AI is something on everyones lips right now, it’s in the news, in print, and at every conference or seminar you attend.
Although AI properly stands for Artificial Intelligence, this is really a misnomer as one keynote speaker recently pointed out, AI should really be understood instead as Augmented intelligence. This is simply because AI has a key vulnerability in one crucial way, AI can only provide answers. The questions however come from the creativity, experience, and analysis of a human brain which is why AI is not a replacement for Artificial Intelligence, but rather an incredibly cool tool to augment our intelligence.
With that as our starting point, let’s consider some basics in this area of AI and real estate.
How AI Can Help
Listing real property is a complex multi-point activity that changes dynamically in unexpected ways, at unexpected times. Because of this REALTORS® use multiple tools to accomplish the seamless process that sellers expect. I won’t bore you with the normal ones, but AI presents some new opportunities for efficiency that many may not have considered.
The most popular current use among them of course is the ability to have AI help with a listing description for public remarks. By giving a detailed prompt to an AI tool, you are quickly provided with a listing description to match the prompts, so the prompt is important as the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. AI-based tools also include options to collate market research into demographics, economic factors, suggest features that may be valuable to buyers in a given neighborhood, walkability of a particular address and so much more.
As mentioned, AI tools are only as effective in giving what you want, as you are in providing correct information for it to work with. Here is a good framework to get started:
Step 1: Tell the AI their perspective by giving a persona for it to imitate.
Example: “You are a real estate marketing expert”, “You are a tour guide”, “You are an emotional teenager” etc.
Step 2: Tell the AI your request in the form of a need.
Example: “I need you to tell me the top-rated restaurants in Happy Hollow, AB”, “I need you to write a description of a home in Bakers Acres, AB that has 3 bedrooms, …”, or “I need you to tell me about the parks within walking distance of 123 Any street”
Step 3: Tell the AI the tone you are requesting the information be returned in.
Example: “I want the information in an uplifting and exciting tone”, “I want the result in a professional but relaxed tone”, “I want the information in a casual, country tone”
Step 4: Tell the AI the format you need the results in.
Example: “I need the results in a table format”, “I need the results to be no more than 1,020 characters including spaces”, “I need the results in point form”
Don’t Be Dumb
I would expect it would go without saying, but for some reason the popularity of AI-based tools has mistakenly led folks to believe AI is infallible. This is false, and catastrophically so.
AI is only a tool generating outputs based on your inputs and it does make mistakes as a feature, not a bug. By providing a wide variance in its ability to answer your inputs contextually, AI is designed to provide outputs that it has calculated to match what you want. But you have to know that the tool has never been to the property, doesn’t know your market, and can’t capture the small details of how a property should be described so you should never use AI to write or edit a listing description, or provide data that you aren’t prepared to review and correct yourself for accuracy and value. AI may describe a hoarder's house as enchanting, a one-bedroom condo as expansive, or mention nearby parks that don’t actually exist. It makes mistakes, so your job is to carefully review and verify the accuracy of the information and the way it has presented the property so when a buyer actually shows up to the property, they see what they expected, and can rely on the information you have put out there.
One final thought on the use of AI is a quick refresher on copyright law in Alberta concerning AI. When you begin using an AI-based tool they, like all technology providers, have you agree to an End User License Agreement (EULA). In that agreement copyright will be discussed, and from the main line tools I have seen you agree that any information you share with the tool can be used and re-used by the tool in perpetuity. On the input side, it is a bad idea to put confidential information into an AI tool since it can be used in ways you never expected. Additionally, whatever you give to the tool such as your own intellectual property or images you have taken can be used to generate future outputs for other users. On the output side of the equation, whatever AI provides you may or may not be copyrighted by the company that owns the tool, and your use of it may be restricted. Do your homework and read the EULA to know what your risks are.
When AI is placed in the proper mental bucket as a tool and not a replacement for common sense, the possibility of how it can help summarize, simplify, and suggest data outputs is truly impressive and exciting. Like a hammer is useful to build, it can also destroy, and so too is the possibility of the use of AI. Using it properly as an augmentation to your own intelligence is the right way to think of this new tool and how it should be used. Oh, and if you have seen any movie about robots, they always try and kill us in the end…You have been warned ??.
Provincial Practice Advisor
Bryan has many years of experience in the real estate industry including over 10 years as a former broker in the Edmonton Region.
Email: email@example.comPhone: 403-209-3619