Real Estate

ChatGPT Plugin To Empower Zumper Search Experience

Machine learning has been a component of Zumper’s overall solution for some time, but its ChatGPT use will enhance consumer-facing interactions primarily in terms of search, according to the company.

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Rental industry software provider Zumper is the latest proptech to further integrate ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence engine built by software company OpenAI, according to a June 1 announcement.

Zumper provides a wide range of automation solutions for all categories of real estate rentals, including short-term vacation homes and hotels. Machine learning has been a component of its overall solution for some time, but its ChatGPT use will enhance consumer-facing interactions primarily in terms of search, allowing “rental search with data that goes well beyond what’s possible with standard filters,” according to the company.

“One of the standout features of our ChatGPT plugin is its capacity to leverage data points from various sources, including images and Zumper’s location-specific datasets such as proximity to schools, nightlife, and grocery stores,” said Zumper Chief Experience Officer Shalin Amin in a blog post. “This capability allows it to yield comprehensive search results that are currently beyond the reach of existing user interfaces, all without the need to open multiple windows or sites.”

The apartment search capabilities will enable more natural, long-form search queries, a now common use of ChatGPT’s LLM or large language modeling. For example, “Find apartments in South Lake Tahoe with views of the lake that allow dogs.”

Website Machine Learning Mastery, a resource for AI developers explains “a large language model is a trained deep-learning model that understands and generates text in a human-like fashion. Behind the scene, it is a large transformer model that does all the magic.“

The “GPT” in ChatGPT stands for “Generative Pre-Trained Transformer.”

Zillow, Redfin, Doss and other industry search and brokerage entities use long-form search to better assist aspiring home buyers and renters. Doss led the way, using it first in voice search upon the onset of smart speakers. A difference also exists between using ChatGPT’s plugin and creating a deep integration, the latter enabling a more seamless experience because of the sharing of native code between applications, whereas plugins are external extensions.

Zumper’s use of the plugin can also provide longer narratives of properties and lifestyle components as well as respond directly to user questions.

Users can input requests directly into Zumper’s mobile app as they would during any other typical text interaction. The software will respond with images, location data, costs and other pertinent search needs.

Zumper said it has big plans for AI.

“Visualize a rental search that transcends basic inputs and genuinely comprehends your implicit needs,” Amin said. “The experience would be comparable to conversing with a seasoned travel agent rather than merely inputting data into a search interface. You could detail your desire for a home that is bathed in natural light, faces south, or falls within a specific school district. You could highlight your preference for a safe neighborhood or indicate your ideal commute duration.”

The company will also use it to create rental market reports, housing forecasts and regional analyses.

“We believe this move will foster greater transparency and facilitate more informed decision-making for tenants, landlords, and policymakers alike,” said Amin.

Zumper, like many proptechs, was required to reduce its employee count in June 2022 by 15 percent. However, less than two months later it wrapped a Series D funding round of $30 million, money it would put toward expansion into the short-term rental category. That round totaled $178 million in funding for the company.

Email Craig Rowe

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