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AI in real estate: How agents are embracing new tech to enhance efficiency and the client experience

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As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more readily available with widespread uses, the housing industry is looking at ways it can help agents and clients alike.

While there has yet to be an industry-wide mandate or initiative when it comes to AI, some agents have begun to embrace the technology, seeking ways to make work more efficient while also testing the limits of what it can currently do.


Cloning tool for lead-response videos


“It’s exciting and scary at the same time,” says Tom Storey, sales representative with Royal LePage Signature Realty, who has been using AI to create and enhance content and advertising materials. He conveniently has it as an app on the main screen of his phone.

Storey sees a lot of potential in using video generators such as HeyGen to connect with potential clients and send updates and timely information throughout the buying process.

“You can automatically have an auto-generated version of yourself reach out and introduce yourself,” he explains, adding that AI allows for personalization so that you can have the right name and phone numbers in the video.

Storey is referring to HeyGen’s cloning tool, in which you can create videos with your likeness and voice without having to actually perform in front of the camera each and every time. He feels the technology is close, but not quite there yet. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable yet sending an AI twin of me as an automation.” 

“That’s where I think it is really going,” he continues. “With a lot of the online leads, just how you can personalize an interaction is going to be mind-blowing.”


ChatGPT for marketing materials and feedback


While video generators look promising, there are plenty of practical AI uses taken up right now. Asif Khan, broker/owner at Re/Max Prime Properties, employs ChatGPT to help hone marketing materials and provide feedback. “A lot of our agents are using it as a ghostwriter and guide,” he says. “They use it for marketing and advertising pieces and virtual assisting, rather than relying on AI to simply replicate or duplicate.”

“Most of our team leaders are using it; they realized it’s something that can assist them and help clients to move forward, like any new technology. “


‘You really have to know what you’re asking for’


Both Storey and Khan admit there is a big learning curve, and most agents are learning on their own or in small groups. “I’ve definitely used it to create marketing pieces based on the web, but you’re going to get out of it what you put in,” says Khan.

“I create graphs or marketing materials, and then tweak results to form more of what the final product will be. You always have to add in the human element, take out stuff that isn’t relevant, make it so that it’s accurate.” But, “You really have to know what you’re asking for,” he cautions.

Like Khan, Storey finds AI useful in making tedious work a lot quicker and easier. ChatGPT, for example, can write video summaries and index longer content to make it more user-friendly. “I use ChatGPT like I used to use Google. I ask questions, and I’m using it a lot to get content ideas. It could write a script for the video.”


The hope: Help prospects better choose the right agent and buyers get insights and stats


While the technology is still relatively new, the hope is that by creating more easily accessible personalized interactions and content, potential clients will be better able to pick the right agent and make more informed choices faster. Prospective buyers can also use AI to find up-to-date market trends, statistics on a particular neighborhood and even predictions.

For pre-construction properties, Khan foresees the ability to create walkthroughs for clients before the finished space is ready.

“It’s so new, we’re still learning where we can use it appropriately,” he says. “We’ll see where it’s going to benefit us most, go through the next year or so, clarify that, and apply it.”

Neither sees any big problems for AI in the market at the moment, though they admit that’s in part because it doesn’t seem too popular right now. Khan also points out that the learning curve helps to differentiate those who have taken the time to understand AI best practices and those who are cutting corners. 


A tool to enhance rather than replace jobs


The pair also sees AI as a tool for assisting positions instead of an entity that will replace positions.

“I think the big fear is that it’s going to replace people,” says Khan. “But we’re finding out now it won’t really eliminate positions, but it will allow people who use it to help with marketing and creating graphics and charts.”

“It won’t replace your admin,” echoes Storey. “It’s a tool. There are some ways you can use it, and for me, it’s very clear. It simplifies my content creation and allows me to meet new buyers and help sellers sell.”


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