How ChatGPT helped Dhruv find a room in just a few weeks

Like so many others, Dhruv Rocha (19) was having a hard time finding a room in Groningen. But then the first-year international business student came up with the idea of enlisting the help of ChatGPT. Less than two months later, he had a place to live with his friend.

First of all, congratulations on finding accommodation! What would you say were the main challenges you encountered when you started looking for housing?

‘The biggest problem was the lack of responses from the landlords and rental agencies I contacted. Especially in the beginning, when I wasn’t using ChatGPT, very few got back to me. Probably also because I am an international that was writing to them in English and not Dutch.

I thought of using ChatGPT because I was already using the AI to develop workout plans and diet plans, to discover new music, and come up with interior design ideas for my new bedroom. And once I started using AI, my response rate improved drastically.’

Which tasks did you use ChatGPT for, exactly? 

‘I used it mainly to write messages to real estate agents, but my main breakthrough was when I had the AI write an introduction letter to a landlord based on my personal information. I actually got a rental offer in response to that. I had asked the AI to write the text, taking into account the perspective and motives of a landlord.’

Any tips to use the tool most efficiently?

‘It’s all about the prompts! Get it to think from the perspective of the person you are writing to. That works for many roles, not just that of the landlord. For example, to check my Dutch rental contract, I prompted the AI to act as an expert in Dutch housing law and see if any clauses were out of the ordinary. The ‘act as’ function really has a lot of possibilities.’

Did you experience any limitations or drawbacks from using AI?

‘Something I noticed was that it struggles with processing longer texts. When using ChatGPT to look over my housing contract and translate it, I often had to tell it to ‘regenerate’ responses, because the text was so long. As a result, I also had to repeat the ‘act as’ prompt. It’s important to remember that.’

Do you think you could have also found the apartment without the help of ChatGPT?

‘I think it would have been more tedious and time consuming, and definitely more stressful, but I guess we’ll never know for sure. Though I of course know other students who are currently searching for housing who aren’t using AI, and it did seem to me that we weren’t struggling as much as them.’



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