US listings portal Zillow has launched a new AI-powered feature that lets prospective buyers search for homes in the same way they would describe it to their friends and family.
Instead of going through the tick-a-box of property features, searchers can now type phrases like ‘$700,000 homes in Charlotte with a backyard’ or ‘open house near me with four bedrooms’ directly into the Zillow search bar, the company says.
This offers Zillow users a faster way of finding a property that meets their search criteria than the traditional route of starting with a location and having to filter homes by features, according to the company.
Users can then save these phrases to receive an alert each time a property that matches is listed.
The tool uses ‘natural language’ technology powered by artificial intelligence to operate.
Jenny Arden, Zillow’s chief design officer, said it offered buyers a more natural way to search for their next home.
“Beyond easy-to-filter criteria like bedrooms and bathrooms, buyers are considering many other specific features that match their unique lifestyle,” Ms Arden said.
“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.”
The tool also trains machine learning models to better respond to queries that read like ‘human-like’ sentences.
Zillow is the first major residential real estate marketplace to implement this advanced, AI-powered search engine for the home shopping experience.
The new tool adds to Zillow’s stable of AI-powered features including the ‘Zestimate’ function.
“The future of real estate will be powered through AI,” Ms Arden said.
“We are proud to be the first in the industry to offer this smarter way to search, and excited to see how it learns and evolves to help each Zillow shopper find their perfect home.”