To AI or Not to AI?

What are the risks and rewards?

 June 01, 2023

The real estate industry is poised to adopt rapid technological advancements quickly, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of these innovations. For real estate agents, the question is no longer whether to use AI but how to use it effectively and responsibly.

Here are some examples and insights to help you make informed decisions about AI.

The rewards 

Increase efficiency 

AI is being integrated into all-in-one real estate marketing platforms to help automate many tasks, such as data analysis, lead generation, and communication with current and potential clients. Responding quickly to online leads is one of the biggest challenges real estate agents face. Studies have shown long average response times to internet inquiries. AI can help solve this, as intelligent responses to initial requests can be automated with AI. This will save you significant time and effort, allowing you to do what you do best: interact directly with your clients.

Example: AI-powered chatbots can handle initial customer inquiries and schedule appointments, freeing agents to concentrate on building relationships and closing deals.

Enhance the customer experience

AI can help personalize marketing content and streamline your sales process. AI analyzes a customer’s preferences, past interactions and online behavior and can instantly provide tailored recommendations and messaging, ensuring potential clients feel understood and valued. Delta Media is doing this for brokers and its agents right now.

Example: An AI-driven platform could analyze the content your clients click on in your newsletter and automatically send them more stories that are most likely to appeal to them.

More accurate predictions

Many real estate tech firms are using AI to process large volumes of data to make highly accurate predictions about who will likely list their home for sale within the next few months. This information can give agents valuable insights to inform their business and marketing strategies and precisely know when to reach out to a client before deciding which agent they will be working with next.

Example: AI algorithms are being used by real estate lead generation firms using historical data, online behavior and other market information to help agents identify the prospects they should contact now.

Competitive advantage

Embracing AI for real estate can set you apart from competitors who may be slower to adopt this technology. By leveraging AI tools, you can offer your clients cutting-edge services and stay ahead of industry trends.

Example: An agent who uses AI-powered virtual staging, such as Matterport, can provide prospective buyers with a more immersive and realistic experience of a property, helping their listings stand out in a crowded market.

The risks 

Data security and privacy 

As AI relies heavily on data, it’s crucial to ensure that the information collected and processed is secure and compliant with privacy regulations. Failing to protect your clients’ data can result in legal and reputational risks. In addition, more tools and plugins for advanced AI tools like ChatGPT are increasing how agents can use AI directly.

Example: An agent who uses AI tools to scrape social media data without permission might face legal consequences for violating privacy laws.

Algorithmic bias 

AI algorithms can unintentionally perpetuate biases if trained on biased data or if the developers inadvertently incorporate their own biases. This can lead to unfair treatment of certain groups, hinder your ability to provide equal services to all clients, and put you and your brokerage at risk of violating fair housing laws.

Example: An agent uses an AI tool that recommends properties. That tool takes into account race, gender, or other protected characteristics that could expose the agent and their brokerage to discrimination lawsuits.

Overreliance on AI 

While AI can offer valuable insights and predictions, it’s important not to rely solely on it for all communications. Your intuition, expertise and personality influence what you say and how you say it. Moreover, relying only on AI for the content you provide your clients can be hazardous, as AI is imperfect.

Example: An agent uses AI to write all their content without careful research and editing. Now that primary AI tools such as ChatGPT 4, Bard and others are connecting to the internet, agents who do not carefully review the content AI provides increase their risk of making mistakes. After all, no one edits the internet.

AI makes mistakes

AI tools make mistakes, and sometimes create false information. Media reports show dozens of real-world examples where AI made significant errors in its output. In one case, AI plagiarized a news story. When the infraction was identified, and AI was asked about it, AI admitted the mistake and apologized. Because we are early into the advanced AI cycle, it is fraught with risks from providing inaccurate information to agents.

Example: A real estate agent uses AI to write property descriptions for his listings. However, the agent is unaware that certain words in his narrative — while permitted by fair housing law — are not allowed by his local MLS. AI does not know this, so the agent and his brokerage will have violated MLS rules.

In the deadline-driven world of real estate, AI has the potential to help streamline the way agents market properties and serve their clients. However, like any technology, it comes with its risks and rewards.

This article is from the Tech Helpline at and has been reprinted with permission.

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