ChatGPT didn’t write this week’s real estate news roundup, we promise

AI bot has the industry atwitter, while data shows Compass and Anywhere aren’t all that efficient

From left: Robert Reffkin and Rupert Murdoch (Getty, Compass)
From left: Robert Reffkin and Rupert Murdoch (Getty, Compass)

Much has been made over the past couple of months over ChatGPT, the bot developed by artificial intelligence firm OpenAI.

We noodled around with it over the past couple of weeks — with some questions more serious than others — including asking the bot to tell us a real-estate-related joke. We got the following response.

Sure, here’s a real estate related joke:
Why did the real estate agent go to the beach?
To catch some “sea-lers”!

OK, so ChatGPT isn’t going to headline SNL anytime soon. But there’s no question it’s going to have implications for the real estate world, with commercial brokers saying the bot will close the knowledge gap among brokers and further emphasize the importance of personal connections.

“ChatGPT is the brain in the room,” said Gparency’s Ira Zlotowitz “The only thing left is relationships. There’s no more knowledge needed because basically you could feed it your business.”

Whether or not ChatGPT will lead to job cuts is the elephant in the room, but a common current sentiment is that it will assist rather than replace real estate professionals.

Indeed, we asked ChatGPT to write a real estate listing for a luxe mansion in Malibu where a notorious murder took place, and here’s what it came up with.

Moving on to the world of data. Compass and Anywhere are among the least efficient publicly traded residential brokerages, according to an analysis by Mike DelPrete, a residential real estate tech analyst who teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder.

DelPrete, who’s also an investor in real estate startup Side, looked at how brokerages’ revenue compared with their operating expenses.

In Chicago, the number of active agents in the Windy City area in the fourth quarter was down 24 percent from the previous year, according to AgentStory, which analyzes agent count and deals.

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is in talks to sell Move Inc., the parent company of listings giant, to CoStar Group. The move would further entrench CoStar in the residential space, following major acquisitions such as and HomeSnap.

There were other notable stories last week, including Starwood working to work out its $800 million loan default and Seth Weissman’s Urban Standard starting a new venture to deploy $100 million in gap financing or rescue capital in the wake of high interest rates.