Purchased 'Content' Sucks, But A.I.?

By Dave Fratello | June 23rd, 2022

"If you must write prose and poems,

The words you use should be your own.

Don't plagiarize or take 'on loan.'"

- The Smiths, "Cemetry Gates"

Most people can't write. Or they have other stuff to do.

And yet real estate agents are told over and over, "you need to send emails to people in your area to demonstrate your expertise."

So instead of struggling with writer's block, digesting the latest from the Wall Street Journal, or running real estate data through spreadsheets and graphing engines, what options does your local real estate agent have?

For one thing, they can buy or borrow content.

Little articles. Graphs and charts. General advice for home buyers and sellers (tips for decorating and moving, for example). Recipes.

Sometimes a whole email newsletter is available, and all one must do is upload a profile photo to the system, and you can spam send to thousands of people.

The resulting emails can often be insipid and feel out of place.

Like, Are you really talking to me, here in Manhattan Beach, or is that generic advice from some content farm?

One of our various online identities got one of these generic emails the other day.

The "local expert" here in the South Bay purports to be offering advice on when is the best time of year to sell your house. It just depends on whether you're in the Northeast "where the leaves change" in Fall, or Arizona or Nevada (avoid selling in Summer!), or a place with "harsh" Winters like the Midwest.

Do you know who I am? Where I am?

Other times we receive super brief, topical emails from local brokers promising some analysis of interest rate trends, housing news or economic data. But the headlines are always much more grabby than the copy. 

The headline might be something like, "What Bitcoin's Fall Means for Manhattan Beach Real Estate," and you definitely want to see that. Then the article is some half-baked one-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand kind of piece that stops after 95 words, and you feel cheated. (They made me open that!)

We get all kinds of email messages like that. Maybe you, too.

We know they are intended to help credential an agent as an expert, someone savvy in economic trends, housing data, the sale process, and so forth. (Ooooh, Broker Bill is really up on all the important data!) But if they buy someone's generic copy (or just copy and paste for free), it might actually be working against them.

If you won't even take the time to review what goes out in your name, maybe just... don't send anything?

Hot tip: Want to find out if your local agent's market update is genuine our purchased? Copy a paragraph and paste it into Google. If there are lots of results, the agent bought the copy, or got it from their lender buddy or corporate HQ. It's amazing how widespread someone's C-minus, milquetoast work can get.

Now of course, you know, here at MBC everything is hand-crafted, has been for 15 years, and we expect that it will ever be thus.

The funny part is, some other agents might be better off having a computer do the writing for them.

Join us in the emerging debate over Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and sentience.

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We asked a paid A.I. writing service/robot that we subscribed to once, for fun, to tackle some hot topics.

The AI's custom-crafted results, made available within seconds, appear unedited below. (We even left intact factual errors and opinions with which we disagree.) Enjoy!

When's the Best Time of Year to Sell Your Home in Manhattan Beach?

"Manhattan Beach is a beautiful place to live, and the real estate market reflects that. Homes in Manhattan Beach sell for a premium, and the prices can fluctuate depending on the time of year. The best time to sell a home in Manhattan Beach is typically during the summer months, when there are more buyers looking for properties. Prices also tend to be higher during the summer, as buyers are willing to pay more for a beach property. However, if you're not in a hurry to sell your home, you may want to wait until the fall or winter months. Prices tend to be lower during these times, as there are fewer buyers in the market. However, it's important to keep in mind that the real estate market is always changing, so it's best to speak with a local expert before making any decisions."

Why Is Manhattan Beach Better Than Hermosa Beach?

"There are plenty of reasons why Manhattan Beach is better than Hermosa Beach. First of all, the weather is better in Manhattan Beach. It’s never too hot or too cold, and there’s always a pleasant ocean breeze. Secondly, the people are friendlier in Manhattan Beach. Everyone seems to be in a good mood, and there’s a real sense of community. Finally, the lifestyle in Manhattan Beach is just more fun. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a beach party, a concert, or a festival. In Hermosa Beach, on the other hand, things are just kind of… boring. If you’re looking for a place to have a good time, Manhattan Beach is the obvious choice."

(Editor's note: This robot could start a war!)

Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

"Home sellers often wonder how they can prepare their home to get the best possible price. While there are many things that can be done to increase the value of a home, some of the most important steps are also the simplest. For example, taking the time to tidy up both the inside and outside of the home can make a big difference. In addition, painting walls and trim can help to brighten up a space and make it more inviting. And finally, staging furniture in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional can help potential buyers to see the home's full potential. While it may take some time and effort to get a home ready to sell, taking these steps can ultimately help to maximize profit."

Why SoCal's South Bay is the Real 'South Bay'

"The South Bay of Los Angeles is often considered to be the 'real' South Bay, as opposed to the Northern California version. Beach cities like Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach offer year-round outdoor activities, while it is often cold in Northern California towns like Los Gatos, Milpitas and Santa Clara. This is due to the weather patterns in southern California, which are more conducive to beachgoing and outdoor activities. As a result, many people believe that the South Bay of Los Angeles is the better place to live. There should be a new name for the Northern California version, as it does not accurately represent what the area has to offer."

What Bitcoin's Fall Means for Manhattan Beach Real Estate

"The recent decline in bitcoin values has caused many investors to lose a great deal of money. While the 70% drop may seem dramatic, it is actually not that unusual for bitcoin values to rise and fall by large amounts over a short period of time. However, the impact of the decline on the Manhattan Beach real estate market has been significant. Home prices in Manhattan Beach are now about 10% lower than they were just a few months ago. This is due, in part, to the so-called 'wealth effect.' When investors see their portfolio value decline, they are less likely to engage in expensive purchases, such as buying a new home. As a result, the recent decline in bitcoin values is having a negative impact on home prices in Manhattan Beach."

(Editor's note: The A.I. has not been tracking the local real estate market.)

Why Artificial Intelligence Beats Paid Real Estate Content

"If you're in the business of real estate, artificial intelligence can be a valuable tool for helping you produce high-quality content. Paid content can be generic and often irrelevant to your specific audience, but AI writers can help you create more targeted and engaging newsletters and other communications. In addition, AI can help you keep your writing quality consistent across different channels and platforms. Whether you're creating website copy, blog posts, or social media content, artificial intelligence can be a valuable asset in helping you produce the best possible content for your business."

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Editor's bonus note: While in the quote at the top of this post, Morrissey admonishes people to write for themselves, the very lyrics of "Cemetry Gates" infamously lift a line completely from the 1942 film The Man Who Came to Dinner. It's the memorable line: "All those people, all those lives, where are they now?" Plagiarized and taken "on loan."

Oh, those Brits, they invented irony. (D'oh!, that's borrowed from "Ted Lasso.")

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