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20181012 Estate Agency vs AI, Part 2

20181012 (Fri)

Do you think Estate Agents will be out of job in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) era in the future? Part 2.

Yesterday we discussed about the relationship of an agent to the principal in dealing with the third party. There is a certain amount of protection of rights of the third party which makes this relationship necessary. It is not really about the physical means to achieve a contract. It is about the duty and independence of the three people in an agency contract.

Indeed, it is not about technology or AI taking over the physical job, the core reason of estate agency is trust. Can AI take over this trust? Cannot. However, AI can be used by estate agent to better perform the tasks. No matter what, landlord/owner and estate agent canNOT be the same person. Or else, there is no protection to the rights of the tenant/purchaser.

Furthermore, there are issues about undisclosed principal – a buyer or seller who does NOT want to be contacted. In such scenario, there have to be a person entrusted with the job – an agent. AI is just like a super telephone, the principal still has to program it to talk to third party as if the principal himself is talking. It does NOT have a legal entity independently like a human being without influence of the appointed Principal. So, an undisclosed principal is in fact, not undisclosed. It is just like he is anonymous that is all.

For example, you are a billionaire and you need to buy a plot of land. However, you would prefer your identity to be kept a secret. So, you set up an AI. And, AI for that purpose is like an anonymous phone call, it does NOT represent anyone else (like an agent) to come into contract.

When this AI contact the seller, they seller wants to know who this AI is. Then, you say I am a Secret. How would the seller trust a Secret Person? Therefore, it has to be an AI controlled by an estate agent which can take this contract legal because the third party can come to contract with this estate agent which is binding to the principal – buyer.

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