To say “everyone’s got it” is an overstatement when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) in the real estate industry. While AI undoubtedly has an incredible potential to transform many industries, there’s still a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in AI and how the technology could be properly applied in the context of a regulated industry.
Having spent my career working on cutting-edge technology, the emergence of modern-day AI, specifically generative AI, is absolutely amazing. However, one cannot discount the “A” of AI, which is artificial. You can certainly see business workflows being performed by AI, or error analysis being detected and escalated by AI, but there are aspects of the human interaction that you do not want to be artificial. Sympathy and empathy, when faked, are easily detectable. Similarly, people want and appreciate when those emotions of compassion and care are authentic. This is not something a machine can provide.
Agents and brokers are already using generative AI tools, such as Google’s Bard and ChatGPT, to assist in their daily activities, such as drafting a listing, writing social media posts, sending follow-up emails, composing blogs, etc. More progressive agents and brokerages are using these tools to minimize disruptions. The more sophisticated ones are already becoming experts in “prompt engineering.” Having seen the power of these tools, there is absolutely no going back. Those who do not actively embrace this change will be left behind.
Additionally, sophisticated brokerages have long used a combination of machine learning, AI and predictive analytics to identify agent growth potential. This helps them focus their efforts on recruiting agents who will most likely excel in their business or determine which agents might need more learning and development opportunities.
The doubt some agents have of AI producing “hallucinations” or introducing inaccuracies has some merit. The rule of thumb here is to do more than just proofread the content that comes back from these tools. You must verify it to ensure you are mitigating risks and remaining compliant.
Having seen the power of these tools, there is absolutely no going back. Those who do not actively embrace this change will be left behind.
And the trillion-dollar question: Will AI replace agents? AI is not a one-off creation. It’s a continuous process of fine-tuning and learning. The next phases of AI will be around more people in the industry experimenting with these tools to discover how they can alleviate specific tasks that are more tedious. I don’t believe there is anything to fear with AI. While I do believe that AI could replace some of the work that agents do today, we are far away from the day in which AI could replace the genuine authenticity of a trusted and helpful agent.
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