real estate, much like they did in manufacturing.
Zillow Group Inc.’s online appraisal system has its algo- rithm learning to capture crude facts about values in the surrounding neighborhood, as well as more specific price indicators, such as hardwood floors or granite countertops. Then, based on the information, it provides an estimated value for the house. Although many professionals in the industry argue that computers will not be able to pick up on all the specifics and small details, Zillow and other com- panies are trying to prove them wrong. They are looking for interior and exterior features that make one home more valuable than another, so they can develop their algorithm to recognize details and features that will draw higher offers from buyers. Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored company that backs many U.S. mortgages, started allowing automated valuations for some refinancing loans in June of this year and it is looking to expand the program to new home pur- chases in the near future, proving that this is the way of the future and another reminder of how versatile computers and robots can be. Online appraisal companies have engineers mining their collection of photos on their websites.
By Jamie Barrie V ery much like the days of driving around neighbor- hood after neighborhood in your car or with and agent to look at homes to purchase, soon getting your new house appraised will just be a click away as computers and artificial intelligence are moving into appraisal industry and like other sectors replacing jobs that you normally consid- ered only possible to be done by live persons. Well Zillow Group, an online real estate database company that was founded in 2006, is looking to change all of that moving forward. In real estate it has been an industry given that property appraisal process needed to be done on site with a well trained professional with a specialized talent and skill. That might not be the case anymore as it seems that the approxi- mate 73,000 employees in the appraisal profession across the US might now start getting pushed out like other industries by automation as major advances in big data, computing and artificial intelligence are now finding their way into the mainstream of knowl- edge-based professions like
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • JULY 2017
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