In terms of how it is affecting the property industry, AI technology could very well be as innovative an event as the appearance of the internet itself in the mid-nineties, which went far beyond the expectations of its creators. Rather than being fearful of AI replacing human jobs, companies are starting to embrace automation for a more intelligent way of working and providing the highest level of client satisfaction. Below we will explore the different ways in which smart technology has already been or is on its way to being implemented within the property industry.
1. Automated property management
Problems within rented buildings are a constant source of complaint and burden, to which the human element of a property manager also contributes. Things don’t always go wrong between the working hours of 9-6, and waiting for something to get fixed till the next working day may be a problem of the past. Companies such as UK-based Pi Labs are already implementing an AI messaging platform called AskPorter to help residents in apartments have issues within their buildings or enquiries they may have solved quickly and efficiently. All they have to do is log their complaint with the virtual assistant, and then track its progress until things are back to normal.
2. The Recommendation System
Recommendation systems are being used by a multitude of industries in order to provide customers with a wider variety of options when purchasing or making an enquiry. The AI component understands which types of products are liked by users and can then make relevant suggestions to a new person on the site. The technique is seen in both residential and commercial arenas with companies such as Green & Company (and now even our own company, Free Office Finder, as seen towards the bottom of our results page) already implementing the recommendation system.
3. Virtual Assistants
Further to the above system, making the property search experience even more seamless, recent AI programs like Apartment Ocean are providing real estate websites with chatbots that assist potential clients in their search for a property. The user can now ask an automated bot specific questions and receive answers on how to progress their search in a conversation initiated by the program, which is one that a real estate agent would usually have with potential clients. Acting as a virtual assistant and currently being implemented by team messaging app Slack, Apartment Ocean then converts this opening encounter into useful data that can be used to optimise future interactions with clients.
4. Data Analysis
There are multiple ways in which AI is being used in the property industry at the moment for more efficient analysis of data. Building IQ is one of the companies using AI for data capture analysis - it predicts possible areas in a building that will need maintenance based on information it has gathered about the condition of the building itself. Being solely data-based, AI systems can help humans infer the best course of action to take in order to make tenants save energy, money and live in optimal comfort. Brands such as Nest have implemented this energy-saving tactic into their AI-powered thermostat, learning from data that it collects about the individual who has purchased it for their home, while Airbnb uses AI to set pricing on locations based on what previous customers have liked most about a property (e.g. the photos, the geographical location).
5. Building Security
Companies are currently implementing smart technology in order to provide tenants with ultimate security. GateGuard uses facial recognition for apartment building inhabitants as a replacement for a “doorman”, as well as allowing tenants to let in delivery services when they are out, giving facial access through their phone or computer remotely. Office space provider LABS has implemented intelligent recognition software so that employees and clients can use the mobile app to enter the building without needing a set of keys or a key card.
It’s clear that artificial intelligence is not only fast-growing, but has managed to cover a great variety of industries in a small space of time, reaching the property industry, as outlined above. By improving the efficiency of simple management roles, smart technology works as a suitable partner for agents and brokers within the property field, as well as optimising the tenant experience through a skilful gathering and analysis of data.