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Translate in Office 365 Is a Game Changer for Real Estate

June 11 2018

microsoft translatorMicrosoft released a new feature in Office 365 that is a game changer for real estate. Microsoft Translator allows users to convert any type of document into a foreign language.

For years now, G Suite has been eroding Microsoft's dominant market share in the real estate business, mostly driven by price and the extensibility of Gmail. By extensibility, I mean that you can add apps into Gmail that allow it to do more things.

Real estate agents and brokers have known for a long time that the Google Translate app does a pretty poor job of language translation. Microsoft supports fewer languages (about 50), but has focused more on quality over the quantity of languages supported. Some reports say that Google's accuracy is only about 60 percent accurate. I was not able to get any reliable data on Microsoft Translator accuracy, but I can tell you that my 15-year-old daughter checks her Spanish III homework in both Google and Microsoft, and she reports that Microsoft wins hands down every time.

Today, real estate agents are usually offered an email service from their brokerage – either Microsoft 365 or G Suite. The ability to translate real estate documents should never be relied upon. Many real estate attorneys suggest that you point your foreign language customer to the tool for translation rather than translating it for your customer. Real estate professionals would not want to compromise a contract based upon a misconception that is caused by a faulty translation. However, where Microsoft Translator may help is converting a foreign language document from a customer into English.

Both Immobel and Proxio provide translation services for real estate and are very popular for translating listings into multiple languages and currencies. In speaking to both of these companies, their guidance is the same – putting property information into a foreign language is a courtesy. When you try to communicate in a client's native language, they appreciate the effort.

Here is a link to a page at Microsoft that talks about the integration of Micosoft Translate into Microsoft 365. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.