By now, our rampant illusions of Terminator-style robots taking over the world have cooled, replaced by a realization that these helpful (and nonviolent) tools are here to make our lives more convenient. Alexa, Netflix, and even the product recommendations you get when browsing Amazon are all driven by artificial intelligence, and when was the last time either of those caused you alarm?
Artificial intelligence is everywhere—on your phone, in your car, at work. Even those who haven’t accepted that this technology is far from sentient use AI without realizing it. When was the last time you logged into your Facebook account and uploaded a photo? The facial recognition technology that helps you tag people in your pictures is possible only because of artificial intelligence.
These are just small-scale examples of artificial intelligence. Machine learning holds limitless potential for individuals and businesses—amalgamating information, executing tasks, and streamlining processes, while making them more efficient and cost-effective, are just a few ways AI benefits our society. From machines that can predict a patient’s risk of death with up to 95 percent accuracy to technology that allowed General Electric to create its own digital power plant, there isn’t an industry that hasn’t been influenced by artificial intelligence.
Even the real estate sector is being transformed by the efficacy of AI. As an owner of my own property management firm, I have not only seen the importance, but the urgency, of maintaining technological relevance. Last year, property management grew into a $73 million industry, prompted by an unparalleled surge in rental demand across the country—and real estate investors have noticed. Yet, it seems the industry is growing too fast for some of its processes to keep up.
Slow to adopt these technological advances, property management is still afflicted by many inefficiencies. But as artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to evolve and disrupt the industry, real estate professionals are finding ways to mesh technology with their world; improving the efficiency of their jobs, while also benefiting renters.
Transformation from the inside out
Property managers have to keep track of many moving parts throughout their day—rental listings, tenant applications, inspections, maintenance requests, company finances. These items become more difficult to scale as a company grows. With more listings to fill and business operations to tend to, managing tasks can become daunting. Even more organized property managers find that some tasks get lost in the abundance of information and responsibilities they are faced with everyday.
Companies have been busy working to resolve these inefficiencies. Software like Buildium helps improve internal operations by organizing information and tracking to-dos to ensure nothing gets missed. Designed by property managers for property managers, this residential and management software saves time, money, and even fosters new business opportunities for your company.
A better experience for property owners and tenants
The real estate industry represents 13 percent of the nation’s GDP. With over 100 million tenants in the U.S., it’s clear this industry is booming. A high percentage of renters is indicative of rapid growth, but it also presents more challenges for property owners who are tasked with leasing as efficiently as possible, finding reliable tenants, acquiring rent on time, as well as maintaining each property.
There are tech-focused property management companies like Zenplace that exploit artificial intelligence and machine learning to benefit these property managers and owners. By using special algorithms, Google can help managers track down optimal tenants, which cuts down on vacancy times.
Zenplace takes a proactive approach to management by using AI to alert property owners of maintenance issues before they happen. Artificial intelligence can measure the life cycle of appliances and determine a timeframe where problems are likely to occur, like a water heater leaking in four months due to its usage. Owners will get a heads-up with a solution on how to alleviate the issue..
As technology infiltrates our lives, tenants also want everything to become more convenient—even paying rent. Zenplace prioritizes AI-powered service that connects renters with chatbots and devices like Google Home where they can quickly pay their rent, send maintenance requests at any hour of the day or night, and even track their utility usage.
Zenplace CEO Rahul Mewawalla has this to say about the impacts of AI: “Property management and the owner and tenant experience is already 3X better today than it was some years ago, and in another 5 years will be 10X easier and better than today.”
Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and property managers should be excited about a future where machine learning simplifies the otherwise time-consuming tasks that eat into most of their day. This $73 million industry is ripe for disruption, are you looking ahead?