Real Estate News: “Zillow is making it easier for home shoppers to find exactly what they want on the search portal — without all the clicks. The company announced a new “natural language search” feature that is now live on the Zillow app for iOS users and will soon arrive on Android devices. The search feature allows shoppers to “ask” for specific types of properties, using the same kind of language they would use when talking to a person. Zillow is the first major residential real estate marketplace to introduce AI-powered search for consumers. Most home search portals, including Zillow, have typically required shoppers to enter a location and then select from a variety of filters — price, number of beds or bath, amenities and more — in order to get the results they want. With its new AI-enabled search bar, Zillow users can specify those details all at once, and include features that aren’t listed among the default filters, by typing something like “3-bedroom homes with a pool near a park” or “open house near me under $400,000.” Shoppers can also save their natural-language searches and turn on notifications to alert them when a new qualifying listing is posted.
Beyond easy-to-filter criteria like bedrooms and bathrooms, buyers are considering many other specific features that match their unique lifestyle,” said Jenny Arden, Zillow’s chief design officer, in a news release. “This new tool is a game changer for home shopping, because it helps shorten the sometimes long and stressful house-hunting process by creating an easy, more modern way to search, and it delivers relevant search results in a simple, uncluttered way.” With millions of unique visitors each month, the new feature is expected to have an impact on how people search for homes. It’s the latest example of companies using artificial intelligence on a consumer platform; other real estate and financial firms like Compass and LoanSnap have begun using AI to help with different aspects of the homebuying transaction, and the public launch of ChatGPT in December is likely to spur more real estate forays into natural language AI.