If you’ve come across a four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home listed for sale recently on a quiet cul-de-sac in Iowa, you might not think twice about listing online. It included typical property descriptions such as “ideal for entertaining” and “ample space for relaxation”.
But JJ Johannes, the realtor of the house, created the description in less than five seconds by typing a few keywords into ChatGPT, a new viral AI chatbot tool that can generate elaborate responses to user requests. It’s a task, he said, that would otherwise take an hour or more to write alone.
“It saved me a lot of time,” Johannes told CNN , noting that it made some tweaks and edits to ChatGPT’s work before publishing it. “It’s not perfect, but it was a great starting point. My background is in technology and writing something eloquent takes time. That made it a lot easier.”
Johannes is among the real estate agents experimenting with ChatGPT since it was publicly launched in late November. Some brokers told CNN that has already changed the way they work, from writing lists and posting on social media to writing legal documents. It can also be used to automate repetitive tasks like answering FAQs and doing complex calculations.
ChatGPT is trained on large amounts of online data to generate responses to user commands. He wrote original essays, stories, song lyrics and abstracts of research papers that misled some scientists. Some CEOs used it to write emails or do accounting work. He even passed an exam at an Ivy League school. However, it raised concerns among some for its potential to allow cheating and for its inaccuracies.
In less than two months, ChatGPT has sparked conversations about its potential to revolutionize industries from publishing to law. But it’s already having a tangible impact on how many realtors across the country do their jobs – where much of the written work can be formulaic and time-consuming – to the extent that some can no longer imagine working without it.
“I’ve been using it for over a month and I can’t remember the last time something impressed me this much,” said Andres Asion, a broker at Miami Real Estate Group.
“As soon as I tried it, I surrendered”
Recently, a customer came to Asion with a problem: the woman had moved into a pre-built home and was unable to open the windows. She tried to contact the developer for months with no response.
Asion ran a copy of one of his emails through ChatGPT, asking him to rewrite it with an emphasis on liability implications.
“ChatGPT wrote this as a legal question, and all of a sudden the developer showed up at her house,” he said.
Asion also used the tool to draft legally binding addendums and other documents and sent them to lawyers for approval. “I tune all kinds of drafts with ChatGPT,” he said. “Sometimes I say make it shorter or funnier, and that gives you a lot of samples to choose from and edit.”
ChatGPT is free for now, but OpenAI, the company behind it, is considering a $42 monthly charge. Asion said “it’s not even a question” that it would pay for access. “I would easily pay $100 or $200 a year for something like this,” he said. “I would be crazy not to.”
Frank Trelles, a commercial real estate agent at State Street Realty in Miami, said he would also pay to continue using the tool, which has already impacted the way he does business.
“As soon as I tried it, I surrendered,” he said. “I went to sign up for a package, thinking it would cost at least $100 a month, and was surprised to see it was free. Nothing in this world is free – and that made me a little nervous.”
Trelles said he uses ChatGPT to research permitted uses for certain land and zones in Miami-Dade County and calculate what mortgage payments or return on investment might be for a customer, which typically involves mortgage formulas and calculators.
“I can be in a car with a client and they ask me what their mortgage payments would be,” Trelles said. “I can ask ChatGPT what the mortgage payment would be on a $14 million purchase at a 7.2% interest rate amortized over 25 years with two origin points at closing, and within two seconds it gives me this information. It also explains how you got the answer. It’s amazing.”
Lots of potential and some limitations
There are some limitations, however. The tool, for example, has struggled with some basic calculations before. Trelles said it’s useful for moving approximations, not exact numbers.
Serge Reda, commercial real estate executive and adjunct professor at the Fordham Real Estate Institute, said that some ChatGPT use cases are better than others.
ChatGPT can help save brokers time when writing listings or responses, but automating customer responses may not be the best tactic because generating leads and closing deals often requires a personalized approach.
“It’s accessible to everyone now because it’s free and they can get an idea of how this powerful tool can work. But there are definitely significant limitations,” he said.
While ChatGPT has generated a wave of interest among realtors, the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the real estate market is not entirely new.
Listing site Zillow, for example, used AI for 3D mapping, creating automatic floor plans, and for its Zestimate tool, which can scan photos to see if a home has hardwood floors or stainless steel appliances so its price estimate reflects better market conditions.
Earlier this week, Zillow rolled out an AI feature that lets potential buyers perform searches in more natural language, something Google has long mastered.
Matt Kreamer, a spokesman for Zillow, said real estate has been slower to innovate, but “I think we’re going to see much bigger advances soon.” He said Zillow doesn’t see any clear concerns about agents using ChatGPT to help simplify the work they already do and save time.
“We are not promoting or distrusting ChatGPT, but we are interested in how it is being used and how to watch it,” he said.
While it’s too early to say whether the tool will become a mainstay in the real estate market, realtor Johannes believes that AI in general will transform his industry and others.
“It might not be with ChatGPT,” he said, “but I believe some form of artificial intelligence like this will become a big part of how we work and live our lives.”
Source: CNN Brasil
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