The true promise of technology is to simplify very complex systems for humans to benefit from automation. It has taken a long time to approach this goal, as ‘computer’ have existed since, what? The 1940’s? But here we are at a threshold of technological advancement where we can actually (and fairly reliably) depend on machines to make our lives easier. As a property owner/property manager, how does this work?
Here are a few examples of the role artificial intelligence (AI) is currently playing in automating the property management industry:
First, remember that AI works on data. And as we know, the current state of personalized technology is creating data at an incredible and accelerating pace. Such data is used to predict events such as tenant turnover, the likelihood of default, infrastructure life expectancy (and likely failure), and how quickly occupancy vacancies will be filled in various markets. Data is data, but as they say, information is gold.
Have you ever gotten an email from Google reminding you that a bill is due? How do they know that? Yup, your data is everywhere. And intelligence in personalized automation like Google Home is there to make people’s lives easier. In doing so, it can also make property managers’ lives easier. Implementing easy-to-use automated methods to make rent or lease payments is an obvious benefit to both managers and tenants.
Building It In
‘Smart’ environments at home and work are becoming a reality. From connected devices like thermostats to automated maintenance protocols, AI has an impact on the efficiency and expense of maintenance. Of course, this requires the investment necessary to install these systems, but as the technology matures, costs will be reduced. For sure, owners/investors and property managers have to consider the cost and efficiency benefits of including AI tech and connected devices in new construction. Such improvements will impact things like:
Consistent data reporting and control across all properties
Easy access to information and monitoring of multiple buildings and properties
Management of multiple management tasks from a single-system view
The Tenant Experience
Keeping tenants happy is job #1, right? Customer experience is the differentiator now and into the future, because great service gets you good reviews and poor service, well, not so much. Automating (and personalizing) the tenant experience is a great way to impact your business reputation because everybody likes things such as payments, inquiries, maintenance requests and status updates, and even community news to be easily accessible. AI and algorithms can make that happen.
Doesn’t this all sound great? Remember, technology for the sake of technology is risky. So take the time to evaluate and assess how implementing AI will bring tangible benefits in things like energy efficiency, finance, and cash flow, lower maintenance cost, keeping units under contract and making customers and tenants happy. Implement with a sound strategy and, if retro-fitting, keep it to a little at a time to minimize risk.
Commercial Property Executive AI and the Future of Property Management