Depending on your generation, the idea of artificial intelligence could have a different framework in your mind. Those in Gen X may be fearful of AI, worried we will end up living as batteries in the Matrix or fighting futuristic Terminators.  The younger generations are more familiar and less skeptical, having grown up with Siri and Alexa as helpful voices in the background of their lives.  I fit squarely in the latter category. I consider myself reasonably tech-savvy and am always open to learning new things, so the concept of AI intrigued me.  

In December 2022, Chat GPT was released and immediately went viral.  Since then, hundreds of AI-powered business applications have become available.  As I started exploring these tools, I was genuinely impressed.  It quickly became evident that AI is no longer a futuristic concept – it is ready to become an essential part of business management.  

With the newest iterations of AI becoming more powerful and accessible, I have integrated the technology into my wholesale company and my husband has used some programs as a real estate agent.  In this post, I will discuss what we’re currently doing and give you a sneak peek into some untapped potential I’m eyeing for the future. As a disclaimer, we are not promoting or being paid by any of the products mentioned below, but I wanted to include the names of them for reference and further research if you want. 

Ways I use AI in Wholesale Business

1. SOPs

Operating a wholesale business is all about organization, consistency, and teamwork. I teach VAs (virtual assistants) to run lead generation for me by creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for them to follow. Before finding software to help with this, I was doing this all by myself. My process included filming loom videos of me doing specific tasks, recording seller calls that I had to show them later, and hand-writing scripts for them to use. This process was time-consuming and had to be frequently updated.

Since discovering AI, I have used several programs to help me be more efficient with this task. Most recently, I have been using a program called Taskade. Several programs are similar, but I settled on Taskade because it is inexpensive (about $100 per year) and helps me in a few areas. For SOP generation, I can use AI to write the script for the SOP, which is fully editable, customizable, and can be rewritten as many times as I want it to be. I can tell the program the problems that my team has, and it will write and organize solutions for them in workflows in seconds. This process automates the development of SOPs for my team and can be easily modified to fit my changing needs. 

2. Task Management

As a visionary, type- A person, my mind rarely stops spinning.  I have ideas running through my head all day. I rely heavily on lists to keep me on task and organized. However, if I don’t have my list with me, I am a lost dog. I will inefficiently bounce from task to task during the day as they come to the front of my mind. Taskade also helps with this problem, as its main feature is task management.

Taskade and similar programs allow you to create seamless workspaces that organize to-do lists for you. Using these lists and workspaces on the go is helpful since I rarely sit in front of my desktop. AI uses the info in the workspace to create a mind map, suggest subtasks, manage your to-do list, and automate templates you might need to get your tasks done. They even have Chat Bots that you can “train” to run specific tasks for you in the background, such as your assistant, marketing strategy manager, or sales strategy team. I have yet to spend time in that space, but I enjoy the mind maps it creates and the organization of the workflows.

3. Template Creation

Creating templates for our VAs was a very time-consuming task before I started using ChatGPT. I can make any template I want in a matter of minutes, from SMS to interview templates. Of course, you can’t take everything AI creates as gold; they haven’t mastered adding the “human touch” to things yet, but it certainly gives you a solid base to start on, and you can build it to be what you want it to be.

4. Lead Generation

In any real estate business, you only have a business if you have leads. I am exploring a new program to automate lead generation using AI, but I am not comfortable using it yet, so I don’t want to recommend it prematurely. Stay tuned for more details on that in the future. However, we are using AI for SMS and Email marketing. Podio has been the CRM I have used since starting wholesaling. We are switching to a different system because we are looking for a better AI-integrated SMS system. REI/Kit uses SmartText AI Texts using ChatGPT for SMS and Email Campaigns.

5. SMS blasting

Automating text output has been a significant time-saver. AI generates templates based on lead status in our CRM, sending out messages per our set timeline. Ensuring it doesn’t sound too robotic is challenging, but including personal touches in your CRM that AI can use helps humanize the messages. The main benefits here are the automation of the task and saving manpower from organizing these outbound messages and templates.

6. Email Marketing

AI benefits in email marketing mirror those in SMS. It detects dynamic content, inserts it into emails, and performs targeted research to refine our audience. While we’re not heavy on email marketing, AI automation allows us to send cost-effective email blasts to specific lists.

7. AI Skip tracing

In wholesaling, skip-tracing can be a significant expense. Skip tracing is when you pull a list of addresses for a targeted search and plug it into a program or send your list to a company to “trace” the addresses to try and find the homeowner. Some services I have recently explored involve AI, promising improved accuracy and cost-effectiveness. The best lists we have received are individually pulled property records, which are expensive. We will consider using those programs exclusively if AI can rival this with less cost. So far, I have tried two AI skip-tracing services: DataFlik and ReiKit. The individual record-pulling services cost upwards of $0.20 to $0.30 a record. For reference, DataFlik is $0.08 per matched record, and ReiKit is $0.10 per record. 

Ways to use as an RE Agent

1. Social media presence

As a real estate agent, my husband harnesses the power of AI primarily in increasing his social media presence, a vital channel for his client attraction. His strategy uses social media marketing for education and lead generation. AI is really good at creating content. It is efficient, can redo projects repeatedly, and never gets tired of editing it. He uses programs like Chat GPT and Canva to make social media posts, edit video content, and script content for him to record. AI is also a great organizational tool for managing content calendars, which is essential for people constantly posting on social media and trying to gain a following.

2. Lead Follow up

While I’ve stuck to using VAs for lead follow-up, I’m contemplating a shift toward AI-driven solutions like the ones my husband is using. His approach involves integrating AI-based programs into his CRM. Currently, he uses Follow Up Boss for his CRM, and the integration for AI SMS outreach is called Structurely. This program facilitates SMS blasts for initial follow-ups based on specific campaigns, but it doesn’t just stop at the first message – it can also generate follow-up responses.  While this could potentially cut costs and streamline our wholesale business, it’s worth noting that, at times, the responses might sound a bit robotic (because they are). Customization options in his CRM program are somewhat limited, but it has proven to be a time-saving asset for him, particularly given the one-man show he runs on his side of the business.

Ways Others Use AI in Real Estate

1. Contract Generation

While more extensive wholesale operations embrace AI for contract generation and transaction management, I have been cautious about going this route. Previous attempts to delegate this task to a VA resulted in mistakes and near-deal losses. While I acknowledge AI’s potential, we all know that AI is not foolproof. Programs like ReiKit have software that automate your contract processes by plugging into your CRM and can offer time savings by automatically generating and sending contracts for signatures. However, I would find myself meticulously double-checking everything. It might offset the efficiency. At this stage, our templates are set, and I can handle this fairly quickly on my own. However, this option may be worth it if you are doing a high volume of deals and need help tracking your transactions.

2. Appointment scheduling

We’ve primarily relied on outbound marketing for lead generation for our wholesale operation. I have yet to use inbound website leads. However, using AI, inbound lead generation is more attainable and affordable. For instance, my husband has looked into programs like RealGeeks that create and manage your website for inbound leads to dominate a market with a price tag. These programs will cost anywhere from $500-$1200 a month. If inbound leads are a priority for you, the automation of these types of systems is enticing and can be worth the investment.

3. Analytics/ Trend Predictions

I have to admit that analyzing data and trends is not my strong suit. Not that I can’t do it, more so that I don’t particularly like to organize numbers this way. Data analysis is a bit of a drag for me; although I love to know the numbers, I don’t want to be the integrator getting the numbers. While we have stuck with basic Key Performance Indicator (KPI) tracking using spreadsheets, AI-driven analytic programs offer a more in-depth and efficient alternative. Although I am comfortable with our current system, the efficiency and depth AI-driven analytics create are intriguing.

4. Graphic Design/ Interior Design

Using AI-driven programs to help with flip design is something I became interested in when searching for interior design help when we were doing our first flip. Since then, I have heard it talked about on several podcasts and community blogs, all raving about its usefulness. You no longer have to rely on hiring someone to complete this; you can upload pictures of your property into an AI program and watch AI design the whole house for you. The system estimates rehab costs, creates timelines, budgets, and renovation renders as many times as you would like. I would love to use this technology on our next project. A few programs I have researched are RoomGPT and VirtualHouseFlip. Both are inexpensive and promising options I will try in the future. 

5. Virtual Property Tours with AI

These systems are beneficial tools if you are flipping homes or if you are a real estate agent. AI simplifies the creation of property tours, and project renders to attract buyers. As a flipper, you can use this software to show buyers a property’s potential with designs that AI creates in minutes.

My husband just started using an AI-driven program to market his listings, using a video walkthrough of a house and turning them into static pictures to post on MLS that looks like a photographer took them. This software is called Giraffe360 and saves hundreds of dollars per listing and is easier to use and set up on his own time instead of relying on a photographer/videographer’s schedule.

6. Voice Assistants for Task Management

In business in general, but especially real estate business, you are always on the go. We are touring potential properties, meeting buyers, or showing current contracted properties to potential buyers. Having a voice assistant for on-the-go task management would be a time saver. Taskade does offer assistant training, and other services tap into this potential as well, but I have yet to take the time to try and implement this.

7. Image Recognition for Property Evaluation

There are times in wholesaling when we are locking up properties sight unseen. I have heard of AI software that uses image recognition through Google Maps and other programs to do property evaluations in the last few months and give you some idea of its condition. I don’t see how this could be reliable yet, but I will keep my eye on software using technology like this to see if we can tap into this in the future for analyzing properties that we cannot physically walk through.

Conclusion

Although I don’t believe we’ll fight off AI-powered robots like in the movies, technological advancements are increasing people’s efficiency and productivity today. Embracing AI is not about adopting a new and shiny technology; it’s about using AI’s power to stay ahead. I encourage you to consider AI as an assistant, not your replacement. The value AI brings to my business is organizing and automating my routine processes, which frees up my mental bandwidth so that I can focus on more important issues.  

I am sure there are ways to use AI that I don’t know about. Please share your insights below if you’ve stumbled upon innovative AI technologies I missed. Let’s continue this conversation, stay informed, and navigate the future of technology together. Remember to subscribe to our blog for more articles on this exciting journey. Please share your thoughts, and let’s keep the human dialogue alive!