Thursday, June 27, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Property Point

One of the best put-downs of Australians came from the late former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Robert “Piggy” Muldoon, who said that “New Zealanders who leave for Australia raise the IQ of both countries”.

Meaning only stupid people would want to leave the Land of the Long White Cloud for Australia, so their departure would lift the average intelligence in New Zealand, but they would still be smarter than the average Aussie, so their arrival would lift the average intelligence here.

You’ve got to pay an insult that’s delivered with humour.

The New Zealand contribution to this nation’s intelligence can be debated but in these, more modern times, the discussion is more about artificial intelligence than clever Kiwis.

Artificial intelligence seems to have gone from science fiction and an obscure phenomenon that nerds discussed between themselves to suddenly taking centre stage in all sorts of aspects of our lives.

The future has arrived and it’s artificial. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing but it is definitely a thing.

AI is already influencing most areas of life and this will grow, creating massive uncertainty in terms of jobs and people’s careers. It will create new jobs and destroy, or drastically alter, many others.

What will the impact be on real estate? Is there a ticking time-bomb under the seats of today’s real estate agents? Will AI do the job that agents currently do? Ultimately that is up to you, the consumer; the buyer and the seller will spell out what works for them and that will determine how things evolve.

The AI change is already being felt in some areas of real estate; agents who can’t write, now have the assistance of AI.

But what about other areas of real estate? Does it mean the end of open homes and private inspections? Will people just interact with some form of AI that answers their questions and gives them information? Will AI be the middle-man (or woman or cyber entity) between a buyer and a seller negotiating a deal.

At Gardian we are already working with AI and researching how it can help us improve our performance. Where this all leads, I don’t know but I do know that we are not planning on humans being obsolete.

A big factor in selling real estate is the person-to-person interaction, the relationship that is central when someone is buying or selling a property.

At one of our recent regular Gardian real estate training sessions, we discussed the importance of emotional intelligence.

Having emotional intelligence means picking up on someone’s feelings, the nuance of a conversation, having a human connection, and empathy for how someone feels and what they are going through.

This can apply to someone who is selling their late parent’s property that had been in the family for 40 years, people who are selling their property as part of their divorce, a buyer who is looking to downsize after their husband or wife passed away, first-home buyers who are emersed in the excitement of embarking on a life-long journey, a young family looking to upgrade to a property that can accommodate teenagers needing their own space.

The common element in all these scenarios is emotion; it’s not just a business decision. When you sell your BHP shares it’s not an emotional journey. That’s a business decision.

A seller needs to know that the agent not only understands them but also has the emotional intelligence to understand buyers and, through that, help get the best price for their property.

AI won’t replace good service or human connection and hopefully, Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AEI) is still a fair way off. Or is it?

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