If you came across a four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home for sale recently on a quiet cul-de-sac in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you might not think twice about listing online. line. It included typical real estate descriptions like “ideal for entertaining” and “plenty of space to relax”.
But JJ Johannes, the house’s real estate agent, 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 prompts . It’s a task, he says, that would otherwise have taken him an hour or more to write on his own.
“It saved me so much time,” Johannes told CNN, noting that he made a few edits and edits to ChatGPT’s work before publishing it. “It’s not perfect, but it was a great start. I have a background in technology and writing something meaningful takes time. It made things so much easier.
Johannes is one of the real estate agents test ChatGPT since its public release at the end of November. Some residential and commercial agents told CNN it has already changed the way they work, from writing listings and social media posts to drafting legal documents. It could also be used to automate repetitive tasks such as answering frequently asked questions and performing complex calculations.
ChatGPT is trained on large amounts of online data to generate responses to user prompts. He wrote original essays, stories, song lyrics, and summaries of research papers that fooled some scientists. Some CEOs have used it to write emails or do accounting work. He even passed an exam at an Ivy League school. (It has, however, raised concerns among some for its potential to allow cheating and for its inaccuracies.)
In less than two months, ChatGPT has sparked discussions about its potential to disrupt various industries, from publishing to law. But it’s already having a tangible impact on the way a number of estate agents 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 so much,” said Andres Asion, a Miami Real Estate Group broker.
Recently, a client contacted Asion with a problem: the woman had moved into a pre-construction house and could not open its windows. She had 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 emphasis on the liability implications.
“ChatGPT wrote it off as a legal issue and all of a sudden the developer showed up at her house,” he said.
Asion also used the tool to draft legally binding addenda and other documents, and sent them to lawyers for approval. “I polish all kinds of drafts with ChatGPT,” he said. “Sometimes I tell him to make it shorter or funnier, and it gives you so many samples to choose from and edit.”
ChatGPT is currently free, but OpenAI, the company behind it, would consider a monthly charge of $42. Asion said “it’s not even a question” that he would pay for access. “I would easily pay $100 or $200 a year for something like that,” he said. “I’d be crazy not to.”
Frank Trelles, commercial realtor 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 was sold,” he said. “I went to sign up for a plan, thinking it would be at least $100 a month, and was blown away that it was free. Nothing in this world is free though – and that made me a little nervous.
Trelles said he uses ChatGPT to research permitted uses for certain lands and areas in Miami-Dade County, and calculate what the mortgage payments or return on investment might be for a client, which typically involves formulas and mortgage calculators.
“I can be in a car with a client when he asks me what his mortgage payment might be,” Trelles said. “I can ask ChatGPT what a mortgage payment would be on a $14 million purchase at 7.2% amortized over 25 years with two points of origination at close, and in two seconds, he gives me that information. He also explains how he got the answer. It’s amazing.”
There are, however, certain limitations. The tool has, for example, struggled with some basic math before. Trelles said it was useful for on-the-go approximations, not exact numbers.
Serge Reda, director of commercial real estate and assistant professor at the Fordham Real Estate Institute, said some use cases for ChatGPT are better than others. ChatGPT can help brokers save time when writing listings or responses, but automating customer responses may not be the best tactic, as generating leads and closing deals usually requires a personalized approach.
“It’s available to everyone right now because it’s free and they can get a taste of how this powerful tool works. But there are certainly important limitations,” he said.
While ChatGPT has sparked a flurry of interest among real estate agents, Integrating artificial intelligence into the real estate market is not entirely new. SEO site Zillow, for example, has used AI for 3D mapping, creating automatic floor plans, and for its Zestimate tool, which can scan images to see if a house has hardwood floors or stainless steel appliances so that its price estimate better reflects market conditions. Earlier this week, Zillow rolled out an AI feature that allows potential buyers to search in more natural language (something Google has long mastered).
Matt Kreamer, spokesman for Zillow, said the real estate industry has been slower to innovate, but “I think we’ll see a lot more progress very soon.” He said Zillow sees no clear concern with agents using ChatGPT to help streamline the work they are already doing and save time.
“We don’t promote or distrust ChatGPT, but we care about how it’s used and monitoring it,” he said.
While it’s too soon to tell if the tool will become a mainstay in real estate, real estate agent Johannes believes AI in general will transform his industry and others.
“That may not be the case with ChatGPT,” he said, “but I think a form of artificial intelligence like this will become a big part of how we work and live. our lives.”