I will confess that this past Monday morning, after taking a week (or two) off from the “labor of love” that is this article, I was reluctant to start writing again. As much as I enjoy sharing my life’s experience in real estate with close friends, there’s always so much to do and so little time available. That’s when I had an epiphany! If everyone from columnists to rabbis are willing to have an AI write on their behalf, why couldn’t I? I immediately began thinking of the right “prompt” with which to engage the AI if there was the slightest chance that this might work. After much deliberation I typed in the words “Give me 600 words on why Teaneck is such an amazing place to live in the writing style of Moshe Kinderlehrer.” Immediately my hopes of taking a third week off were dashed as the AI informed me it had reached full capacity writing book reports for all the school kids who just got back from winter break. I was instructed to leave my email and ChatGPT would notify me of the next available slot. Sadly, dear readers, you will have to endure my own words again this week.
But then I started to think. As an experienced broker, I have witnessed the rise and fall of many new technologies and their impact on the sale of real estate: Cell phones, smart phones, web sites, internet sales companies, VR goggles, Matterport, etc… there truly is no end. Each wave of new technology brings with it changes in the way realtors conduct business and I think it has benefitted all. Initially, the ease with which information was made available and passed on to consumers had some pundits think that traditional brokerage would become obsolete. Now everyone could sell their home by simply engaging an online broker avoiding the necessity of showing your house in person. But if one takes a closer look at the data, the percentage of sales in the U.S. that occurs through traditional agents showing homes the old fashioned way is the predominant method. There will always be those looking to find a new way to short circuit the showing process by using the latest technology, but my instincts tell me otherwise.
At the end of the day the value of a home cannot be broken down into a mathematical equation simply spit out by a computer. The companies online that watch and track us have a vague idea of who we are as well as our tastes and preferences. Does this mean we will trust an algorithm to pick a home for us? Maybe they can give us an idea of where we might like to go on vacation or what shoes to buy, but how can a computer convey the feeling of standing on a porch in the morning sunlight enjoying the breeze? A home requires a connection between people and space and that is not something that can be discovered in any manner other than being physically present. Until AI creates something so advanced that we will walk into the metaverse and tour homes that are so realistic that the sunlight, smells and sounds of the neighbors’ kids can be sensed inside, I feel my job as a realtor is safe. My job of writing these articles? We’ll see!
Nechama Polak is the Broker of Record and owner of V and N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809.