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ChatGPT is helping workers in real estate, finance and health care do their jobs



In the three months since the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was introduced to the world, workers have already harnessed it to make their lives easier. Professionals in fields including real estate, health care and finance say they save time and work more efficiently using AI.

Here’s how these workers described using the tool in their day-to-day jobs.

Write me a real estate listing

Mala Sander, a top real estate agent for the Corcoran Group who focuses on the Hamptons, has been using ChatGPT regularly for the past couple of weeks to help her write real estate listings and devise marketing strategies for properties.

“I asked it to write me ad copy about a house in Bridgehampton with a pool and tennis court on two acres and I listed the other features I wanted to highlight,” she told CBS MoneyWatch. “And it would weave this fantastic copy into something that you could actually use.”


She uses ChatGPT to change the tone of listings too. “I’ll say things like, ‘write this toward a millennial audience’ or ‘make it funny.'”

Top Hamptons real estate agent Mala Sander uses ChatGPT to help her write listings.THE CORCORAN GROUP

Her routine these days is to have her team write the first draft of a listing “and crunch it through to see if ChatGPT can edit it down and make it more concise,” she said.

On a whim, she asked the bot to write her a marketing plan for one of her listings. It delivered. It gave her a breakdown of a campaign that would include digital, print and social outreach, she told CBS MoneyWatch.

“It talked about everything from direct mail to online digital advertising to social media, and it even came up with some percentages that might be ideal,” Sander said.

Having worked as an agent for the last 20 years, Sander is quite capable and efficient without ChatGPT.

“But it is useful,” she said. “It’s like talking to another person, almost like having work therapist to say, ‘Am I moving in the right direction with this or should be looking at some other things?'”

Elia Mazor, marketing manager for The Glazer Team at Corcoran, said he also uses ChatGPT to write listings and create other content.

“Sometimes you get writer’s block, so I use ChatGPT for a bit of inspiration and to provide a different tone,” he said.

Mazor said ChatGPT helped his team write the description of a new apartment listing on West 9th Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.THE GLAZER TEAM

Financial planner’s assistant

Certified financial planner Michael Reynolds uses the chatbot to help him draft blog posts that educate his clients about financial documents like wills and trusts.

He tells ChatGPT the topic he wants to address, and enters a prompt like: “ChatGPT, create an introduction on why estate planning is important.”

It spits out paragraphs that Reynolds then edits in his own voice.

CFP Michael Reynolds said ChatGPT helps him create content faster.ELEVATION FINANCIAL

In a recent article on estate planning, Reynolds relied on ChatGPT to hook readers by driving home the message that “estate planning is an act of love for those you leave behind.”

“I asked ChatGPT to explain that and it put together a few paragraphs on why it’s thoughtful and considerate to do these things,” Reynolds said.

The process took about 20 minutes. If he’d worked on the article alone, it would have taken closer to two hours, he said.

He doesn’t use the tool to help clients make financial decisions — that’s still a job exclusively for humans, according to Reynolds.

“Financial planning is so nuanced, individualized and personal. It is hard to envision using ChatGPT to spit out recommendations without it knowing the client. I see it being more valuable in generating educational material to supplement what I am doing,” he said. “We don’t just crunch numbers; we coach people, listen to their concerns and help them talk through emotional situations. The creative, empathetic work we do as humans is irreplaceable as of today.”

Nick Meyer, another financial planner who produces shortform videos on TikTok, said he uses it as a starting point to come up with ideas for new content.

“I use it instead of Google search to get topic ideas, or to edit what I have already written,” he said. It also helps him make his videos funny.

“I can insert a couple lines of a script and say, ‘Make this more comedic, insert a joke on this line, or make it more concise,” Meyer said.

“Gobs” of medical information

Board-certified emergency physician Harvey Castro is advising digital health companies on how to best integrate ChatGPT into the health care sector.

He says one good application is creating and translating patient discharge instructions — rules for them to follow after a medical visit.

An expert in emergency medicine, if he were asked a dermatology-related question he was unsure about, Castro said he’d enter the query into ChatGPT for more information. In the past, he relied on other clinical search engines and resources like MDConsult, now called ClinicalKey.

“I could type it in and it would give me gobs of information. So it’s a supplement,” Castro said.

Doctors are also using it to enter a patient’s symptoms and have it return a differential diagnosis — a list of possible conditions related to the presenting symptoms, according to Castro.

“That is already happening today,” he said.

Study buddy

Rushabh Doshi, a second-year medical student at Yale University School of Medicine, likes to use ChatGPT to create sample questions while he studies for the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination.

Test prep services have limited practice questions, and ChatGPT can generate new ones on any topic based on the prompt he feeds it.

Yale med student Rushabh Doshi uses ChatGPT for medical information and education.COURTESY OF RUSHABH DOSHI

It helps him prepare for some patient interactions, too, but uses it strictly for medical education and not patient care.

“If there is a patient coming in with a disease I am not familiar with, I can go to ChatGPT and read up on it,” he said.

It also gives him information that helps him conduct more thorough patient evaluations. “I ask it to give me a guide of the types of questions to ask to make sure I am doing a comprehensive patient interview.”


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New York Fed board member warns of commercial real-estate risks – Reuters



NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) – An executive who also serves on the board overseeing the New York Federal Reserve warned on Twitter of potentially systemic problems in the real estate finance market and called on the industry to work with authorities to avoid things getting out of hand.

Noting there is $1.5 trillion in commercial real estate debt set to mature in the next three years, Scott Rechler, who is CEO of RXR, a large property manager and developer, tweeted: “The bulk of this debt was financed when base interest rates were near zero. This debt needs to be refinanced in an environment where rates are higher, values are lower, & in a market with less liquidity.”

Rechler said he’s joined with the Real Estate Roundtable “in calling for a program that provides lenders the leeway and the flexibility from regulators to work with borrowers to develop responsible, constructive refinancing plans.”

“If we fail to act, we risk a systemic crisis with our banking system & particularly the regional banks” which make up over three quarters of real estate lending, which will in turn put pressure on local governments that depend on property taxes to fund their operations, Rechler wrote.

The executive weighed in amid broad concern in markets that aggressive Fed rate hikes aimed at lowering high inflation will also break something in the financial sector, as collateral damage to the core monetary policy mission.

The Fed nearly held off on raising its short-term rate target on Wednesday after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank rattled markets. The failure of Silicon Valley Bank was linked to the firm’s trouble in managing its holdings as markets repriced to deal with higher Fed short-term interest rates.

The real-estate sector has also been hard hit by Fed rate rises and commercial real estate has also been hobbled by the shift away from in-office work during the pandemic.

Also weighing in via Twitter, the former leader of the Boston Fed, Eric Rosengren, offered a warning on real estate risks, echoing a long-held concern of his dating back a number of years.

Pointing to big declines in real estate investment indexes, he said “many bank lenders will be pulling back just as leases roll, with high office vacancies and high interest rates. Regional bank shock and troubled offices will be negatively reinforcing.”

Real estate woes are on the Fed’s radar, but leaders believe banks can navigate the challenges.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday following the Fed’s quarter percentage point rate rise, central bank leader Jerome Powell said “we’re well-aware of the concentrations people have in commercial real estate,” while adding “the banking system is strong, it is sound, it is resilient, it’s well-capitalized,” which he said should limit other financial firms from hitting the trouble that felled SVB.

Rechler serves as what’s called a Class B director on the 12-person panel of private citizens who oversee the New York Fed. That class of director is elected by the private banks of the respective regional Feds to represent the interest of the public. Each of the quasi-private regional Fed banks are also operated under the oversight of the Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington, which is explicitly part of the government.

The boards overseeing each of the regional Fed banks are made up of a mix of bankers, business and non-profit leaders. These boards provide advice in running large organizations and local economic intelligence. Their most visible role is helping regional Fed banks find new presidents, although bankers who serve as directors are by law not part of this process.

Central bank rules say that directors are not involved in bank oversight and regulation activities, which are controlled by the Fed in Washington.

Reporting by Michael S. Derby; Editing by Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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China's Mysteriously Resilient Real Estate Prices: New Economy Saturday – Bloomberg – Bloomberg



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China’s Mysteriously Resilient Real Estate Prices: New Economy Saturday – Bloomberg  Bloomberg


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Widow's battle to resell burial space underscores Metro Vancouver's real estate crunch –



A little more than 25 years ago, John Douglas Carnahan bought the rights to two burial plots in the northeast corner of a hilly cemetery in a dense area of Burnaby, B.C. 

Back then, they cost $750 each. 

As years passed and space grew scarce, the cost of a single plot in the same cemetery surged to more than $10,000. 


After Carnahan’s death at 91, his widow decided not to use the plots. Her battle for the right to sell the plots privately to any buyer at market value has now spilled over into B.C. Supreme Court in a case experts say again proves the region’s real estate crunch is also squeezing its graveyards.

“We are running out of space, particularly in the Lower Mainland,” said architect Bill Pechet, who’s worked in cemetery design for roughly 30 years.

“Just like we have a housing crisis for the living, we’re also encountering a housing crisis for those who want to be buried.”

Cemetery blocking resale, widow says

Carnahan bought both plots at Pacific Heritage Cemetery in March 1998. At the time, there was a clause in the purchase agreement saying cemetery directors “may” buy back owner’s plots at the original purchase price.

Carnahan’s widow, Sheila Carnahan, contacted the cemetery after her husband’s death in 2021 to ask how she could go about privately selling the plots she no longer needed to a third-party buyer.

Her claim said staff told her in an email last October that, according to its bylaws, she could only sell her plots back to the cemetery for the original purchase price of $750 each.

Stone gravemarkers are pictured in a grassy cemetery on an overcast day. Residential homes are visible beyond a hedge in the background.
Burial plots in section G of the Pacific Heritage Cemetery in Burnaby, B.C., pictured on March 20. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Sheila Carnahan has argued the cemetery “misinterpreted” its own bylaws because the clause said cemetery directors “may purchase” plots back — not “must purchase.”

“The claimants say that the position taken by the [cemetery], while invalid in law, effectively prevents a sale to third parties because the [cemetery] controls the ownership record and the operation of the cemetery, including the preparation of the grave for use,” the lawsuit said.

“The [cemetery] could effectively prevent the new owner from using the plot.”

The cemetery has not responded to her claim in court.

In B.C., rights to interment sold in perpetuity

In B.C., buying a plot is just buying the right to interment, meaning a buyer is paying for the right to be buried in the space but not purchasing the land itself. Those rights are sold in perpetuity, so buyers can hold plots for however long they choose — unless a plot has been empty for more than 50 years and the rightsholder is more than 90 years old, in which case a cemetery can launch the complex process of applying to get the space back.

Each cemetery sets its own rules around resales. Some bylaws allow private sales, others don’t. 

Most cemeteries in Metro Vancouver are full or nearly full. As the value of real estate has skyrocketed over the last decade, so has the value of that scarce burial space — especially in urban areas. Private plots in Metro Vancouver have been listed on Craigslist or Kijiji for anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000.

Resales are common enough to warrant caution from Consumer Protection B.C., urging buyers to check online ads carefully to ensure whether cemeteries honour private sales. 

Limited space, poor planning part of the problem

There’s a shortage of traditional cemetery space in B.C. for the same reason there’s a shortage of space for new homes — builders have nowhere else to go.

“The housing crisis that we’re encountering is a result of our inability to expand horizontally because we encounter the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other,” said Pechet.

“We have a land shortage for housing, and cemetery spaces are a form of housing.”

City planning was also an issue.

“For some reason, the Metro Vancouver area seems to have significantly less cemetery space through some planning than most other municipalities,” said Glen Hodges, who manages Mountain View Cemetery, the only graveyard in Vancouver.

“It’s some magical mystery as to why.”

Some European countries, like Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, France and Germany, limit cemetery leases to anywhere between three and 30 years to free up more plots.

In Spain and the United Kingdom, bones can be moved after a certain period so the plot can be recycled to be sold again. The City of London Cemetery, for example, reuses graves left untouched after 75 years.

In 2019, the City of Vancouver passed a series of bylaws to save space at its only cemetery. Gravesites at Mountain View Cemetery are now allowed to be shared by multiple families, and the cemetery can decide when additional remains can be added to an existing space.

Pechet said B.C. might have to consider vertical cemeteries, like those in Japan, or find a way to tactfully incorporate gravesites into existing public parks. Recycling could also be an option. 

“I think it will inevitably have to lead to a lot of invention,” he said.

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