Bots Can Create Almost Any Image. What Real Estate Agents Should Know

There’s a lot noise on the market on the best way to navigate a difficult market. This April, let Inman assist you reduce by way of the muddle to make sensible enterprise selections in actual time. All month lengthy, we’re taking it Again to Fundamentals and discovering out how actual property execs are evolving their programs and investing personally and professionally to drive development.

In late March, the world gasped after photographs emerged displaying police arresting former President Donald Trump.

In one of many photographs, officers grip Trump’s arms and lead him away. Others present Trump working from police, and nonetheless extra pictures depict Trump’s relations trying on in misery. It was a scene not like something that had occurred beforehand in American historical past.

And because it seems, it nonetheless hasn’t occurred.

That’s as a result of the photographs weren’t photographs in any respect. As an alternative, they have been the handiwork of a man-made intelligence picture generator known as Midjourney. The photographs first appeared on Twitter, earlier than going viral on different platforms corresponding to TikTok. Initially, many customers assumed the pictures — which at a look regarded plausible — have been actual and subsequently shared them as such. (Trump’s precise arrest a pair weeks later was a far much less dramatic and photographed affair.)

However earlier than lengthy, eagle-eyed viewers observed errors within the pictures and shortly dozens of reports shops wrote posts debunking them.

However the episode however captured the superior, terrifying and sudden energy of synthetic intelligence picture turbines. Seemingly in a single day, atypical folks gained the power to conjure realistic-but-fake imagery that previously may need required intensive coaching or a Hollywood funds. And whereas the Trump photographs have been broadly seen as a cautionary story about misinformation, others have used AI instruments to create positive artwork, illustrate kids’s books, and assemble skilled branding supplies.

All of which is to say that AI picture turbines are actually attaining unprecedented ranges of sophistication, and are thus poised to disrupt industries corresponding to actual property. That actuality raises a bunch of challenges, however it additionally means actual property professionals are about to have new alternatives to streamline their work, lengthen their attain and combine know-how in ways in which even months in the past have been unimaginable.

In that gentle, right here’s what it is advisable to learn about AI imagery.

Desk of Contents

Why is there abruptly a lot buzz about AI-generated pictures?

As Inman beforehand reported, the present frenzy over AI started in December when know-how firm OpenAI debuted the free, public model of its chatbot, ChatGPT.

OpenAI has equally pushed the explosion of curiosity in AI picture turbines. The corporate first introduced its DALL-E device — named for artist Salvador Dalí and Pixar robotic WALL-E — again in 2021. It debuted an upgraded model known as DALL-E 2 final spring, then made that device broadly out there to everybody in September.

A handful of competing picture turbines have popped up alongside the way in which, however DALL-E’s debut and development alongside ChatGPT is the most important driver of consideration to the sector.

The large three picture turbines

A lot as is the case with chatbots, there are quite a few AI-image turbines on the market proper now. However in latest months, three have emerged because the dominant gamers. Inman examined these three by asking them to create a picture based mostly on the next immediate:

a home on a hill surrounded by flowers, with the milky approach galaxy seen within the background

The objective of the experiment was to check the AI, however on this case Inman was additionally making an attempt to provide header pictures for a latest collection of tales on the spring market. So it wasn’t a wholly educational train.

Right here’s how the experiment went:

Steady Diffusion

Steady diffusion is by far probably the most user-friendly of the big-name picture turbines. Customers don’t must register or join. You merely go to the web site, enter a immediate and wait seconds or minutes (relying on how busy the positioning is). Higher nonetheless, it’s free and there are not any limits on the variety of prompts customers can enter. Because of this, Steady Diffusion is an effective entry level for anybody wanting to check the AI waters.

Listed here are the pictures Steady Diffusion produced from that immediate:

The photographs above usually are not horrible per se, however in case you look intently they’ve an uncanny valley high quality to them. And so they spotlight one in every of Steady Diffusion’s huge tradeoffs; the platform is free and simple to make use of, however its pictures usually aren’t as spectacular as these of some rival platforms.

Fortunately, Steady Diffusion has a piece of its web site dedicated to efficient prompts, so it’s simple to get used to the platform and determine the best way to generate higher pictures.


Dall-E 2 remains to be most likely the best-known AI picture generator, and Inman has used pictures from the platform a number of occasions as headers for tales. Right here’s the way it responded to the immediate:

The device is a robust one. That mentioned, the outcomes above aren’t terribly inspiring. They’re not fairly as uncanny as Steady Diffusion’s pictures, however they’re additionally drab and darkish. That’s to not say all of DALL-E 2’s pictures are drab — this Inman story encompasses a vibrant drawing-style picture of rockets that the platform created — however the pictures don’t simply prove spectacular if a consumer doesn’t determine the best way to write efficient prompts.

Customers have to enroll to make use of DALL-E 2. The positioning operates utilizing “credit,” with every new immediate costing one credit score. Most customers obtain 15 free credit every month, which isn’t sufficient to do a lot experimenting, although relying on when an individual indicators up they could additionally obtain an preliminary bucket of free credit. The positioning at present prices $15 for 115 further credit.


Midjourney might be the buzziest AI picture platform, and for good motive: It constantly generates unbelievable pictures. The photographs it got here up with for the immediate have been far and away higher than what DALL-E 2 or Steady Diffusion created:

After some tweaking by way of follow-up prompts, Inman finally used Midjourney’s pictures for the headers on the spring market collection.

Midjourney pictures are additionally ok that they constantly go viral; along with the Trump episode, there was additionally the so-called “Balenciaga Pope” pictures that made the rounds on social media final month.

However Midjourney’s draw back is that the training curve to get began may be very steep. The platform will not be truly an internet site by itself, however moderately works by way of Discord, a social and messaging platform. So, would-be customers first have to enroll in Discord, select a “server” by which to take part, determine the fundamental code to get the bot to start out working (prompts have to be preceded by “/think about”), after which determine the place these pictures are going to indicate up.

When you get used to the system, it’s pretty simple. However Inman’s first a number of makes an attempt to make use of Midjourney concerned lots of Googling of directions.

Midjourney has traditionally provided a free trial model of its platform, however in latest days has reduce off the free model, citing extra demand. So an extra a part of the training curve now includes signing up and paying for a subscription as effectively. As of this writing, Midjourney’s most cost-effective tier begins at $8 per 30 days. The most costly tier prices $48 per 30 days.

How can brokers use AI-generated pictures in actual property? 

Whereas chatbots have apparent functions in actual property, AI pictures are concurrently extra thrilling however more durable to deploy. Brokers, in any case, don’t essentially want unique imagery of totally synthetic environments. That mentioned, listed below are a number of of the methods business execs are utilizing this know-how:


Headshot technology — for which there are a selection of suppliers — is without doubt one of the extra widespread methods brokers are utilizing AI.

Lauren King — an agent with PureWest Christie’s Worldwide Actual Property in Whitefish, Montana — is amongst those that have given the idea a attempt, telling Inman she used the corporate Attempt it On. The service asks customers for 10 to twenty unique photographs, then after a day or two sends again about 100 AI generated headshots. The service value King $17.

These are two of the unique pictures King despatched to Attempt it On:

Credit score: Lauren King

Of the greater than 100 pictures Attempt it On created, King mentioned there have been a handful that she appreciated and would possibly truly use.

“I might say I might really feel snug utilizing 5 or eight,” she mentioned. “They’re those I feel nobody would query.”

Listed here are two of these pictures:

Credit score: Lauren King

The photographs Lauren shared with Inman present that Attempt it On added heat, golden hour lighting and a shallow depth of area (that means the background is out of focus), amongst different issues. They give the impression of being skilled.

However the outcomes additionally diversified, with King saying that most of the photographs both regarded nothing like her, had unusual lighting, or have been in any other case unusable.

Listed here are a few the much less profitable examples, which didn’t precisely seize quite a lot of King’s facial options. The second picture particularly additionally has an oddly unreal high quality.

Credit score: Lauren King

Regardless of a few of the weirder renderings, King spoke positively of her expertise.

“It was a enjoyable experiment,” she mentioned, including that it was a neater course of than taking pictures precise headshots. “I discover photograph shoots and headshots to be sort of anxious.”

Deena Serna agreed that taking pictures headshots could be “a ache” and instructed Inman that she too consequently used Attempt it On for headshots. Serna, a Compass agent in Vero Seaside, Florida, mentioned that of the 100 or so pictures she obtained, many “got here out simply tousled,” with unusual trying eyes and enamel. However like King, she obtained sufficient usable pictures to make the experiment price it.

Deena Serna

“There was a handful that turned out fairly good,” she mentioned. “I’ll undoubtedly use them. The resemblance to my actual pure self is satisfactory.”

Such sentiments are circulating quickly by way of actual property social media teams. And whereas the weirder outcomes spotlight AI’s present shortcomings, that is additionally one of many major frontiers by which synthetic intelligence-generated actual property content material is definitely making it out into the true world.

Renderings and visualizations

One other buzzy approach that persons are deploying AI visualizations in actual property is by way of renderings of buildings. The photographs beneath, for instance, are AI-generated pictures of townhouses.

The Twitter consumer who generated these pictures describes them as having “immaculate design,” and it’s laborious to argue with that evaluation. The consumer additionally means that it’s solely a matter of time earlier than such pictures could be enter into the software program that architects use to design precise buildings.

From there, it’s additionally not an enormous stretch to think about a full AI-based constructing pipeline that begins with fairly footage and ends with 3D-printed buildings.

Dave Jones

That’s a speculative consequence, however already actual property professionals are imagining methods to deploy this type of visualization know-how to clean out the house search course of. For example Dave Jones, co-owner of Windermere Abode in Tacoma, Washington, instructed Inman he may think about utilizing AI to assist shoppers higher visualize and talk what sort of property they need.

“What if I used to be serving to somebody who wasn’t there and so they may clarify to me what the home they wished regarded like,” he mentioned. “So now I’ve a visible of what you’re in search of.”

Kent Czechowski, chief knowledge scientist at OJO, instructed Inman that these instruments may also enhance present actual property visualization and digital staging instruments.

“For instance, AI instruments can let a homebuyer think about what a at present empty lounge would appear like if their furnishings and residential decor have been current, or assist a potential vendor see what an enhancement to their property would appear like and even value,” Czechowski mentioned.

Plenty of actual property firms are at present experimenting with enhanced AI know-how. Inman will dive into such instruments in a later submit.

Advertising content material

Actual property professionals may also use AI of their advertising, based on Nick Niehaus, co-founder at actual property coaching agency Enterprise Video Faculty.

Nick Niehaus

“It ought to be utilized in advertising, and I feel it ought to be used even at the moment,” Niehaus mentioned. “Advertising is all about saying one thing totally different than your competitors and that’s one thing the instruments permit us to do extra effectively.”

Niehaus has spent latest months experimenting with totally different AI platforms, and mentioned that instruments corresponding to Midjourney and DALL-E provide each pace and originality benefits. They’ll additionally assist brokers create a cohesive visible advertising marketing campaign that interprets throughout mediums.

“You may make much more pictures so much quicker,” he added. “You’ll be able to have a postcard marketing campaign that drives them to a touchdown web page and results in a collection of emails. And you’ll have all of that actually in minutes.”

Czechowski additional famous that AI could let actual property professionals higher goal their advertising to their shoppers.

“The proliferation of content material will result in an explosion of hyper-localized and highly-targeted content material,” he mentioned. “Customers will anticipate an expertise tailor-made to their private preferences, communication kinds, and timelines.”

Whereas this kind of content material is a innovative AI enterprise software, it’s obvious that it’s additionally gaining popularity: As a result of Midjourney operates on Discord, customers can see every others’ prompts and outcomes, and blended in with the limitless fantasy landscapes is numerous firm logos and different branding pictures.

Tackling the training curve

Whereas the potential of AI picture turbines is important, it is usually not essentially simple to make use of them. Or a minimum of, they don’t mechanically produce nice pictures.

Niehaus, for instance, mentioned that so as to generate the sort of complete AI-based advertising marketing campaign talked about above, a consumer would possibly must enter wherever from 20 to 50 totally different prompts. And people prompts want to make use of language that the AI platform understands.

“Quite a lot of people they’ll put in a single, or possibly a pair prompts, and be like ‘I’m not getting what I need,’” he mentioned. “The best way you discuss to Google, to seek for one thing, I feel that’s a superb analogy for what we’re studying right here.”

Amongst different issues, Niehaus mentioned that picture turbines usually need customers to enter as few phrases as doable. Moreover, the order of phrases issues, with these in the beginning of the immediate exerting higher affect on the tip outcome.

“You don’t need to communicate in full sentences,” he added, drawing a distinction between picture turbines and chatbots, the latter of which are inclined to excel at human-like speech.

Niehaus additionally suggested customers to assume critically in regards to the product they need to produce. He prompt, for instance, that folks with a pictures background inform the picture turbines what sorts of lenses and lighting temperatures they’re in search of in pictures. Individuals who have a selected artist’s fashion in thoughts ought to embrace that artist’s title within the immediate.

“You would possibly say, ‘brownstone home, feminine actual property agent in entrance, cloudy day, 5600k lighting,’ and embrace a sure sort of lens,” Niehaus defined, including that studying to put in writing efficient prompts takes time.

Niehaus’ strategies, nevertheless, increase a refined however vital distinction between the way in which AI pictures work in comparison with extra standard searches for pictures. Up to now, somebody in search of a picture to placed on an internet site or piece of promoting may need visited a photograph gallery, considered quite a lot of disparate pictures, after which determined what to make use of from amongst these choices. In different phrases, a consumer would possibly begin with solely a obscure concept of what picture they need, after which make a decision in the course of the search course of.

Nonetheless, producing a picture by way of AI is totally totally different. As an alternative of utilizing obscure search phrases, customers must have a selected concept already in thoughts of what they’re making an attempt to generate. So, the second at which a consumer decides on a picture occurs a lot sooner within the course of, earlier than the search. It includes, in different phrases, a artistic course of extra akin to portray than to scrolling by way of a gallery on Getty Pictures.

Huge dangers and massive rewards

As is the case with chatbots, the rise of AI picture turbines has prompted quite a lot of questions on the way forward for work and mental property.

For instance, one contentious challenge surrounding AI picture turbines revolves round how a lot their merchandise pull from present work. In some case, AI pictures have even included what seems to be just like the signatures of actual life artists, prompting issues that the bots are plagiarizing — and consuming up the enterprise of — actual folks. Such issues have since prompted a number of lawsuits, and it stays to be seen how mental property legal guidelines would possibly finally apply to the gamut of AI artwork.

These points may influence how a lot actual property professionals lean on AI imagery in the long run. Within the shorter time period, AI’s reliance on present paintings may make it more durable and more durable to generate actually unique content material — or a minimum of for learners to take action with out critical prompt-entering chops.

Past mental property, there’s additionally dangers on the subject of misinformation. The Trump arrest pictures spotlight this challenge, however Niehaus additionally famous that “deep fakes,” which might superimpose one particular person’s face onto one other’s physique, increase quite a lot of moral concerns. Niehaus moreover famous that there’s the potential for AI to interchange jobs, corresponding to those who have historically revolved round content material creation.

“It seems to be like lots of these instruments can be geared up to interchange white-collar jobs greater than blue-collar jobs,” he mentioned.

Niehaus even imagines a future by which customers work together with AI-based actual property brokers.

“In the event you can mix a chatbot with a stay video that appears like an actual particular person, even in case you inform folks it’s AI, I do assume there’s a phase of the inhabitants that’ll be okay with that,” he mentioned.

That will sound ominous, and certainly for some brokers it might be. As extra AI instruments are in a position to work collectively, their collective attain and potential disruptive qualities will get greater and greater.

However Niehaus additionally framed the current shift as a chance. Brokers who learn to use AI would possibly be capable to lengthen their attain to far off places by providing customers in new markets a chatbot model of themselves. And whether or not that particularly occurs or not, Niehaus’ level was that brokers who fail to discover AI are on the best danger, each from the know-how itself and from their human rivals who be taught the ropes.

“That’s why I’m actually emphasizing the thought of studying the instruments,” Niehaus mentioned. “We are able to’t predict precisely the place it’s going to go, however there’s lots of worth in brokers actually experimenting with it proper now.”

E mail Jim Dalrymple II

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