Meet Your Virtual “Staff”: Artificial Intelligence Tools

Beth Ziesenis
By Beth Ziesenis

Exciting new apps and email tools can help you make appointments, remember important deadlines, organize and respond to emails, categorize receipts, manage your money, and improve both your image and your images.

The scary stories about artificial intelligence (AI) conjure up images of soulless robots and self-driving cars. But, in reality, technology that uses AI can help real estate professionals with everyday tasks and growing their businesses.

Get Through Your Email Faster

You’re too busy to scroll through every email, one at a time. Specialized email apps use AI technologies to organize emails, draft responses, identify important messages, and keep spam at bay.

Inbox by Gmail. Gmail’s souped-up email app has AI capability that “reads” your email and crafts three potential responses that you can simply click and send. For example, if you receive an email from a contractor thanking you for your help, Inbox by Gmail offers three quick responses: “Thank you.” “Thank you, too!” and “You’re welcome!” The responses are based on what you might logically respond as well as Inbox’s understanding of your response habits. Choose one of the prewritten responses and hit the send button. You’ve saved seconds on this one email. Then multiply that by the two hundred emails remaining in your inbox, and you recapture valuable time each day.

Astro. Another email tool has a virtual assistant that helps keep you on track with your email, contacts, and appointments. Astro helps you organize emails, prioritize important messages, snooze messages for a reminder later, track opens, and more. But its secret AI sauce is a feature called Astrobot. Astrobot is a friendly chatting robot that helps you declutter your inbox, remember important deadlines, and get back to the emails you may have missed.

Schedule Meetings without a Thousand Emails

When you want to meet a client for coffee, you can spend more time going back and forth for a time to meet than you would sipping your latte. Several AI tools use access to your online calendar (like Google Calendar) to find times to meet with your clients—without all that back-and-forth. One of the most affordable of the automated scheduling systems is the oddly named When you sign up, a “virtual assistant” named Amy Ingram (AI — get it?) works as your scheduler. Just copy Amy on your communication with people with whom you want to meet. Amy takes it from there, writing to your contact directly to find a time to meet. Like other AI tools, Amy understands casual conversations and can extract the time and date from a contact’s message with ease.

Improve Your Social Media Posts (and Your Selfies!)

Posting pictures of a new listing is no longer enough to make a splash on social media. Take your images to a new level with the help of apps that improve images using artificial intelligence.

Prisma. Turn your ordinary property pictures into works of art with Prisma, an image filter tool that applies an artsy look to your images. Your posts attract more attention with a little post-modern pop look or a style from the romantic period.

YouCam Perfect. As a real estate professional, your image is everything. Improve your portraits with AI help from YouCam Perfect. The app smooths skin, obscures lines, and literally puts you in your best light.

Organize Your Finances

When the receipts on your desk are piled high, it’s time to get help from AI. Apps can help you organize expenses and manage your money.

Expensify. Expensify is a time-honored system for receipt management and expense reports. Just snap pictures of your receipts with your phone, and Expensify uses AI to “read” the receipt and code it by category, date, location, and more.

Kasisto. No time for a trip to the bank? No worries! Kasisto is your AI banker. Just text back and forth with a virtual teller to keep an eye on your balances, transfer money, and more.

Beth ZiesenisBeth Ziesenis is Your Nerdy Best Friend. She is the author of several books about technology, including The Big Book of Apps, and travels the country talking to organizations about free and bargain technology.