Our team went down to cool and sunny Austin this year for the Digital Transformation Summit by BDX to learn what new digital trends are on the market and how the homebuilding industry is contending with new digital challenges in an ever-evolving space.
Tim Costello of BDX
How will AI Change Homebuilding?
Knowing that we’d be challenged by Tim Costello, CEO at BDX, to be disruptive and to disrupt ourselves, we wanted to address the massive force that is artificial intelligence and machine learning. All companies today, including homebuilders, sit on vast amounts of data. With the massive rise of cognitive intelligence tools such as Google Cloud and IBM Watson, our industry must begin to experiment with how to make use of AI to leverage that data.
Shagane Barsegian Launey, VP of Product Design, Ludmilla Schappert, EVP of Product, and Hamin Balaporia, EVP of Technology, hosted a workshop at the DCX Zonda lounge to help identify entry points for starting the AI journey.
The Meyers Research team at DCX 2018
If you have taken a Lyft or Uber, chances are you’ve encountered a chatbot. Intelligent chatbots are conversational user interfaces that send timely notifications or help us accomplish simple tasks. Or perhaps you have used a support bot to find a restaurant, which makes recommendations based on questions you ask. In this case, instead of having to browse through search results for “Chinese Restaurants nearby” and compare all the details between restaurants to make a decision, you might instead prefer the ease and the productivity of getting a personalized recommendation. Chatbots are able to make these types of recommendations by pulling data from a database of knowledge the software contains and making relationships with that data. There are countless other examples of how we can use AI; it’s been used to trace retail shopper trends by counting cars in parking lots, and to optimize job descriptions to have greater submission rates.
During our workshop, we mapped ideation paths for teams to explore pain points: work and people. If you conduct this exercise with your team, the insights you discover will help you track AI developments through a more focused lens and be ahead of the homebuilding industry to adopt advancements that ease and alleviate your pain points.
- What are you and your company slow at? How can we make it faster?
- What is repetitive? How can it be more intelligent?
- What tools do you use? How can they be enhanced?
- Where is your training effort? How can we shorten the cycle?
- What takes a lot of time? How can we expedite it?
- What is your largest labor force? How can we assist it?
Zonda: Your Tool For Democratizing Data
Although data has always been an integral part of the homebuilding industry, access was traditionally limited to those within a company’s research team, and not fully accessible to the greater organization. Extracting information from the data was slow and time-consuming, sometimes taking days to get answers. As we interacted with a diverse sales and marketing crowd at the Zonda Lounge over the course of the event, it was clear that the tide is changing for liberating intelligence.
Freeing up access to the data means that we are now seeing more teams framing their strategy on the foundation of data, no matter where they fall on the org chart. From executives who used to depend on someone to compile a report for them, or an analyst who was isolated from access to the data.
But not everybody is on board at first, and typically there are questions that organizations need answered in order to understand how data quality holds up and will integrate with the unique systems and processes established in their organizations. Thus, we will often first dive into discovery to understand your goals, your mix of tools, and to help your team with specific recommendations on where you can be running more efficiently, such as tracking pricing daily or opening instant access to the latest land listings. As we look ahead our goal is to help more builders have instant information at their fingertips.
Schedule Data Discovery
Top Tweets Showcasing Culture, Vision, and Innovation
From Lennar, BDX, Zappos, and Southwest Airlines, here are the top tweets we’ve gathered highlighting the biggest takeaways from each session:
Follow the hashtag #BDXSummit to read more trending tweets on what happened at DCX.