- AI and machine learning tools have become integral in everyday applications, including advertising and customer service.
- Matterport and InsideMaps provide high-quality photos and 3D renders, diminishing the need for traditional property photography.
- AI tool ChatGPT improves efficiency in creating marketing content such as property descriptions and promotional copy.
- With AI advancements like Microsoft’s integration of ChatGPT, businesses must adapt to stay competitive in digital marketing and office workflows.
In this episode of Poplar Propcast, Justin Lieberknech, VP of Marketing at Poplar Homes, provides insight into the fascinating applications of AI in property marketing, such as Matterport, Insidemaps, and ChatGPT and talks about how to use them to market your property.
This blog post is a summary of Season 2, Episode 6 of the Poplar Propcast. To explore this topic in more detail, listen to the full episode on iTunes or your preferred streaming platform.
The origins of AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) traces its roots back to early science fiction. According to Justin, “The Tin Man was probably one of the earliest kinds of robots. So the cool stuff in that science fiction period was all kinds of these walking robots.”
The real turning point, however, was brought about by mathematician Alan Turing. As Justin notes, Turing was the one who really started exploring “the mathematical possibility of artificial intelligence.” Turing posed an intriguing question: If humans could use available information and reason, “why can’t machines do the same thing?”
This question led to Turing’s groundbreaking 1950 paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.“ Justin explains how Turing “talked literally about how to build intelligent machines” and proposed the Turing Test to evaluate their intelligence. This was the foundation for what we now understand as AI.
The Turing Test
Justin explains the Turing Test as the benchmark to determine if a machine exhibits human-like intelligence. He quotes, “Turing says that if a human that’s looking at natural language conversations…you should be able to tell that one of them is a machine.”
However, passing the Turing Test doesn’t confirm machine consciousness. Justin reflects on a Google engineer’s proclamation, “My AI has consciousness,” and promptly adds, “It’s not necessarily conscious. I’ll say that straight out.”
Even as AI becomes adept at the imitation game, it struggles with complexities such as regional vernaculars and cultural references. Justin uses the example, “Everything from, do you say Coke, pop, or soda? And that’s a language rule that can identify what part of the United States you’re from,” indicating the still-existing AI limitations in understanding the intricacies of human conversation.
We’ve all encountered those prompts on the internet: “Click to prove you’re not a human,” followed by tasks like identifying boats and other objects in a series of images. According to Justin, “These are things that AI struggles with. They are not good at figuring those things out.”
Moreover, these tasks serve a dual purpose. Justin elaborates, “The, is this a boat, is this not a boat is famously training some of the AI for picture recognition…we’re just kind of farming out the labor for it and turning it into a password or authentication check.”
Interestingly, Justin distinguishes this from AI, stating, “Those pieces in particular, especially the stuff around like image recognition, actually aren’t so much AI, they’re more machine learning.” Hence, while we engage in these tasks to prove our humanity, we’re simultaneously refining machine learning algorithms, contributing to the ever-evolving field of AI.
Prominent applications of AI
Throughout our digital interactions, we encounter various applications of AI and machine learning, often without realizing it. As Justin puts it, “There’s a bunch of stuff that does have direct application of algorithms and machine learning that have been very prominent for a very long time.”
- Predictive Algorithms in Everyday Software: As Justin points out, predictive algorithms are deeply woven into many tools we use, such as Excel or Google Sheets: “Google Sheets will now predict what you’re trying to do next.”
- Intelligent Assistants: Using Clippy as an example, Justin elaborates on their predictive behavior: “Clippy was watching you. It’s predicting what you’re trying to do and gives you a result based on that.”
- Advertising Algorithms: Advertising giants like Google and Facebook harness intricate algorithms to boost their ad performance: “Those are all a really complicated suite of algorithms that’s trying to figure out if they’re doing stuff right… And then depending on which one you click, it goes when people ask this, this is probably what they’re looking for.”
- Recommendation Engines: Many property rental platforms like Zillow, Apartments.com, and Trulia utilize recommendation engines to improve the visibility of their listings: “They’re consistently going, you looked for a four bedroom, two bath in this area. Guess what? We have a bunch more.”
- Voice Response Systems: Many customer service lines use machine learning to recognize vocal patterns and respond accordingly, enhancing their user interaction: “It goes hello, I’m a robot. Who would you like to talk to? Please say their name or their extension. Hello, I’m a robot. Please say or enter your credit card number.”
Uses of AI tools for property marketing
Artificial intelligence is significantly transforming the way businesses operate, including the real estate sector. “AI-related tools for marketing have been available for many years,” Justin comments. He highlights several game-changing products that are revolutionizing the world of property marketing.
High-quality photos and 3D renderings: Matterport and InsideMaps
Among these revolutionary tools are two photo-taking products: Matterport and InsideMaps. “The photo-taking products like Matterport and Inside Maps are very good at making these 3D renders,” Justin notes.
Matterport achieves this by utilizing a point scan cloud with its unique camera. “It’s shooting lasers and measuring how long it takes them to go out and come back. And then it can build a 3D model off of that.” This method results in an incredibly accurate 3D model of a house, but Justin points out that “this is math, not AI.”
On the other hand, InsideMaps uses a different, more AI-centered approach. “Instead of taking a really complicated camera that’s shooting lasers all over the place, it was using an AI model that it trained,” Justin explains. Using an iPhone mounted on a rotor, it takes multiple photos at various exposures and angles, from which it can reconstruct HDR photos and approximate floor plans.
Justin commends both Matterport and InsideMaps for their ability to create “phenomenal sets of photos,” especially for properties renting for less than $2,000. In his opinion, the comprehensive packages offered by these two platforms provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional photography services that can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.
“You’re past the time where you need to send somebody out with a DSLR to take photos for a normal rental,” Justin says, underscoring the drastic shift in property marketing trends. For higher-end properties, he does concede that additional services like drones or DSLR photography may be worth considering due to the specific audience they cater to.
Property descriptions, promotions, and content ideas: ChatGPT
Beyond photography, AI can be tremendously helpful in other marketing tasks. Justin discusses ChatGPT, an AI tool that assists in writing property descriptions and promotional copies.
The tool can generate compelling property descriptions, with the caveat that these descriptions should be reviewed and adjusted for accuracy. “When you’re using Chat GPT for this, you want to be very careful about taking what it gives you and modifying it to accurately reflect the property and the neighborhood,” Justin advises.
Promotional copy is another area where ChatGPT shines. Justin gives an example of a 30-second radio spot the AI generated for Poplar Homes, which reads as a near-perfect ad script with minor modifications.
Justin also suggests using ChatGPT to generate blog ideas. By giving the AI a simple instruction, it can generate a list of potential blog topics that address owners’ and investors’ needs. This not only saves time but also allows property management companies to focus on topics that resonate with their target audience.
As the conversation concludes, Justin leaves the audience with a recommendation: “Everybody get into ChatGPT and start looking at how you can write property descriptions, you can write advertising copy, and you can get blog and content ideas out of it.” For quality and affordable marketing photos, he suggests reaching out to Matterport and Inside Maps.
The Future of AI
AI is revolutionizing various domains, with significant transformations on the horizon, especially in digital marketing and search mechanisms.
As Justin explained, “Microsoft has direct use and utility of ChatGPT. They are basically integrating it into everything that they make. Bing is the first one. If you are in the beta, you can start using ChatGPT, and instead of giving you a bunch of links that may tell you the answer, it starts doing this ChatGPT stuff off on the side and telling you the answer.”
Justin draws attention to how such market movements signal deep changes in the way we use platforms and tools. “When you see these movements that just annihilate a company’s stock, that tells you that these analysts are looking at massive changes.”
Microsoft’s next steps also promise innovation in office workflows. As Justin explains, “Microsoft’s next step is to integrate chatGPT into all of its office stuff, which is kind of amazing. It’s basically doing a secretarial summation and job assignment in terms of emails and Word.”
Justin aptly captures the importance of embracing these advancements. “The future of AI is here… and it’s nothing short of amazing.” As the digital landscape rapidly evolves, it’s clear businesses must adapt or risk being left behind.