What the Real Estate Industry Needs to Know About AGI

Even if you are only just starting to learn about AI

I’ve been meaning to write a post about artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the longest time but have been avoiding it. It felt too complex and too far away compared to the fun world of Gen AI.

I’m not sure that’s the case any more.

There’s an article on Forbes (subscriber only) saying that OpenAI has been hiring again for its robotics team and has been actively on the lookout for a research robotics engineer.

Plus, they’ve been investing in other robotics companies.

And…. they declined to comment on any of it.

Why is this an indicator that AGI may be around the corner?

I’m glad you asked, so let’s start from the beginning…

Understanding AGI: The Basics

AGI is a type of AI that can understand, learn, and apply knowledge across various tasks at a level comparable to humans.

This differs from ‘narrow AI’, which is designed for specific tasks (for example a support chatbot or your standard ‘watch this next’ Netflix recommendation system).

Think of AGI as having the potential to handle anything intellectual the way a human can.

So, for example, in real estate, the AGI might transform how you analyse market trends, manage properties, or even interact with clients.

It really is your digital assistant, and we will get to that in a sec.

My digital ‘twin’

Lately, at events, I’ve been trotting out ‘SamGPT’, my digital twin, which I created with HeyGen. We’ve done lots of stuff on this blog with HeyGen before, and everyone has had a good laugh at some of her stuff-ups.

Here’s a demo of the latest:

I love HeyGen for all the reasons that crazy chick in the video lists as benefits, but AGI is different.

HeyGen will read a script that I wrote.

AGI will read its own script because it can think and work independently of you.

How AGI might enhance real estate tasks

Imagine having a personal data analyst or economist who never sleeps, processes vast amounts of data in seconds, and provides actionable insights.

AGI can do that (so long as you have the data!)

But imagine an assistant that can scan through market data, economic indicators, and social trends to accurately predict property values and investment opportunities and hand you a report, all before you’ve had a chance to say, “can you please make me a coffee…”

As a consumer, if you’re considering investing in a new neighbourhood, AGI can analyse crime rates, school quality, local business growth, rental returns, and even social media sentiment to give you a comprehensive overview.

In the movie Her, Scarlett Johannson’s character Samantha behaves like an AGI. For example, “I’ve read all your emails, and there are about 60 worth saving. Shall I go ahead and do that?”

Automating real estate admin tasks

Administrative tasks can be time-consuming and tedious.

From scheduling opens to managing contracts and legal documents, AGI, as your assistant, could likely handle it all efficiently, freeing you up for the more strategic activities.

Improving Customer Engagement

AGI, as your assistant, could perhaps also enhance the service you provide to clients.

One example might be analysing personal preferences and past interactions and allowing you to offer tailored property recommendations.

What about Property Management?

We kind of talked about this last week in that post about “the dashboard of your dreams”, where AI analyses when equipment might fail, allowing you to perform preventative maintenance before it does.

That is probably the tip of the iceberg of PM applications…

What’s the connection between robotics and AGI?

Back to the beginning where I said OpenAI are looking to hire robotics people.

You might wonder what the connection is between robotics and AGI. The answer is that the ‘machines’ with AGI ‘installed’ can perform a wide range of tasks autonomously and intelligently.

No, that’s not a line from any of the Terminator franchises, but it does mean that a robot can learn from its experience, adapt to new environments and make decisions similar to humans (this is why 18 months ago, I always said say please and thank you to the robot because you just never know…!!)

Another thing is that AGI can give robots the power to learn new tasks without a software update.

We might see examples of this in self-driving cars or delivery drones that can handle unpredictable scenarios on the road or in the air.

We might see a robot greeting buyers at the door of an open home.

But it goes without saying - as robots become more autonomous, ensuring they operate safely and ethically is... well, there is no adjective I can pull out of my human brain right now that can stress how important that will be.

It’s not if, but when…

So, there is still plenty of public disagreement around timelines for AGI - will it be next century? In 10 years? This year?

One person I follow, Alan D. Thompson, has been tracking a “conservative countdown to AGI since 2017. This calculation now predicts January 2025, but the timelines are shrinking.

This shrinkage is likely due to advancements in robotics that can ‘hold’ AGI and the incredible multi-modal (future) capabilities of ChatGPT-4o.

https://lifearchitect.ai/agi/ - last updated May 2024

Now you know what AGI is and what it does...

So, I guess with all of this, you are now equipped to be the nerdiest person in the next team meeting.

Or, you could strike up a conversation with ChatGPT and learn a bit more on the topic.

Both of those are great options.

But as for concrete action steps, keep learning!

Particularly, things like building GPTs, nocode automation tools (like Zapier) and advanced prompting are just a few of the things you should continue to build on.

If you know how today's tools work (even though they will likely be described as ‘primitive’ in the future), you'll be ready to use a new kind of tool—an autonomous agent that works while you sleep.

One thing I know for sure: We are about to enter a time of crazy and boundless opportunities, especially for those in the real estate industry who are creative and open-minded.

(Feel free to share this post with someone who needs to get their head out of the sand and off their butt to start learning!)

Happy Hunting 🚀

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