And how to avoid their mistakes
Unless you’re a Martian who recently landed on Earth, you’ll know about AI.
If you ARE a visiting Martian, chances are that some super-powered extraterrestrial AI helped you get here.
Anyway, I digress.
AI within estate agency has exploded like a piñata that’s been presented to a gang of sugar-frenzied five-year-olds waving large sticks.
This article aims to provide a balanced view on the subject with real-life examples of when AI is good, bad and ugly and how we can best use it.
The idea for this article came about from an error in a recent blog post about a reading list for estate agents.
I collated a list of book recommendations provided by agents and industry partners.
I wrote the brief copy that accompanied the list.
I then asked Chat GPT to tell me how many books were on the list and to provide the author’s name where that information was missing.
It did an excellent job – as per usual. It saved me an hour because it provided what I needed within 30 seconds.
So far, so good.
I even asked it to proofread the article and suggest five headlines for a British English-speaking audience.
Which it did.
And now for my mistake.
I sent out the article without checking it myself. My colleague who scheduled the post didn’t check it either.
We both assumed it would be perfect.
It turns out it wasn’t, and a section of the article was incorrect (albeit grammatically sound).
We should have checked. And because we didn’t, we looked stupid and lazy.
And I’ve seen many examples where estate agents are already over-relying on Chat GPT.
We are now reintroducing something I’ve dubbed the AI Sandwich.
It’s a simple recipe.
The first ingredient is a human touch – we prompt AI to help us generate ideas on a specific topic/task/project.
The second ingredient is AI providing the information – it’s the filling in this sandwich.
The third step is for a human to double-check and edit what AI has provided to complete the sandwich. This was the step missing from our recent mistake.
Human – AI – Human.
There’s a bit of a myth that AI, Chat GPT in particular, always saves time.
In 90% of cases it does, but I’ve seen a recent example where it certainly didn’t, and the effect was to sour a relationship.
A member sent us their notice to leave the Estate Agent Content Club.
No problem there – it happens, and our churn rate is very low.
However, the email they sent was obviously generated by a Chat GPT prompt and was cold, overly officious and too long.
I read it and thought, is this what it’s come to after three years of working closely together – a computer-generated ‘Dear John’ letter?
It would have been much quicker for them to have written:
“Hi Jerry, Just to let you know we’re leaving the club, and we would like to give notice as of today. Thanks for your support over the years. NAME.”
I’ve read a lot about AI creating videos quickly – where it looks like the person presenting has made it for the recipient.
I think these AI-automated videos are potentially very damaging for estate agents and their relationships with clients – especially if the agency is serious about their personalised service and wants to maintain decent fees.
Put yourself in the recipients’ shoes – the moment they realise it’s a robot talking (which essentially it is), many will feel cheated and, as my partner put it, ‘short-changed and f’ed off.’
In my opinion, there is a question of morals and ethics about its use.
Some companies understand this.
One of those is a company we’ve invested in – Prospector Pro.
It’s a software platform that uses AI to help agents make better prospecting calls and much more.
I know the people who created it, and as well as being blown away by what it could do for agents, I was impressed by the creators’ focus on using AI ethically – to help humans rather than replace them.
We use AI in our businesses to help with scheduling, content ideas, proofreading, note-taking and many other ways I probably don’t even realise myself.
But I think it must be used carefully, thoughtfully and skilfully.
Interestingly, the day rate for good copywriters has risen, as average writers (like average estate agents/virtual assistants/designers) are getting replaced by AI.
Thanks for reading.
PS: No AI was used in writing this article, but Grammarly was used for proofreading purposes. Then we had Jess, a real person and professional proofreader, double-check it.