Few technological innovations have caught on as fast as ChatGPT. From college term papers to customer service interactions, the artificial intelligence chatbot is a darling among business sectors; Elon Musk even wants in, forming his own competitive AI offering.
With such hype comes questions on usefulness to the real estate market. In the case of ChatGPT, our brokerage is flush with use cases, and we are always finding more. Below are several examples and how to make it work for you.
Make any agent a great writer
As you likely know, a great agent does not always equal a great writer. In my 20+ years in the industry, I have found that many agents struggle with strong writing skills, yet excel at market commentary, industry knowledge, and unique and valuable insights. ChatGPT is for them.
We have found that those agents do well with putting information into ChatGPT with clear directives (more on that later) to produce emails and social media posts much improved from what they would write on their own.
Create speedy and stunning property descriptions
It’s a commonplace in the industry that agents do not (largely) enjoy writing MLS copy, and it can take several hours to put one together. ChatGPT flips the script by producing fast and appealing property descriptions for them.
Our firm does this by asking an agent and their sellers to send us a bulleted list of upgrades and “10 Things We Love About Our Home.” This doesn’t take much time for either party, and it is critical to a strong listing. In fact, we’ve asked for this information for years. We then paste this information into ChatGPT and ask it to produce a property description that’s the exact length needed: 1,020 characters for the MLS and 2,000 characters for syndication sites.
Produce informative content for website, blog and social media
Content is king on websites, social media and newsletters to attract customers. With ChatGPT’s ability to comb thousands of sites instantly, we’re finding it produces strong content for website neighborhood pages.
There can be hundreds of neighborhoods in any given market; covering them all is challenging. Using ChatGPT, we created over 200 pages for different neighborhoods in less than two weeks. The content is informative, well organized, clear and great for a potential buyer to learn about and get a feel for different areas.
The magic sauce is in clear directives
“Garbage in, garbage out” is true with ChatGPT. It’s flexible regarding the tone of voice, including information and other facets, but it must be told what to produce and what to leave out.
For example, a first step should be to dictate the tone of voice, such as “Write in a professional voice” — which I find too formal for real estate interactions — or “Write in a professional casual voice,” which mirrors more natural language. You can even direct it to the article’s organization as in the beginning, middle and end.
For example, directives could be: “Make conversational but succinct. Begin with information about the neighborhood’s location, do not include pricing of the homes, and end with information about schools before a summary and conclusion.”
A few issues to watch: ChatGPT does not recognize fair housing laws. You can avoid infractions by telling it not to reference words like “families,” “children” or “family-friendly” so you stay compliant (you’ll want to include a more robust list of words to exclude). ChatGPT will also include pricing information it finds online, which is often incorrect and will undoubtedly become outdated. Instructing it to exclude pricing information is best, as in the example above.
I cannot say this enough: Review and fact-check the final work. The agent must retain ownership of the content and ensure the information is on track with laws, goals and intentions. As well, ChatGPT is iterative. If it uses terms you want to avoid, you can direct it not to include those in the future.
The door is open for ChatGPT
At our firm, we foresee future uses such as a more helpful chatbot on the website to greet and direct visitors and a chatbot that can answer simple “how to” questions common to most buyers and sellers. We will train ChatGPT on our internal documentation to power these, which requires better API access (which we know is coming).
For now, we are reaping the benefits of ChatGPT, like efficiency and improved writing. We are constantly learning more applications and tricks, as ChatGPT is allowing our agents to focus on what really moves the needle: Fostering relationships, producing good work and closing sales.