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4 Tips for Working with AI as a Real Estate Agent

August 08 2023

Lately, news about artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere; this emerging technology has reached an inflection point, and we can expect to see it become increasingly ubiquitous in the coming months and years.

New technologies are exciting, especially for people who love exploring ways to maximize their efficiency and work smarter, not harder — including real estate agents. But new technologies also come with a learning curve. It can take some time to understand the best way to use and implement these tools in your business.

Tricia Stamper, director of technology at Florida REALTORS®, did the work so you don't have to. Read her top guidelines around how agents can (and should) be thinking about using AI, from how to write a prompt that works to how to keep your brand's proprietary information protected and private.

ai prompt handPeople have often feared new technologies. In the late 1800s, after the invention of the telephone, many people were frightened by it.

Historians note that many people wouldn't touch a telephone because they feared they would suffer an electric shock. A greater fear among others was that the phone would somehow attract evil spirits.

Misconceptions of new technology accompany innovation. Electricity, telephones, bicycles, elevators, and automobiles were all feared, boycotted, and eventually regulated.

Artificial intelligence is no different. As early as 2015, one survey found that Americans are more afraid of robots than death.

While some real estate agents may fear AI, others are embracing the power of AI to help them save time for many tasks that AI is well suited to assist. When your competitors use new technology to make them more productive, it's at least worth understanding how your competition uses it.

One caveat: the impact of the AI landscape is rapidly changing. When you finish reading this, numerous new AI applications will likely have been conceived and launched.

With that in mind, here are four indispensable guidelines for adopting AI best practices fearlessly in real estate today.

1. Perfecting the prompt: The quality of the information and specific direction you provide an AI tool will be proportional to the quality of the results it returns. The biggest mistake most people make when using an AI tool like OpenAI's ChatGPT, Google's Bard, Microsoft's Bing, and Anthropic's Claude is that they provide too little information with too little guidance. The secret to success is specificity.

For instance, if you need ChatGPT to compose a blog post, offer more than a topic. Supply a detailed prompt outlining the target audience, word count, key points to include, relevant research, tone (casual or formal), and even your writing style.

With the proper prompts, you can even teach ChatGPT how you write like you so it can better mimic your writing style.

But don't rely on ChatGPT to provide accurate research and URLs. If you do, test the links and validate the referenced study, as the information from ChatGPT only extends until September 2021.

2. Encourage improvement: The first response from an AI tool is not necessarily the best it can offer. You'll likely receive more creative and valuable suggestions by requesting revisions or reiterations. Interactive use of AI amplifies its capabilities, especially for writing bios, resumes, blog posts, property descriptions, or brochures.

For example, if you don't like the suggested writing output, ask for a version with a different tone. Ask it to create another version that is more casual, more formal, clever, or funny. If the ending doesn't summarize your blog post, ask for a more compelling conclusion summarizing the key points. Providing specific feedback is vital for maximizing the value of AI tools.

AI image tools like DALL-E2 can create unique and license-free house photos but remember to provide clear and detailed instructions for the best results – and to iterate.

Remember that tools like ChatGPT are idea machines. You name it, not just for blog posts but for video scripts, emails, letters of recommendation, testimonials, content plans, and SEO enhancement ideas. And the best way to maximize the value of what you get back is by giving specific feedback on how to improve it.

3. Impersonate to innovate: When asking for assistance – say you want to create a new marketing plan – tell it to provide you the information from an expert's perspective. You might say, "You are a real estate marketing expert" or "Imagine you are Gary Vaynerchuk…" and then make specific requests: what you need in terms of your marketing plan, the audiences you are trying to reach, the tools or channels you would prefer to use, and more.

You can also seek advice similarly, for example, "Assume you're Warren Buffett and advise me on improving my real estate business…" However, you must share your current strategies and accomplishments for more personalized and relevant advice.

4. Preserve privacy and verify: If you don't want your competitors to see it, don't feed it into ChatGPT, Bard, Bing, or Claude because there is no guarantee of privacy. We have already seen data leaks, and the experts warn that what you share is stored and just might be used for future AI training.

Most importantly, make sure you verify the AI-assisted content you provide. It takes an agent years to build trust with their sphere of influence, and you can decimate that trust in seconds by giving your clients wrong information. The good news is that when used right, AI should save you significantly more time than you will spend fact-checking.

The bottom line

AI holds immense potential for the real estate industry, and these guidelines can help professionals navigate this rapidly evolving landscape. Perfecting your prompt, pushing for more drafts, leveraging expert impersonations, maintaining privacy, and checking the facts are keys to maximizing the utility of AI tools.

Real estate professionals can gain a significant edge in productivity, creativity, and efficiency by embracing AI fearlessly and strategically. The future belongs to those who are prepared for it today.

And remember that if you have access to Tech Helpline, while our analysts are not experts on AI, they can help you discover where to find many of these new AI tools.

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Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.