The Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution isn’t going anywhere and agencies need to embrace their curiosity and play with the technology to discover how it can best work for them.
That’s the message from TOOP+TOOP Owner and Director of Marketing Genevieve Toop, who jumped on a plane in September and flew to San Francisco to attend a multi-day AI conference with big name presenters from sector leading companies such as Anthropic and Hugging Face.
Ms Toop said AI has been moving so quickly and with TOOP+TOOP having had their own software development arm for two decades, she wanted to understand what the latest in AI technology could mean for the agency and its agents.
“It has all been unfolding so quickly and we know that a lot of the AI pioneering and incubator companies that are coming up in this space and that are doing things quickly in this space are from San Francisco,” she said.
“It’s the unofficial AI hub. So I thought, ‘Let’s jump on a plane and get over there and see what we can learn’.”
Ms Toop said the biggest takeaway from the conference was the need for them to focus more on prompt engineering and Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) modelling so that when their agents use TOOPY, their own generative AI assistant, for a range of everyday tasks it responds with exactly what they need and in TOOP+TOOP’s tone of voice.
She said TOOPY could assist agents with a vast array of tasks, including writing listing descriptions, social media posts, brochure copy or all of their agency agreements are correctly filled out.
“TOOPY Compliance will scan all of our documents and look for anything that’s missing and be able to flag it,” Ms Toop noted.
“It will flag that there’s a discrepancy here or you’ve missed a signature there.
“It will then go to our human team so nothing gets missed.”
Ms Toop said using AI had definitely offered her team back time in their day and that’s where she sees the biggest benefits.
She said TOOP+TOOP didn’t have any client-facing AI and the only AI they used was on the back end to help agents do more.
“What our team is naturally amazing at is connecting with people and having real conversations with creativity,” Ms Toop said.
“AI has been terrible at that, but it has gotten better and it will continue to get better but it will only ever get to a point where it’s mimicking emotions or mimicking connection.
“It will never actually compete with a real connection with a real person.
“So that’s where we are focused – how do we enhance that to be able to provide our clients with more human service by maximising the efficiencies TOOPY can offer our agents.”
Ms Toop, who will be a guest speaker at Elite Agent’s Adelaide AI Powered Agents Workshop on December 7.
She said another key area AI and TOOPY helped the TOOP+TOOP agents was in the area of negotiation strategies and role play.
TOOPY Trainer has been trained on key negotiation principles, as well as the style of TOOP+TOOP’s best agent negotiators so other team members can learn and role play to build their skills and confidence.
“We get quite specific with the scenario and give them all the information they need,” Ms Toop explained.
“Then they start the role play and, at any point in time they can say, ‘OK please grade me now’, and TOOPY will provide feedback based on the negotiation principles, what they did well and where they could improve.”
Ms Toop said TOOPY Trainer was currently in Beta testing but it was already interesting to note how team members were often more receptive to the AI’s feedback than they would potentially be a colleague’s.
And what’s her advice to others when it comes to AI in real estate?
“AI isn’t going anywhere so, while it’s natural to resist it and even be frightened by it, it’s worth being curious about,” Ms Toop advised.
“Just start having a play around with it because if you’re not, someone else is.”