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AI Killed the Real Estate Star

Real Estate Agent with Homesmart

All that's left for you to do is move right in!

Geraldine sat back from her keyboard, grinning as she laced her fingers behind her head.

"You still go it," she congratulated herself on another job well done, her smoker's rasp yielding to a brief coughing fit. She fished the last cigarette out of the pack of Virginia Slims on the desk next to the old Toshiba laptop with an arthritic claw. Everything took longer these days, but that only added to the eventual satisfaction.

Lighting up, she proofed her ad copy for the fourth time through the cancerous haze. She chuckled at her favorite bits, like the proud parent of puns and witticisms that she was.

More upgrades than a Kardashian! More remodeling than a Jenner!

Don't take these counter tops for granite!

Even the pronoun police agree that Mrs. Clean lives here!

Despite having written hundreds of property descriptions over the years, the one thing Geraldine prided herself on above all else was that no two were exactly the same. She agonized over every noun. Scrutinized every verb. Relished every adjective. While there may be only so many ways to describe a swimming pool, or a great room, by God she would find a new combination of words every time. Even if it just meant tweaking timeless cliches ever so slightly.

This was what she brought to the table. This was why her clients hired her. It was right there on her business card, after all:

"Geraldine Jurgenson - The House Poet"

The cursor was still flashing on the screen, insistent. It drew her grey eye to the call to action just beneath her text:

Improve with AI

Geraldine scoffed, as she always had since artificial intelligence entered her profession in recent months. Not for the first time, she wondered what illiterate boob of an agent would outsource her very words to R2D2. The world had become a very strange place since Reagan left office.

And yet ... she couldn't deny the morbid curiosity that flooded her doubting mind.

What does a machine know about selling a house?

What computer code can tug at a home buyer's emotions like my prose?

She saved what she had written, took a long swig of Diet Pepsi through a turtle-killing bendy plastic straw, and pressed the button allowing for artificial "enhancement" of her property description. This would be good for a laugh.

"Okay, Data, show me what you got," she smirked, pleased with her reference.

No sooner had she finished her sentence did the lengthy paragraphs on the screen rearrange themselves into shorter blurbs. Despite herself, she had to admit that the new layout was more approachable and easier on the eye than her wall of text.

Parlor trick, she told herself. Of course a computer would structure everything just right. She did use spellcheck and grammarcheck, after all. She shouldn't be surprised that maximum efficiency was a check in the robot's column. A useful syntax tool, nothing more.

Fair play, Mr.Roboto, but now let's see how you do with the actual art of writing.

She comforted herself with the certainty that the glorified Roomba's words would have all the flow of her late husband's prostate.

Her smile faded as she read through the opening lines, however. It disappeared entirely when she moved on to the second paragraph. By the time she read through the conclusion, she was physically shaking and near tears.

It was beautiful. Captivating even. The details. The descriptions. The robot's version was so much more concise and impactful than hers, despite being confined to the same 1000 character limit.

She had never before seen a walk-in pantry described as " a magical wardrobe to culinary Narnia." Nor had she ever considered opening a line dedicated to a home's hardwood flooring with, "Well, shiver me timbers!" Every nuanced phrase was as fresh and unique as her old rote was tired and hackneyed.

It made her want to buy the house. And she hated this house.

She could scarcely believe it. Just like that, the niche she had dedicated decades to carving out for herself had been filled in by the lifeless fever dream of some computer geek in Northern California.

If AI was the latest and greatest trend, Geraldine realized that she had become the handyman special, in need of a total makeover. With her osteoporosis, she couldn't even make the claim to good bones anymore.

She had seen the future, and octogenarian agents like herself certainly weren't it. All the selfie filters in the world couldn't obscure that fact.

"Well, old gal," she announced to the room as she powered off the laptop and stood. "There is always a market for a fixer-upper."

She made a mental note to reduce her fee and order new business cards as she shuffled out of the cramped, smoke-filled room.

"Alexa, turn off the lights," she croaked over her bony shoulder, plunging the old cottage into darkness. "The party's over."


*Author's Note: I haven't posted on the platform in a VERY long time. If you enjoy my stories and would like to read more, please be sure to follow along here:

The Scottsdale Property Shop Blog

Comments (31)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

AI is good at making templates and then you can take it from there and put your own spin and flair on it

Feb 15, 2024 02:05 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Paul Slaybaugh Loved the handyman specials typing and grasping the last cigarette out of the pack of Virginia slims. OMG, beautiful. As i am taking a sip out of my can of Pepsi   ...Inspirational

Feb 15, 2024 03:03 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Paul,
We need some entertainment here. Keep them coming.

Feb 15, 2024 03:36 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

This was great! Ha!  I'm Geraldine. I've tinkered around with AI. It changed my "stunning views to "breathtaking views" and did help me with a stale listing but I'm still retiring after my current listings are sold.

Feb 15, 2024 04:42 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Great story and still believe AI has no soul.  Not my cup of writing tea.

Feb 16, 2024 06:08 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I think we have great reason to incorporate AI into our business model, anything that allows you more face to face time is fine with me.

Feb 16, 2024 06:26 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

What a fun read! And what an infesting take on how AI can be and will be used in real estate.

Feb 16, 2024 07:18 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Paul,

Very well written! I really enjoyed this. Tell AI to write some more, if you feel like it, since can all use some comic relief now & then.

Feb 16, 2024 08:25 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

This was so good. Makes you want to think!

Feb 16, 2024 08:56 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm not here much, but when a little bird whispered that Paul posted on AR I had to come read every word.  I'll die with a gun in one hand and my keyboard in the other, so like you cold dead hands before AI writes for me.  Frankly I like my southern draw run on sentences because they are the authentic me.

Feb 16, 2024 09:29 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


So nice to see you back and with a creative, powerful and timely message.  I am not ready to yield my thoughts and writing to AI but there are instances where the help couldn't hurt. Some listing descriptions in the MLS are pretty awful and could benefit. I have to wonder what sellers think about this subject? And FSBOs?


Feb 16, 2024 10:04 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Nice to see you back. Great story.

Feb 16, 2024 11:17 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

So good, I could almost hear Geraldine’s smoker voice in your post, Paul!

Feb 16, 2024 12:31 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hello Paul Slaybaugh - Since I don't really know, let me introduce myself. My name is Patricia and I wanted to say, it's creative writing like yours that would keep me reading from morning to night. Plus, I would buy your books. I was thoroughly entertained! Your descriptions are so vivid and full of imagery. 

Thank you for coming back to ActiveRain. You have given me a breath of fresh air. Please, continue to write more blog posts. You're an excellent writer. I love what you wrote!

P.S. I'm not interested in AI or Alexa either. However, I would subscribe to you!

Feb 16, 2024 03:47 PM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Paul, I just followed you and will subscribe to your posts. It was a fun post to read. 

Feb 17, 2024 07:46 AM
J Perrin Cornell
Coldwell Banker Cascade Real Estate - Wenatchee, WA

Hmmmmm. Two thoughts. 1. If you are using AI to write your listing comments. You are missing out. 2. Like many things IT IS ONLY A TOOL! One of many.

Feb 17, 2024 10:05 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

what a breath of fresh air! Loved your post and would certainly read more... Keep on keeping on! The Partys just beginning!

Feb 18, 2024 01:08 AM
J Perrin Cornell

Thank you for stopping by. Also got your kind words. Best of luck!

Feb 18, 2024 08:01 AM
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Paul, welcome back and it was a real treat to once again experience your creativity and wonderful style of writing.  Very Gwen Bantaesque!

Now if you can get Lenza and Inna to join you in writing again that would be like winning the AR Lotto!


Feb 18, 2024 04:29 PM
Paul Slaybaugh

Ahh ... those were the days. Great to see you still around, Bruce

Feb 18, 2024 05:11 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Well written and oh so true.  However, you must check carefully what the AI spits out.  There can be errors.  And in many cases where I know salient information that should be included, it does not show up.  In other cases it glosses over the meat of the ideas you want generated.  Not always a perfect fit for any subject.  I have asked several renditions of the same subject and requested it be lengthened by 50% and it just does what it feels like.  Hmmm

ps.  I bet AI couldn't have written this the way you did!!

Feb 21, 2024 10:10 AM
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

"turtle-killing bendy plastic straw"


Feb 21, 2024 12:56 PM
Paul Slaybaugh

F off, Heindel 

Feb 21, 2024 01:20 PM