or bilingual agents have worked hard to carve out?” asked RISMedia associate content editor Liz Dominguez. “If these robots become mainstream in real estate and are developed with the skillsets to communicate in various languages, they could level the playing field for bilingual and monolingual agents,” she concluded.

Categories | Article | Market & Trends
  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at SelfDirected.org or reach Carole directly by emailing Carole@selfdirected.org.

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