Robotic Age

By on Jul 11, 2013 in Technology | 1 Comment

You might not have realized it, but there are robots among us. Thanks to dramatic advances in technology, the real estate industry has evolved rapidly over the past few decades, and those changes have not been limited to the smartphone/tablet revolution. The field of robotics has progressed rapidly, too, making it possible for property owners and managers to enjoy the benefits of robots that can mow lawns, take listings photos and even sell sundries to residents in need.

Want to learn more about today’s crop of real estate robots? Keep reading to discover our four favorites.

The Robot Shop

Q: When can a robot be a profit-generating resident amenity for multifamily housing?

A: When it takes the form of a robotic convenience store!

Imagine supplying residents with a convenient, nearby shop that never closes and never has staffing problems. A place tired parents can visit when they run out of milk, without having to bundle the kids into the car or find a sitter. A place students can grab a snack without taking time away from their studies. A place that generates revenue by providing a useful, fully-automated service. Enter the robot shop.

Robotic convenience stores starting popping up at apartment complexes in Texas last year, packed to the gills with everything from salty snacks to cleaning supplies to motor oil. These self-contained shops can be placed indoors or outdoors, stock up to 200 products and are open 24/7 – ideal for high-traffic complexes.


Each module is able to accept cash, credit and debit cards. The stores come equipped with video surveillance and can be managed online, in real time. Shop24 Global LLC, the company that produces these robot shops, takes care of all the stocking and maintenance issues, so housing staff can stay focused on their existing daily tasks. A helpful robot that makes money? Sounds like a great idea to us!

Other Real Estate Robots

Photography Drones: Both commercial and residential real estate agencies have discovered the marketing potential of drones – small, remote-controlled helicopters equipped with cameras and image stabilizing systems. Used to capture enigmatic aerial images for dynamic real estate listings, these robotic photographers are particularly suited to taking photos or video of large properties, like a corporate park, or estates in remarkable locations. Need a bird’s eye view of a seaside villa for your brochure or website? Hire a drone.

Automatic Lawnmowers: Properties large or small can benefit from the latest advances in automated lawncare. The recent generation of green machines is somewhat similar to in-home robotic vacuums. You program a mowing schedule, and your robotic mower departs from its charging base at the selected time, returning to the base when finished mowing and edging the designated area. Additional features include a child safety lock and anti-theft protection. Some models can even be programmed to travel from lawn to lawn, ideal for maintaining more extensive grounds.

Agent Bots: Could robots replace real estate agents at open houses? The Personal Robotics Group at MIT thinks so. They’re developing lifelike robots that can interact with humans. At an open house, for example, a robot will greet visitors at the door, scan their state-issued ID card to collect their information for the brokerage, show them around the house and answer their questions. (No word yet on whether they will be able to bake fresh chocolate chip cookies, too.)

Robots have entered the real estate workforce not to replace humans, but to make our jobs easier. By automating smaller tasks, we can spend more time focused on the larger issues we face every day. Of course there will always be an industry need for professional photographers, landscape designers and real estate agents. We’re betting on it… because helping real estate agents is what we do!

What kind of robots do you anticipate entering the real estate industry in the near future? We’d love to hear your predictions!