Back in October I wrote about why real estate grammar matters.
The reasons I stated then are still valid:
- When you are well-spoken, you garner respect.
- When you use good grammar & spelling in writing, you communicate clearly.
- Grammar goofs, misspelled words, and typos interrupt the flow of your message.
It turns out that those aren’t the only reasons to be careful with spelling and grammar…
Last week I learned that there is yet another compelling reason why real estate agents should check and double-check everything they put on their websites and in their blog posts. That is, they should if they want their websites and blog posts to be found in a Google search.
That is because…
In this post, SEO expert Heather Lloyd Martin quotes John Mueller of Google as saying: “We try to find really high-quality content on the web, and sometimes it can appear that a page is lower quality content because it has a lot of …kind of… grammatical and technical mistakes in the text.”
As you know, spelling and grammar errors make a page read poorly. In fact, they often make it hard to understand what the writer was trying to convey. That makes it a quality issue. Since Google only wants to reward high-quality pages, those errors will affect your page ranking.
It would be a shame to do the research for a highly informative post, optimize it carefully for your keywords, then get knocked down because you failed to proofread carefully.
Since spelling and grammar are so important, is it safer to just let AI produce your materials?
No, not really. In fact, that’s not safe at all. Aside from the fact that AI generated copy has no “heart,” there are other “beware” issues to consider.
Factual inaccuracies. AI gathers information from the Internet. And as we all know, anyone can write for the Internet, whether they know anything or not. As we also know, some people do present their own ideas and opinions as fact.
In addition, the information may not be current. When I’m doing research for an article, I become mightily annoyed when I find something interesting and then see that it’s 4 or 5 years old. That would be fine if I was writing about history, but when you’re writing about the current state of anything, those old articles are worthless. From what I’ve read, AI doesn’t distinguish between articles written two years ago or ten years ago.
Last summer the word was that AI only pulled information from 2021 and before. I don’t know if that has changed, and I was unable to find an answer to the question. If you know, please do tell us in the comments.
Lack of attribution: When you state facts, you should also state where you got the information. AI doesn’t give attribution, which means your content won’t offer sources unless you go back and do the research.
Plagiarism. Since you don’t know where the information came from, you don’t know if AI merely picked it up and plopped it into your article. Before you use it, you should run it through a plagiarism checker, because a lawsuit over a copyright violation is something you don’t need.
Ill-fitting word choices: We all have our own voices, and words we use often. There are also words we never use. By the same token, the people we write to are similar in their word choices. Articles generated by AI might contain phrasing or language that would be considered unconventional when used with your audience.
The bottom line: AI might cost you too much time!
AI might use proper grammar and spelling (if it knows what you meant to say). It might also save you time in producing content, but humans must continue to be involved in reviewing it, and that requires time.
I’d be willing to bet that it takes far less time to do your own research and make note of where you obtained specific facts than the time it would take to find that same information in order to give attribution. That sounds like a chore I would not want to tackle.
My recommendation: Get better at grammar or use a proofreader / editor.
If you have a fairly good grasp of grammar but know you need a refresher course because your broker, co-workers, or family members sometimes correct you, then get my e-book. A Grammar Guide for Real Estate Agents will alert you to the most common errors agents make. Then it will give you some tips and tricks for remembering to use the right words.
Rad the book, then read it again. Then keep it handy, so you can double-check yourself before you hit send on an email or blog post.
If you can, do use a proofreader.
Do you have a family member, a friend, an assistant, or a co-worker who would take the time to read what you write? Then enlist them!
I might be available to help.
Because not everyone has someone to ask to read their work, I’ve been considering offering proofreading and light editing as an additional service. The idea isn’t fully developed yet, but if you think you’d like help, do get in touch. We can discuss the possibilities.