Artificial intelligence has garnered a lot of hype in the last few years as a combination of technical breakthroughs and drastic increases in computing power has made possible the sort of algorithms that can really move the needle in a lot of interesting ways. The most interesting of these trends is the subset known as deep learning which can leverage the power of neural networks to arrive at insights from very large and complex datasets that previously were inaccessible for the most part.
This technology and the applications associated with it have disrupted almost every industry you can think of – and real estate is no exception. The way we think about real estate and property management in particular needs to change so as to adjust to the AI-enabled future that now seems inevitable.
Let’s look at some of the key trends to look out for when we consider the impact of artificial intelligence on the property management industry:
Property management requires a lot of people management as you’re interacting with renters on a regular basis and often in some rather high-stakes situations. When you’ve got a portfolio of properties, this can become overwhelming if you don’t have good systems and when you get it wrong, your service quality is what suffers. Artificial intelligence can be used in this realm to manage and automate certain types of conversations with renters and other stakeholders in a way that maintains high-quality service without over burdening property managers duplicating efforts. This includes answering frequently asked questions that don’t require a personal touch, sending emails and other communications automatically on certain dates or based on certain triggers, routing maintenance requests to the appropriate third parties that you are using to service your clients, and much more. In all these cases, where there are routine communications – these can be automated using deep learning, saving time for property managers to spend their valuable resources on the outliers and the anomalies. It’s just a pure efficiency play.
It’s also better for the tenant who can pay their bills and interact with the manager at any time of day or night through a chatbot – which makes asynchronous communication that much more valuable. It saves both parties time and is a great example of how this technology is changing the way we think about real estate and the renter-landlord relationship.
When managing a property, maintenance is never front of mind until a problem arises and forces its way into the conversation. Traditionally, these are dealt with retrospectively – fixing something that is already broken. But if you were able to predict these events ahead of time and perform proactive maintenance it would save a lot of time, money and tenant frustration. Artificial intelligence provides that sort of capability when combined with smart sensors and devices that can provide regular data on the status of various components in a building. Deep learning models are then used to analyse that data and monitor for potential problems before they arrive – giving you advance notification so you can get ahead of it. This is a superpower because, when used effectively, it can eliminate so many of the large problems that can plague property managers and delay normal operations for days at a time.
Every day that a property stands vacant is a concern for property managers and is the number one metric that affects overall performance of a portfolio. As such, the more efficient managers can be in sourcing the right tenants and getting those deals done, the better. Artificial intelligence is a significant value creator in this search because of its advanced capabilities to scour online platforms and public registries to find suitable leads that match certain criteria. Instead of waiting for the perfect tenant to land on your doorstep, you can be consistently monitoring the chatter online and when an opportunity becomes available – you can target those potential clients to make your case.
This makes the market that much more efficient because both sides of the transaction are finding each other more effectively. In addition, the market is made more transparent than ever before – rewarding high-value, service-oriented providers rather than just the network effects that may have been built before the internet. It democratises opportunity.
One of the most tedious and time-consuming pieces of the property management value chain is the drafting and negotiation of legal agreements. Yet it remains a crucial part of the process and something that you can’t afford to skimp on. Artificial intelligence is showing a lot of promise in this respect by assisting with sophisticated automation and personalization of legal agreements that limits the amount of duplicated work that was previously required but still maintains the high standards of accuracy and precision that the job requires. These innovations buy back time that was previously spent on paperwork and allows property managers to focus their attentions on more high-value tasks. This revolution is only just beginning and there is lots of room for growth in this space.
So, there you have it. Those are just four of the practical applications of artificial intelligence in the world of property management and real estate more generally. That should give you a glimpse of just what is possible with this new technology and how its set to revolutionize the way we do things. While some will find it difficult to adjust to the new normal, those who are able to adapt effectively will find themselves working in a much more efficient way, delegating those tasks that they didn’t really enjoy doing anyway, and forging a future where they can focus on what they do best.
This is not a trend that you can ignore or avoid. It’s racing towards us at a speed of knots. The only question you have to ask is how you’re going to leverage it to transform yourself and your business in the years to come. Quite frankly, we couldn’t be more excited about it.