The FORT Podcast: Chris Powers & Jason Baxter – Foster: How Fort Is Harnessing The Power of Advanced Data and Artificial Intelligence

Jason Baxter joined us at Fort in 2015, bringing more than 25 years of real estate industry experience, an acute passion for entrepreneurship, and a vision for transforming big ideas into reality. As Chief Executive Officer/President, Jason oversees our strategic vision and execution of acquisitions, finances, and annual planning. In addition, Jason oversees the Fort Leadership Team and Investment Committee.

In this conversation, Chris Powers sits down with his partner and Fort CEO Jason Baxter to share in great detail how we are thinking about and using AI. Jason and Chris discuss our proprietary operating system, FOS, and how they’re leveraging AI to build our next chapter.

On this episode, Chris and Jason discuss:

  • Finding a single source of truth
  • Building Fort’s AI thesis
  • Examples of Foster at work

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts


(00:00:00) – Intro

(00:00:42) – The importance of technology

(00:05:00) – Finding the single source of truth

(00:09:24) – Building Fort’s AI thesis

(00:11:48) – How the world uses AI vs. how Fort uses AI

(00:18:15) – Examples of Foster at work

(00:28:35) – What does Foster think Foster is?

(00:31:46) – Why does all this matter?

Episode Summary

Jason Baxter, an influential figure in real estate and technology, delves into the innovative integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in the real estate sector. Baxter, known for his pioneering work at Fort, shares his expertise on leveraging AI to transform traditional real estate practices.

Chris Powers shares the initial stages of his partnership with Baxter, which started back in 2016, and how a trip to Singularity University in Silicon Valley profoundly influenced their strategic direction. This experience opened their eyes to the potential of AI and structured data in revolutionizing business operations, a vision that would shape our future trajectory.

Baxter emphasizes the concept of a “single source of truth,” a centralized database system that aggregates data from various internal sources such as emails, property management software, and marketing tools. This system is designed to eliminate data silos within the organization, ensuring that all information is accessible and consistent across different departments. The goal is to streamline decision-making processes and enhance operational efficiency by having a unified and accurate data repository.

One of the core discussions featured revolves around the practical applications of AI in managing and analyzing real estate investments. Baxter details how we have developed our AI capabilities to not only gather and organize data but also to derive actionable insights that inform strategic decisions. This includes the use of large language models and other AI tools that enable the company to rapidly adapt to new opportunities and efficiently execute business strategies.

A significant part of the conversation is dedicated to explaining how our AI system, referred to as “Foster,” functions as an integral part of the company’s operations. Foster is capable of performing complex data analyses, providing summaries of business meetings, managing data across departments, and offering strategic recommendations. This system enhances our ability to respond to market changes and internal demands promptly, ultimately leading to improved operational effectiveness and competitive advantage.

Baxter also touches on the challenges of integrating AI within traditional business frameworks. He notes the importance of starting with a solid foundation of structured data to fully leverage AI technologies. The discussion includes technical insights into the process of building and maintaining a robust data infrastructure that can support advanced AI functionalities.

Baxter and Powers explore how AI can provide a competitive edge by enabling more informed decision-making and more efficient management of resources. The use of AI is portrayed not just as a technological advancement but as a strategic imperative that can dictate the future success of real estate ventures.

Baxter’s experiences and insights offer valuable lessons for other companies looking to harness the power of AI in their operations. For professionals in the real estate and technology sectors, the discussion offers a rich source of information and inspiration, showcasing the practical benefits and strategic importance of embracing AI in today’s business landscape.

The FORT is produced by Johnny Podcasts

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