【Press Release】The seminar report on the "Threat and Potential Use of AI in the Real Estate Industry" Seminar hosted by Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corporation, which Katsutoshi Yamada, COO of Recursive, Inc. attended as a panelist.
Recursive, Inc. announced that Katsutoshi Yamada, co-founder and COO of Recursive, had attended a panelist at the Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corporation Group internal seminar. Here is a summary of the seminar.
From left to right: Mr. Aoki of Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corporation, Mr. Yamada of Recursive, and Mr. Kuniyasu from alt Inc.
The speakers were Mr. Takahiro Aoki ("Mr. Aoki"), who joined Tokyu Fudosan Corporation in 1994 and after planning asset development in the Urban Business Unit, is responsible for formulating overall DX strategies as General Manager of the Group DX Promotion Department of Tokyu Fudosan Corporation HD, and Mr. Kuniyasu from alt Inc., who develops and commercializes personal AI created by AI cloning technology. ("alt"), an AI DX consultant and business development manager, and Katsutoshi Yamada ("Mr. Yamada"), who founded Recursive with Tiago Ramalho in 2020. The talk session started.
Q1.About the challenges of using generative AI internally and ideas that can be deployed in the real estate industry.
Mr. Kuniyasu of alt Inc. mentioned that using the tool of AI is an important perspective, but what kind of value is created using that AI is even more important. He explained that he often hears that most employees are not utilizing ChatGPT even though it has been introduced in their companies, but this should be reversed as a way of thinking.
He went on to talk about three perspectives based on his past experiences in the real estate industry. According to Kuniyasu, there are parts of the real estate industry that have not been digitized yet. For example, when sales know-how, which is difficult to be templated, is not being passed on to people, it is important to accumulate this know-how in the form of data and develop a system to automate it by learning natural language models. Next, he continues that it would be beneficial to collect a lot of information that exists in the real estate industry, such as location and pricing information, and have AI learn it.
Finally, he explained that efficiency improvements, such as email automation, should also be considered, and by looking at these three improvements, the real estate industry will be able to make better use of digital technology.
Q2. About the possibility of Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corporation's utilization in the renewable energy business (solar and wind power).
Mr. Yamada of Recursive started the discussion on the simulation of renewable energy generation using Recursive's product, Borealis ("Borealis"). He explained that renewable energy is a topic of interest not only in Japan but also worldwide, and that Borealis can simulate power generation using AI based on solar, wind, and other weather data, and by incorporating hazard maps and other data that take natural disasters into account, more precise simulations can be performed. Borealis can simulate power generation using AI based on meteorological data such as solar and wind power. He added that Borealis can support renewable energy projects on small sites because of the accuracy of its simulations, which can be done on a 100-meter scale.
He also noted that Borealis can be used not only to simulate power generation, but also to solve climate-influenced issues such as demand forecasting, taking into account changes in human behavior due to climate effects. He said that in the future, he aims to use Borealis to solve a variety of climate-related issues.
Q3. Ideas for using AI in the Shibuya area.
Mr. Aoki of Tokyu Fudosan HD asked for opinions on how to utilize the large amount of information accumulated in an urban area such as Shibuya.
Mr. Kuniyasu began by saying that by incorporating transfer information in addition to the wealth of information contained in human voices, the value of a place could be evaluated in a more multidimensional way. For example, he explained that this could be applied to marketing and urban planning, for example, by considering measures to increase marketing effectiveness for places with a positive image and measures to attract customers for places with a negative image.
Mr. Yamada also mentioned the Shibuya Marui, which is scheduled to open in 2026 as Japan's first full-scale wooden commercial facility, and said that by proposing a sophisticated exterior design while taking sustainability into consideration, it may be possible to create new value for the Shibuya area. Specifically, he said that AI could propose multiple designs, select equipment and building materials that take CO2 emissions into account, and so on, with the aim of creating a sophisticated and attractive design. He added that he feels that these ideas could be brushed up by humans based on the AI's capabilities, creating new attractive spots in the Shibuya district that would attract attention from around the world.
Q4. How to practically incorporate AI in the business developed by the Tokyu Fudosan Corporation HD Group.
Recently, inbound demand has been increasing and the number of tourists from overseas has been growing, but in order to provide sufficient hospitality, there is a problem of a shortage of human resources at accommodation facilities, and we are trying to solve this problem by using AI to create shifts and optimize resources, etc. In the real estate brokerage business, we are also trying to solve the problem by using AI to improve customer service. Mr. Aoki asked what the two AI professionals thought about the use of AI.
Mr. Kuniyasu stated that what Tokyu Fudosan HD's customers value is a prompt and appropriate response to general questions, and that he believes that AI may be able to replace 80% of all responses in this regard. He explained that by covering the part that can respond quickly and accurately, a coexistence can be realized where humans can show hospitality to the remaining 20% of the customers. He added that, in terms of improving customer service, there is also the option of using avatars and clones rather than chatbots to reply to customers.
Mr. Yamada also stressed that the value of inbound travel is so important to Japan's economy that AI, which excels at multilingual support, should be utilized. He agreed with Kuniyasu that using technology to focus on hospitality and creativity, which only humans can do, would add value to Japan's tourism industry. He also cited his own multinational colleagues as an example of how he believes the language barrier will be dramatically reduced with the use of generative AI.
Q5. What should employees keep in mind when implementing and operating AI in the company?
Mr. Aoki raised a new consultation.
He said that in the real estate business, various specialized knowledge such as construction, related laws, taxation, and accounting is necessary, but at the same time, he thinks it is important to acquire new knowledge of digital and AI, and to cooperate with experts in each field to advance the practice. He then asked if there were any important points or thoughts on how to acquire digital and AI knowledge in practice.
Mr. Yamada suggested three things to try that he could recommend. First, make a habit of updating yourself. For example, he said, based on his own experience, that by using social networking services and following media that interest you, you will always acquire new information, and if you immediately search for and look up questions and things that interest you, you will acquire a lot of knowledge and generate new ideas over the course of a year.
Second, try out the AI project. By setting an objective for an issue and turning in a specialized project, new knowledge and results can be gained. However, instead of being reckless, he explains that you can acquire practical skills by clarifying the objectives of the AI project and working on it.
Recently, he added, more and more large companies and startups are collaborating on projects, and such collaboration, in which a large company sends personnel to a startup to participate in a joint project, can be a very beneficial experience, as it allows the two parties to enter the field and exchange ideas and opinions on how to proceed with each other's projects. He added that such a collaboration would be a very beneficial experience, as it would allow for mutual progress and exchange of ideas.
In response, Mr. Kuniyasu pointed out that it is important to consider having people learn how to use AI and how to make the best use of AI. Specifically, he explained that he believes that by finding areas of work that can be automated or replaced by AI in the work we are currently doing, and utilizing AI, we can create an environment that will allow everyone to do more creative and rich work.
Q6. Questions from participants.
My first question is: We have a large amount of various paper data in our company, which we sometimes wish we could utilize for AI, but it is difficult to devote time to input data. Can you give me some advice on this? The question was, "What is your advice on this?
Mr. Yamada said that Japan is a paper-intensive culture, and that in the past it was predicted that the amount of paper use would decrease, but in fact the data shows that it has not. He responded that it is still important to digitize paper, and now that AI-OCR has evolved and there are many tools that can easily digitize paper, it is important to try even small-scale implementation.
The last question was about how some participants might think that generative and custom AI might be a threat in the real estate industry.
Mr. Kuniyasu stated that the important thing is not to use AI, but to always think about what AI can do instead. He stressed that it is important, especially in the real estate industry, for people to be careful not to lose their original judgment in response to the results of AI judgments.
The seminar ended with the advice to keep in mind that AI is not a threat, and that the world in which humans and AI coexist will become more and more widespread.
Seminar Participant's Comments
We also received the following comments from the participants after the seminar.
“It was interesting to hear the real voices of the people concerned about generative AI reported in the news, etc."
“As mentioned in the Q&A session, unlike the title of the seminar, I felt AI has a future or potential more than ever.”
"I could understand the outline of AI. I will discuss this with the DX staff in my department to see if I can put it to practical use right away."
Recursive will continue to promote its business to create a more AI-based sustainable society.