AI’s Role in CRE: Enhancing, Not Replacing, The Human Experience


Everyone’s heard of artificial intelligence – from Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, to automated customer service at retail stores. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are not new technologies, and they aren’t going away. Robots are now becoming our baristas, as seen with Café X in the San Francisco airport, and they are increasingly assisting in surgical procedures. Now, the latest “robot” everyone is talking about is AI.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT brought generative AI to the forefront in late 2022 with its publicly available chatbot, which quickly gained widespread adoption. In its latest iteration, ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that uses a diverse data set and user feedback to “learn” and improve its answers. Many industries are adopting AI, but how can commercial real estate professionals use it?

CRE brokers are leveraging AI for a variety of tasks. A simple Google search will reveal numerous uses, from drafting emails to analyzing comprehensive data sets. However, the effectiveness of AI heavily depends on the person using it and the quality of the input. AI relies on the user for context, accurate data, and expertise. At C&W | PICOR, brokers and property managers are leveraging AI to enhance their client service, efficiency, and productivity without relying on it entirely for their business. Instead, they see AI as a valuable support tool. Here are some practical ways we are using AI in CRE:

  • Client Research and Preparation: AI can assist in researching and preparing for potential clients by analyzing data and providing insights into market trends, property values, and competitive analysis. It can identify the pros and cons of different actions, helping brokers make informed decisions.

  • Marketing: AI can generate or refine marketing content, summarize lengthy or technical data, and make complex information more accessible.

  • Email Correspondence: AI tools can help convey the appropriate intent or tone in emails, making communication clearer and more effective.

  • Writing and Editing: AI can create property summaries, draft and refine emails, and assist in writing marketing email campaigns and social media posts. AI can also help with the language for Letters of Intent (LOIs) and leasing agreements and refine or edit contract language.

  • Workflow and Training: AI can generate checklists for workflows to streamline tasks, ensuring that sale and lease transactions are executed effectively and risks are mitigated. It can also create knowledge assessments for training purposes, helping your team stay updated with the latest industry practices.

The applications extend further, depending on your willingness to explore this technology. AI can help prepare presentations with tools like Poised, generate copyright-free images with, or even use your voice for telephonic prospecting and leaving voicemails with It can suggest potential businesses to target when optimizing tenant mix at a shopping center, based on foot traffic data and sales reports. 

However, the deeper you go into AI, the more you risk losing the human touch, your expertise, and your client’s experience. Not to mention the importance of ensuring the accuracy of AI output, which requires professional judgment. 

Despite its impressive capabilities, AI falls short of matching the depth of human nature. For instance, people have reported that the coffee made by the robot at Café X in San Francisco Airport isn’t all that great—it lacks the human touch and the craft that a barista provides. Similarly, while robots assist in surgeries to make them less invasive, they do not perform the surgeries themselves. The same concept applies to AI chatbots: they are only as good as the human behind them. AI relies on users for context, data, goals, and professional knowledge and skill sets.

Robots aren’t taking over our jobs anytime soon. In fact, AI is driving the need for more expert talent to effectively use AI. By leveraging this new tool, commercial real estate professionals can enhance their efficiency and productivity to better serve their clients, while maintaining their invaluable personal and professional approaches.

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