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Real estate agents across Australia are using artificial intelligence to automate many of their roles, using everything from ChatGPT to bespoke bots to speak with customers, write property listings and even decide how likely contacts are to buy or rent.
In 2021, Australia’s most prominent real estate data company CoreLogic bought property technology company AiRE for its “real estate digital assistant” RiTA. The artificial intelligence product analyses customer data to create call lists and, unknowingly to the recipient, automates text message and email communications with prospective and current investors, buyers and landlords.
RiTA also creates a prospectability score to determine the “best owner for a user to prospect” which is based on data including the kind of property and when it was last sold.
In a video posted to the RiTA website, Ewan Morton, real estate agency Morton’s managing director, said it had started to lean on artificial intelligence products as expectations from landlords had gone up: “Back in the day you could say I put tenants in there and collected the rent but now you have to do that and make [landlords] feel good.
“The expectations of the consumer — be it the tenant or the landlord — has now reached a point where we, as the industry, cannot meet it.” Morton paused, then added a sardonic plea: “Silicon Valley, take over, we’re useless.”
Other real estate artificial intelligence products are automating property managers’ roles. Australian company reHeroes offers a version of its chatbot Alex, specifically for landlords to use to deal with their renters. The company’s website promotes it as helping take care of tenants’ “busy work” and promises that it “avoids expensive unnecessary call-outs”.
Taylor, from Distinct Property Management, said in a testimonial video posted to the website: “The benefit for our agency is that we don’t have to have a staff member working out of hours. [Tenants] are able to log on and ask questions of Alex and it saves us from having to answer those text messages and emails later on.”
Other agencies are adapting off-the-shelf AI bots for their work. CampaignAgent cofounder Seth Watts showed YouTuber Tom Panos how to use OpenAI’s ChatGPT to write property listings and correspondence. Watts promised that using the large language model to talk and write would help agents get a competitive advantage.
“This is giving me the ability for responding to every single annoying buying inquiry that I have to deal with … and it is giving me the ability to create a bespoke customer empathetic engaging piece of communication that’s going to stand me in good stead in front of that buyer,” he said.
And it appears agents are taking this advice. In one listing on realestate.com.au earlier this month, the property description concludes: “Regenerate Free Research Preview. ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. ChatGPT September 25 Version.”