AI seems to be the new business buzzword, with promises of its revolutionary impact on the modern world's productive landscape, projecting public company stock prices to new heights, or causing a bust for those supposedly boycotting 'the future.' It has propelled Nvidia stocks to more than double their original price on merely the promise of AI empowering super chips, thus it begs the question, should Estate Agents in Herefordshire chip in to this super new technology?
Needless to say, we have all been on the phone and encountered some form of robot, an obviously cost-cutting, but infurious encounter that catches us in a loop of automated messages and insincere apologies. If this is most people's first thoughts when AI is mentioned, then it would seem the world of home selling, with its network of relationships and best agents who prioritise a personal touch to smooth over what can be a difficult transition, AI could not be further away from what people want.
However, this is in many ways a surface level view of AI, more influenced by the all too frequent reply of 'sorry I can't help with that,' from Alexa than a recognition of the true offerings of an AI empowered future. In reality AI is much less about creating a human-like companion, although many companies are pursuing this (just look at Japan's attempt to solve its problem of an ageing population), but it is more about 'machine learning.' This is a form of software development that takes a trial and error type approach to problem-solving, much in the same way that we as humans do, however, on an almost incomprehensibly greater scale that culminates in a much faster and detailed analyse of data that can identify previously undetectable patterns.
But what does this mean in a real-world sense? Well the example you almost certainly would have heard of and probably have tried for no other reason than curiosity is Chat GPT.
This is what's known as a large language model, able to access and interpret examples of human communication from across the whole of the internet (definitely an incomprehensible scale of data) and create a response that imitates what you might expect from a real person, with each response helping the algorithm to further refine the nuances of such a task. While Chat GPT is unlikely to be writing summaries of properties in the future, and an Artifical Voice will almost certainly not be doing people on the Agent's end of the line out of a job, it shows the analytical power of AI that could be harnessed to better detect market trends in both the housing market and wider economy. This would have a profound impact on the house selling world. In a market where houses priced right are the ones that sell (more of that in a separate article), such a strong analysis of trends in the market and prediction of its future would give any agent equipped with AI tools a certain advantage in a space that has grown increasingly competitive by a shortfall in housing stock and rising interest rates. Furthermore an ability to predict the tides of the wider economy would surely help house sellers and their agents to build up an insurance policy to weather the anticipated storm and maintain a stream of sales, or further, schedule sales at a time when prices might be more accesible or mortgages more readily available.
Overall, in the short term it would seem as though agents quick to adopt AI, something many are looking into, would surely have an overwhelming advantage compared to those using the crystal ball of human predicition. That being said, in the longterm, the affects caused by this technology are much less certain and could rewrite the rules of the game. The predictive ability of AI could nullify the importance of market forces, with the cycle of boom and bust becoming less of a shock that stimulates agent adaptation as, if changes in the market can be anticipated, then they can be accounted for and corrected before they come into play, in effect making them obsolete. What this will mean for the principles of supply and demand in the housing market is anybody's guess, whether the movement to counteract AI predicted market forces before they happen will in itself act as a market force, or if this power will cause an equilibrium that reduces the pressure of market competition, or something else entirely, seems only to be decided by time itself, unless maybe we just had an AI tool that could answer this question so we didn't have to....
In summary then, it would seem that the direction of all business is towards AI and that is the same for the housing market, especially in Hereford & Leominster. With the powers to be unlocked by AI not being a cheaper way to answer the phone, but an ability to analyse market trends and price houses much more accurately for how the market could look months in advance that would be of signifcant advantage, especially in a less bouyant setting. Therefore, it would seem adoption of these technologies is certain, yet the power that their unrivalled processing power might have over what we currently understand to be the market is much less defined. As it will undoubtedly be for all professions, AI casts an uncertain shadow over the future; despite this, its revolutionary capability will certainly boost housing sales and ensure a more streamlined process and while it will likely not replace real human communication, it will overhaul much in the way we view the selling process.