By Kevin Hawkins with Korey Hawkins | Vol. 2 Post 25

REAL AI is a human-created weekly roundup of all things AI in real estate and emerging AI innovations in other sectors likely to impact real estate. We post a new edition every Friday, and our free newsletter is delivered every Monday.

Update on AI in real estate from NAREE AI and real estate at NAREE

This week at the National Association of Real Estate Editors (, Jason Hidalgo of the Reno Gazette-Journal hosted a panel discussion on “Nearing the Inflection Point: Artificial Intelligence and Housing.”

Featured panelists included Zillow AI expert Ondrej Linda; Tech-pert Glenn Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty; Houston Association of Realtors tech-leader Sam Scott, and yours truly, Kevin Hawkins, WAV Group, and creator of this AI newsletter.

Among the highlights from the session:

AI at the MLS

  • Houston Association of Realtors uses computer vision (ai via CoreLogic Matrix) to automate its listing creation process. Agents upload photos, and AI and computer vision do the heavy-lifting, “tagging” notable features (stone fireplace, butcher block counters, built-in shelves), then writing descriptive photo captions, and ultimately providing several variations in different tones of complete listing descriptions for the agents to proof, edit or make their own, then approve and publish.
  • Sam at HAR notes that many photos agents upload to the MLSs do not have any descriptions at all. HAR’s new AI automation vastly improves listings, giving consumers the descriptions they need, and second, “The Realtor still needs to be responsible to read back over that material and make sure that it’s accurate.”
  • Making sure HAR’s use of AI gets better, Sam notes, “There has been a lot of work by our team in terms of training the AI to try to make sure that it stays topical and salient.”

AI spacerAI for real estate reporters

  • Kevin challenged real estate reporters in the room: “If you’re not using ChatGPT, or Claude, or Perplexity, or Gemini, to some degree, you’re missing out on more than brainstorming tools: you’re missing out on data crunching tools.” Use case: If you need to take survey data and perform cross-tabulation to uncover hidden findings, you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on survey software, or you can export your SurveyMonkey findings, dump it all in different spreadsheets, upload them to ChatGPT and in minutes, ChatGPT will start parsing your findings and summarize your results.
  • One caution on using a chatbot for data crunching: check its work. For example, if something looks off, challenge ChatGPT to redo is math. Ask it to show you the formula it used, in detail, and it will. If it clearly makes a mistake, challenge ChatGPT – call out the mistake – and ask it to redo the work. Chances are it will admit its mistake, apologize, and redo the work correctly.
  • If you have a poor quality, tiny headshot of someone and cannot get a high-resolution version, you can upload it into Canva for free into its AI image enhance tool that improves resolution; in seconds it will let you download a high-resolution version.

AI spacerAI for brokerages

  • Glenn at Lake Homes Realty shared a couple of ways his brokerage is leveraging AI. His firm ranks well versus the portals at digital ads or sponsored ads performance, particularly for Google Search. Lake Home is using AI for audience matching that is delivering far lower Cost-Per-Click than others. It’s also something he can do at the brokerage level far better than his agents can do individually.
  • The second use is AI for agent recruiting. Working with io, Lake Homes can identify which agents are most likely to be interested in making a move to their brokerage, including their likely future production scores and whether they are likely to be a cultural fit.
  • Most unique use: Glenn shared that one brokerage that specializes in distressed homes is using AI with satellite imaging and computer vision to ID homes that have “blue tarp” on their roofs. “That’s probably somebody who doesn’t have the means to replace the roof, so they’re using AI to create the list, and they start locating and contacting the owners of those properties to see if they might be interested in selling it,” Glenn explained.
  • Data tagging key home features creates more data points that did not exist before – for the home and the community – Kevin points out, helping brokerages and agents get better insight into client and prospect search behavior.

AI spacerAI for agents

  • Kevin shared how Ylopo has developed a new lead gen video technology with AI to create dozens of follow-up videos personalized with a digital identical twin of the agent – voice and image and labeled “Digital Assistant” on the video. Custom videos mentioning the client’s name can be sent to individual prospects, inviting them to tour a home they were actively viewing the night before!
  • Revive in Irvine, CA has its Revive Vision AI tool to help agents show homeowners how they could use a presale renovation to maximize their home sale, complete with an AI that creates a complete budget and an after-improvement estimated home value. Its newest AI tool is a Neighborhood Reports feature that uses computer vision to determine and score the condition of your neighborhood – not just your home. “The first time I used it reminded me of the first time I used (Zillow) Zestimate – the report it created was incredible,” Kevin said.

AI spacerAI cautions

  • Glenn notes that one of the biggest concerns about AI for real estate is its ability to attract fraud, “because of the dollar amount of fraud wire fraud, title fraud,” he noted, adding, “AI is accelerating the ability for nefarious individuals (to commit fraud), many who are not in this country, which makes prosecution and locating them very difficult” and “It’s going to be very challenging for the industry.”
  • Zillow’s Ondrej notes that responsible AI is a misnomer. “That’s like saying, is this responsible chair or is this responsible table? It’s not about the thing. It’s about how you use it,” adding, “Responsibility is about a responsible use of AI…the onus is on us as users and us as practitioners.”
  • HAR’s Sam added, “When AI generates these captions and photo descriptions and property descriptions, the Realtor still needs to be responsible to read back over that material and make sure that it’s accurate,” adding, “If the AI has been overreaching, then (they) need to go ahead and make edits to make sure that the information is in fact, accurate.”
  • Property descriptions using ChatGPT versus built-in AI tools in the MLS can be dangerous for agents. “It’s not just avoiding words that HUD bans: descriptions also need to reflect local conventions and MLS rules,” Kevin points out, noting the phrase “walkable community” is seen by some to be a restrictive phrase.
  • He added, “You have to verify literally everything. And then you’ve got to be transparent.”

AI spacerAI quotes

  • Glenn’s one-word test of all technology that Lake Homes adopts: “Convenient.” If the tech isn’t convenient, they’re not interested.
  • Ondrej on the importance of AI guardrails, and a response to those who call for the advancement of AI to slow down: “Think about if you buy a sports car, right? You really want to have really good brakes. I’m an electric car guy and go really fast, and I want to have good brakes. If you don’t have good brakes, you have a problem. We put the brakes on the car to slow you down rather than allow you to go fast: guardrails.”
  • AI lies,” Kevin said, also noting, “And I think with the AI hype cycle night right now, it’s really dangerous for reporting claims by new AI tech companies or new uses of AI by existing firms that are not true.”
  • Sam at HAR said, “If you’re searching for a home on the internet, you might notice that a lot of times, you go to look at the three pictures and there are no captions there. They don’t tell you what the room is. They don’t tell you about the room. And that’s really a lost opportunity.”

NAREE is in its 95th year, founded in 1929, and Austin was its 58th Annual Conference, attracting the nation’s top real estate and business journalists, bloggers, authors, communications, and PR professionals. Kevin is a long-time member, a former elected officer and member of the board. He has won two NAREE writing awards and the President’s Award twice. (-Korey and Kevin)

AI Fast FactsAI Facts and Stats

  1. 46% of US businesses reported saving $25,000 to $70,000 with the use of ChatGPT – Statista
  2. 22% of business executives cited data privacy as the top ethical concern for Generative AI – Deloitte
  3. 82% of business leaders believe using AI tools while responding to colleagues is ethical –
  4. By 2025, 16% of US jobs will be replaced by AI – Forrester
  5. 14% of sales professionals stated they use Generative AI for data analysis and reporting – HubSpot

Source: DemandSage  (-Korey)

AI HeadlinesTake 5 AI Headlines

Artificial intelligence is the all-in-1 tool real estate desperately needs | 6/17/24 Inman
Brad Inman opines on the vast importance and impact AI will have on real estate.

Genspark is the latest attempt at an AI-powered search engine | 6/18/24 TechCrunch
Perplexity competitor emerges with Genspark, the latest AI search engine.

Meet the dark horse of the housing market ‘portal wars’ that Sam Altman is invested in | 6/19/24 Fast Company
Flyhomes is using OpenAI to power its home listing site.

OpenAI’s former chief scientist is starting a new AI company | 6/19/24 The Verge
Safe Superintelligence Inc. has one mission: creating an AI system both safe and powerful.

McDonald’s is ending its test run of AI-powered drive-thrus with IBM | 6/20/24 Associated Press
It’s back to the drawing board for AI in fast food service. (-Korey)

AI Quote of the WeekBrad Inman AI Quote of the Week

*AI Quote of the Week source: Brad Inman’s June 15 opinion piece here.

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