Read this paragraph and ask yourself if it feels like a normal article introduction:

It’s true that the real estate industry, like many others, has faced challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many real estate professionals have had to adapt to new ways of working, such as conducting virtual showings and transactions, in order to continue serving their clients safely.

Pretty typical right? Could be the start of any random news story on real estate in recent years, no?

But what if I told you that I, medium kahuna real estate news reporter for Inman.com, did not actually write that paragraph. Nor did anyone else at Inman. In fact, no human at all wrote it.

Instead, the opening lines of this story were the product of a new and buzzy artificial intelligence tool known as ChatGPT. The tool — from research laboratory OpenAI — lets users input a simple prompts, then it spits out responses that explore and expand on the topic in question. The prompt Inman used to generate the beginning of this story was, “it has been a hard year for real estate professionals.” Then the bot ran with that idea.

ChatGPT has been getting attention due to its very readable prose, and because it’s raising questions about the future of writing. Will college students soon turn to AI for all their assignments? Is it plagiarism to take credit for work that was generated by a computer?

Philosophical quandries aside, Inman was curious how ChatGPT might cover the rough and tumble year we’ve just had in real estate. So, we fed the bot a series of prompts that resemble stories Inman did or might have done this month.

Overall, it was remarkable — and somewhat disconcerting — how good ChatGPT’s content was. The prose is not flashy or poetic, but it’s also not obviously fake or artificial sounding. It remains to be seen how integrated such AI becomes into daily life, but it’s kind of wild that it’s already possible to generate lengthy, passable content on a specialized topic using a chat bot.

Here are the Inman’s prompts, the unedited text ChatGPT generated, and stray thoughts on what all of this means:

Inman’s prompt: What can real estate agents do to thrive in a financial downturn?

ChatGPT’s response: There are several strategies that real estate agents can use to thrive during a financial downturn:

1. Diversify your business: Consider expanding your services or offering new products to help increase your income streams.

2. Stay up-to-date on market trends: Keep track of changes in the real estate market and adjust your business strategies accordingly.

3. Build strong relationships with clients: Focus on providing excellent customer service to help foster long-term relationships with clients.

4. Utilize technology: Use tools and platforms to streamline your work and stay connected with clients, even if you can’t meet in person.

5. Stay positive and adaptable: Maintain a positive attitude and be open to trying new approaches or adjusting your business model as needed.

It’s also important to stay organized and manage your finances carefully during a financial downturn. This may involve cutting costs where possible, finding ways to increase efficiency, and being strategic about where you invest your resources. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek guidance from industry experts if you need it.

Stray thoughts: I feel like I’ve read this article before. A bunch of times. I probably wouldn’t have thought twice if I saw this content somewhere online with a human-sounding byline.

Inman’s prompt: iBuyers have had a financially terrible year

ChatGPT’s response: It’s not uncommon for businesses to have ups and downs, and the real estate market can be particularly volatile. Some iBuyers (companies that use technology to buy and sell homes quickly) may have had a financially difficult year due to market conditions or other factors. It’s important to keep in mind that the performance of individual iBuyers may not be indicative of the overall market or industry. If you’re considering working with an iBuyer, it’s a good idea to do your research and carefully evaluate the company’s track record and business model before making a decision.

Stray thoughts: What’s remarkable here is that ChatGPT not only knew what an iBuyer was, but also correctly alluded to the fact that the iBuyers fared worse this year than the broader industry.

Inman’s prompt: How has technology influenced real estate lately?

ChatGPT’s response: Technology has had a significant impact on the real estate industry in recent years. Some of the ways that technology has influenced real estate include:

1. Online marketing: Technology has made it easier for real estate agents to reach a wider audience and showcase their properties through websites, social media, and online listings platforms.

2. Virtual showings: The use of virtual tour technology and video conferencing has allowed buyers and sellers to view and interact with properties remotely.

3. Mobile apps: Many real estate professionals and consumers use mobile apps to search for properties, schedule showings, and communicate with agents.

4. Data analysis: Technology has enabled real estate professionals to access and analyze large amounts of data to make informed decisions about the market and individual properties.

5. Paperless transactions: Technology has made it possible for many real estate transactions to be completed electronically, reducing the need for paper documents and in-person meetings.

Overall, technology has made it easier and more convenient for real estate professionals to connect with clients and manage their business, and has also provided consumers with more information and tools to make informed decisions about buying and selling property.

Stray thoughts: Based on this response, ChatGPT seems to be very pro-technology. Suspicious?

Inman’s prompt: Real estate brokerages are facing intense competition

ChatGPT’s response: It’s true that the real estate industry is highly competitive, and brokerages may face challenges in attracting and retaining clients in a crowded market. In order to stand out and succeed in this environment, real estate brokerages may need to offer high-quality services, utilize effective marketing strategies, and continually adapt to changes in the market. It can also be helpful for brokerages to focus on building strong relationships with clients and providing excellent customer service.

It’s important for real estate brokerages to carefully evaluate their business model and stay up-to-date on industry trends in order to remain competitive. This may involve investing in technology or other resources to streamline operations and improve efficiency, or finding ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. Ultimately, the key to success in a competitive market is to offer value to clients and continuously strive to improve and adapt to meet their needs.

Stray thoughts: This response closely matches the advice actual real estate professionals have recently shared in the virtual pages of Inman.com.

Inman’s prompt: Will real estate agents go extinct?

ChatGPT’s response: It is unlikely that real estate agents will go extinct in the near future. While technology has changed the way that real estate is bought and sold in some ways, there is still a need for human expertise and personal service when it comes to buying and selling properties. Real estate agents play an important role in helping people navigate the complex process of buying or selling a home, and they often have a deep understanding of the local real estate market and can provide valuable insights and guidance to their clients.

That being said, it is possible that the role of real estate agents may evolve over time as technology continues to advance. It’s important for real estate agents to stay up-to-date with industry developments and changes in technology in order to remain competitive and provide the best possible service to their clients.

Stray thoughts: Man, it’s like word for word what I’ve been hearing from the industry.

Inman’s prompt: What’s something crazy that happened in real estate?

ChatGPT’s response: There have been many interesting and unusual events in the real estate industry over the years. Here are a few examples:

1. The “Billion Dollar Home”: In 2017, a mansion in Bel Air, California, hit the market for a staggering $1 billion, making it the most expensive home for sale in the United States at the time. The house, which was designed by architect Paul McClean, featured a number of luxurious amenities, including a bowling alley, a movie theater, and a helicopter landing pad.

2. The “Rent-a-Rock”: In 2019, a group of Australian real estate agents created a unique marketing campaign to promote a property for sale in New South Wales. They placed a large boulder in the front yard of the house and advertised it as a “rent-a-rock” on social media, offering people the chance to pay to sit on the rock and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

3. The “Toilet House”: In South Korea, a small house built in the shape of a toilet bowl became a popular tourist attraction in the city of Suwon. The house, which was built by a man named Sim Jae-duck to celebrate the opening of a local sewage treatment plant, was later turned into a museum.

4. The “Spite House”: In 1814, a man named John Hollensbury built a small house in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, with the express purpose of blocking a neighbor’s access to a street. The house, which became known as the “Spite House,” still stands today and is a popular attraction for tourists.

These are just a few examples of the many strange and unusual events that have taken place in the world of real estate.

Stray thoughts: Pretty incredible specificity here.

Conclusion

I was going to write an actual conclusion to this article. But then I thought, hey I have a bot right here, let’s see how it might wrap things up. So, here’s what ChatGPT came up with when asked to “write a conclusion to an article on real estate and artificial intelligence”:

In conclusion, artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the real estate industry in a number of ways. From improving the accuracy of property valuations and streamlining the transaction process, to providing personalized recommendations and predictive analytics, AI can help make the process of buying and selling real estate more efficient and effective. However, it is important to recognize that AI is still a developing technology, and it will likely take some time before its full potential is realized. In the meantime, it is important for real estate professionals to stay informed about the latest developments in AI and to consider how it might be used to improve their businesses.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

technology
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