Friday, February 17, 2023

Artificial Intelligence and Commercial Real Estate

The new rage is Chat GPT - a free research project by Microsoft purportedly is making a huge investment in the technology. Unfamiliar? Ask a question or make a request and it spits out a string of text which some would consider column worthy. What in fact is column worthy is the potential impact machine learning can have on our industry and the ways in which agents will use it. Let’s face it. For content creators this can be a game changer. As an example, I asked Chat to write five tweets on the state of the industrial market in Orange County. Fifteen seconds later - here’s what I got:
1.   "Orange County's industrial market sees strong demand with low vacancy rates and rising rental prices. #industrialrealestate #OrangeCounty"
2.   "E-commerce growth drives demand for industrial space in Orange County, leading to new developments and expansions. #ecommerce #OrangeCounty"
3.   "Orange County's transportation infrastructure, skilled workforce, and proximity to LA make it a prime location for industrial companies. #OrangeCounty"
4.   "Orange County's industrial market continues to attract investors and companies looking for a strategic West Coast presence. #investment #OrangeCounty"
5.   "Orange County's industrial sector sees a surge in creative office conversions, appealing to tech and creative companies. #creativeofficespace #OrangeCounty"
Next, I asked Chat to opine on the effect of AB2011 on housing. The stream of data flooded through with this:
“AB 2011 is a California state bill (Assembly Bill 2011) that went into effect on January 1, 2022 and aims to increase housing affordability by providing funding for affordable housing projects through the creation of a new tax credit program. The bill's impact on housing is to increase the availability of affordable housing units by providing incentives for developers to build and preserve affordable housing. This is expected to address the state's housing affordability crisis and help low- and moderate-income families access safe and affordable housing.”
Finally, my column on Proposition ULA and the changes in transfer taxes created quite a stir among my readers. I asked Chat to have a go:
“I'm sorry, but I don't have information about a specific "Proposition ULA." It's possible that you may have misspelled the name or that it refers to a local or regional initiative that is not well-known. To obtain more accurate information, I recommend checking local news sources, government websites, or consulting with a local expert or professional.” 
Based on this - I might still have a role as a contributing columnist. 
My immediate reaction to all of this was attribution, plagiarism, commercial use of the data and so on. I’ll leave this to those much smarter than I. But it’s pretty cool and gives a glimpse into the future of content creation. 
Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at or 714.564.7104. His website is

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