A Canadian startup called Listing AI is using new cutting edge artificial intelligence technology to write up computer-generated descriptions that can be surprisingly compelling. Users simply tell the AI software some key details about their home and the technology does the rest.
According to Listing AI co-founder Mustafa Al-Hayali, the technology isn’t meant to do all the work for real estate agents, otherwise there would be risk of this technology fully replacing us. Instead, Al-Hayali claims the technology is meant to do about 80% to 90% of the work.
“I don’t believe it’s meant to replace a person when it comes to completing a task, but it’s supposed to make their job a whole lot easier. It can generate ideas you can use.”
Al-Hayali said he and his co-founder, Corey Pollock, a Shopify senior project manager, came up with the idea for Listing AI after both became new homeowners in Toronto. “As we each navigated that process, we noticed property descriptions that were inaccurate or even copied from a previous time the property was up for sale. I bought my condo in March 2020 — just before Covid forced many people to start relying on virtual visits and other ways of learning about properties remotely, which made thorough descriptions that much more important.”
They built the website within the past month and launched it publicly this week. Listing Ai simply asks that users provide all manner of data about the house, and then the software polishes it so it can better be used by the AI.
According to Al-Hayali, “after that, the information is processed by GPT-3, an AI model from nonprofit research company OpenAI. GPT-3 was trained on text from billions of web pages so that it would be adept at responding to written prompts by generating everything from news articles to recipes to poetry.”
Users are currently able to sign up for a free trial that allows them to generate several listings. For unlimited access users can pay $9 a month, or $84 a year, although the website claims that these are launch prices, and regular prices will be $12 a month, or $105 a year.
Scott Ward is a traditional real estate agent who recently spoke with CNN about the future of the industry and this type of AI technology being implemented. “I had a few issues with Listing AI’s word choices, like I’d never describe the Oakland house that I put through it as ‘rustic-chic’, and I hate the word ‘boasts’ in property descriptions.”
“I agree that there are plenty of poorly written home descriptions out there, and that automating the process could help some people. For example, it could be useful if people are not familiar with this kind of writing process or they’re selling a number of similar homes, such as tract housing.”
So like with most new technologies, it’s going to take some time to see how well it fits in the current way of doing things in the industry.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.