ChatGPT disrupts Asian property industry, but it’ll be a while before an AI agent sells you a home

Midland Realty is adopting ChatGPT for analysis of market statistics and client data to predict trends and provide personal recommendations; automation of business procedures; writing letters; analysing sales brochures; preparing sales proposals; video production; providing question-answering chatbots. The agency has organised 25 AI courses with over 2,000 attendees as of June 2.

Chinachem Group, a major Hong Kong developer, plans to launch two AI-enabled applications: “A corporate version of ChatGPT to help our colleagues work efficiently and free up time for creativity, and an AI image generator to streamline the process of generating required building-design images and reducing repetitive work,” a spokesperson said.

In mainland China, where ChatGPT is not available, property platform Beike, owned by KE Holdings, has developed Xiaobei AI-Assistant, an intelligent online tool specifically for agents.

Before agents go out into the field, the tool offers online simulations that train agents in showing properties. In the field, it provides property recommendations and conversation tips. After an assignment, it evaluates agent performance and provides tailored training. The tool provided 136 million help suggestions and gave 73,325 reports on agent performance in 2022.

The benefits that AI may bring to the real estate sector look promising, but experts warn about the limitations and risks of the technology.

Putting in place measures to monitor and manage legal and ethical risks is critical in the design and implementation stages, according to international law firm DLA Piper.

For example, China’s recent draft measures on regulating generative AI will be relevant to companies that use AI to provide customer services or generate valuation reports or market analytics.

Companies that feed customer data into AI systems must also comply with data-privacy and cybersecurity rules.

Additionally, proper measures must be taken to avoid bias and discrimination in AI systems, such as those that might occur in matching sellers and buyers, to reduce inaccuracy and mitigate against breaching anti-discrimination laws.

“The underlying algorithm of artificial intelligence must include screening and statistics based on big data,” said Weng Guanxing, head of Shanghai-headquartered law firm Wintell & Co’s Lingang Office.

“Artificial intelligence can predict future market trends by analysing a large amount of historical data, and then guide the decision-making of real estate companies.”

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