Two forces are on a collision course in 2023 and both relate to how real estate professionals communicate with current and prospective clients.
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On one side is generative AI – ChatGPT and the many other free, publicly available tools that are transforming the way some real estate businesses manage day-to-day tasks.
On the other is your credibility – a precious commodity for every real estate professional.
ChatGPT’s launch late last year sparked a chain of events with significant implications for businesses everywhere.
For the real estate sector, these tools can automate everything from agreements and property descriptions to client responses and data analysis.
There’s no doubt bot helpers can give hours back to your day. At the same time, it’s your personal credibility that drives the relationships crucial to your business.
What is it?
ChatGPT is a computer program that simulates conversation with humans. Powered by artificial intelligence and built using Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture, it’s designed to understand prompts and generate human-like responses.
ChatGPT is free and anyone can create an account to access it.
Since its public launch last November it has already been improved. ChatGPT4, released in March, surpasses human results in bar exams at multiple US law schools.
While it’s made a huge impact, ChatGPT is only the beginning of tools that generate human-like material in response to your prompts. The list of platforms is growing daily and includes:
• Smartdraw — creates floor plans and property layout diagrams
• Descript — lets you edit videos simply by changing words in your script
• Maverick — enables you to create personalised videos at scale for prospects and customers at each stage of their journey
• App.runwayml.com — generates videos and images from your prompts
• Elevenlabs.io — voice cloning software generates voice overs from text
• Sendsteps.com — creates a fully-branded presentation in less than a minute
Microsoft will soon integrate generative AI technology into its standard applications like Word and Excel.
What are the risks for the real estate industry?
Generative AI can take over many time-consuming tasks. The positives are staggering, provided humans still control the quality of the finished product.
There are also risks:
• Inaccuracy: AI platforms like ChatGPT may generate incorrect or misleading information.
• Data privacy and security: Generative AI relies on large sets of data to generate responses. It’s crucial for the real estate sector to ensure personally identifiable and sensitive information is properly handled if used in conjunction with these platforms.
• Malicious use: Generative AI is opening up a new world of possibilities for cybercriminals including impersonating businesses or spreading false information.
• Bias and fairness: Generative AI models are trained on existing data. They don’t filter out inherent biases.
• Copyright and plagiarism: Content produced by ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms may include re-used material including other people’s phrases and images.
• Lazy, disconnected writing: Even with good prompts, information generated by AI lacks the heart and soul of personal communication produced by a human.
What can real estate professionals do to minimise the risks?
Given how fast AI platforms are growing, governments are scrambling to catch up with appropriate regulations.
In the meantime, it’s up to each business to ensure AI tools are used with care.
After the events of the last few years, trust in leadership generally and all forms of media is at an all-time low. Now, with even more fake or plagiarised content being generated via AI, people’s suspicions are heightened about any information that crosses their path.
Is there a sweet spot where these tools and your credibility can comfortably co-exist?
The answer is yes — if you use them to speed up transactional steps, not to replace the way you connect with your clients.
Always seek to balance two elements: saving time and building trust.
At this extraordinary time in history, it’s important for real estate professionals to remember that communication is an exchange of meanings between people.
A bot can write a decent draft, but it’s a human touch that builds true connection.
Dr Neryl East is a credibility specialist who works with business leaders who want to communicate clearly and credibly
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