As any real estate professional will tell you, properties can’t sell themselves, no matter how spectacular they may be. But thanks to a new service conceived by an enterprising agent at Douglas Elliman, you might say that they are starting to speak for themselves.
Inspired by the recent release of the artificial-intelligence-powered text generator ChatGPT, Dennis Saglam, an agent based in Elliman’s Sag Harbor, NY, office, has launched Listingcopy.ai, a software platform that uses AI to instantly generate descriptions of properties for marketing and advertising.
By entering all the features, attributes and details of a listed property into the software system, an agent can produce in mere seconds the kind of text description that might otherwise require lengthy and laborious wordsmithing—an all-too common pain point for real estate professionals that Saglam knows all-too well.
“I hated writing the descriptions,” he said in an interview. “I’m not a writer, I have a million things going on in my head—it’s just not what I like to do.”
For agents who feel the burn of balancing their marketing efforts with the core work of client service and relationship building, Listingcopy.ai promises to provide real relief from the relentless demand for content creation and social media engagement.
“Every minute you can save here and there makes an impact,” Saglam said. “When you’re a one-man-show, doing your marketing, your back-end accounting stuff—there’s a lot that goes into it. So, automating your listing descriptions can free up time to focus on other things, whether it’s serving your client or doing lead generation.”
A Long Island native who began his real estate career in 2016, when he joined Elliman after working as a sales manager for LA Fitness, Saglam is also a tech-savvy digital native who sees AI as a new tool that agents can learn to weave into their work, just as they’ve done with social media over the past 15 years. When ChatGPT became publicly available in late 2022, he immediately began to experiment with prompting it to generate marketing copy but found the program lacked the particular “knowledge” of real estate needed to produce a compelling listing description.
So, in mid-December, he partnered with a machine-learning specialist who also happened to be a full-stack developer. With minimal bootstrap investment and just two months of near round-the-clock work, Saglam and his partner (with the help of several contractors) built a viable product and launched Listingcopy.ai on February 17.
Since then, he says, through a combination of “guerilla marketing” to industry friends, his very first TikTok video (now north of 13,600 views) and word of mouth, the platform has averaged some 15 sign-ups per day—including from subscribers outside the U.S.
“I’ve had people reach out to me saying, ‘This is amazing!’ and how we could integrate it into the local MLS,” he said. “I’m excited about it! I think it’s a real game changer, and this is where the future is going.”
Having initially trained the program by feeding it thousands of sample listing descriptions, Saglam and his team are continuing to finetune, improve the output and enable agents to “utilize its full power” with better guidance on how to prompt it.
“You have to know what to say to it, how to ask the questions—there’s an art to it,” he said, noting that he had just used it to generate the copy for a new listing in Southampton.
Now, after meeting earlier this month with members of Douglas Elliman’s corporate technology team, Saglam and Listingcopy.ai have the brokerage’s blessing and support.
“I wanted to make sure I wasn’t stepping on any toes or conflicting with the brand in any way,” Saglam said. “But Elliman is a very forward-thinking brand, so I think it’s a win-win.”
While he is excited about the potential for Listingcopy.ai to enable agents to market their listings more efficiently, Saglam is confident that the clients will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
“Clients expect us to be up to speed on what’s happening in technology,” he said. “It’s important to stay ahead of the curve and do the right thing by them.”
As for concerns among writers and other creatives that AI content creation will make them obsolete, Saglam says copywriters and wordsmiths will still be in demand to ensure the auto-generated words ring true.
“People connect with the properties through the story you tell,” he said. “The pictures catch the attention, and if they swipe, they’ll go down and read the description. If you can sell the lifestyle that property brings, then you’re going to get the phone call.”