What is AI, and How is it Transforming the Real Estate Industry?

Last modified on July 24th, 2019

Have you asked Siri or Alexa to dim the lights or find your favorite song? If so, then you’ve engaged with technology powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI technology can be found everywhere, and it has already begun to change every industry, including real estate. 

Historically, the real estate industry has been known to be a final frontier in adopting new technologies. However, a recent study conducted by AppFolio and John Burns Real Estate Consulting shows that trend is now shifting. In fact, 78% of property managers consider their company to be open to adopting new technology such as AI. 

While the fear of machines  replacing the human workforce is ever-present, the truth is that AI simply creates more time for humans to do what they do best. 

Artificial Intelligence is based on the idea that if computers can be programmed to think like humans, they can learn to work and perform tasks to make us more efficient, while continually learning over time to become even more efficient in the future. Essentially, AI reduces the amount of busy work people have to do, freeing up humans to apply their expertise on more strategic work.

Here are three ways that artificial intelligence will transform the real estate industry.

1. AI Elevates the Customer Experience  

AI is a powerful tool that can be used to unlock your business’ potential, enhancing individual team member’s capabilities and freeing up their time to provide a higher level of personal customer service. Renters value quick and easy communication, and conversational AI technology can provide it — while giving your staff the ability to focus on providing excellent service. By removing repetitive, manual tasks, AI technology creates more freedom for your team to focus on more strategic work and deeper connections with your customers. 

AI technology can also extract information from conversations, input that data directly into your property management software, and execute tasks based on the information acquired. Not only does this save time, but it also puts a standardized process in place and removes the risk of human error, ensuring a great experience for customers and consolidated, accurate data every time.

2. AI Streamlines Leasing & Improves Conversion Rates

Quick, thorough responses give you an edge when it comes to converting leads to leases. According to Zillow’s 2018 Consumer Housing Trends Report,  71% of renters who inquire about a listing expect to hear back from the landlord or property manager within 24 hours. However, only 51 percent of renters say they receive the timely responses they expect. 

By implementing advanced conversational AI technology that automates leasing communications, you can actually provide accurate and timely responses to every prospective renter. 

The technology is designed to enable operational efficiency during the entire leasing process to improve lead conversion, all while reducing the burden on leasing teams. 

Conversational AI technology can impress renters by making it easy to book a walkthrough in less time from their mobile device, and by providing fast, thorough answers to their questions.  Then, when they arrive in person, leasing agents can focus on impressing them with warm, personal, and helpful service. 

Meanwhile, during the showing, new appointments are automatically scheduled on the agent’s calendar, all without the stress of keeping track of and responding to new inquiries. The renter even automatically receives an online application and instructions for the screening process at just the right time.

3. AI Enables Perfect Data & Actionable Insights 

Your decisions are only as good as your data, and that goes for decisions big and small. You need to have trust in the information you’re basing key business decisions on. By removing the human element from data input tasks, AI removes the risk of human error that comes along with large volumes of data and working too quickly. 

Advancements in real estate AI technology make it easy to collect information from every prospective renter so that you can access real-time data and analytics on your portfolio. Accurately track your leasing performance (i.e. the number of leads, number of showings, and conversion rates) to know which properties are performing best and identify areas of opportunity. You can also make more informed decisions with lead attribution and analytics, and better understand the ROI of your marketing spend. 

The Future of Leasing Is Here: Meet Lisa, Your AI Leasing Assistant 

AppFolio Property Manager’s latest innovative technology for the real estate market is Lisa, an AI leasing assistant for hire. She works 24/7 as part of your team to provide thoughtful, personable engagement to prospective renters and provides the accurate data and insights you need to grow your business. 

With Lisa, you can automate your leasing flow for increased occupancy and operational efficiency. You can learn more about Lisa here.

Artificial intelligence is not going anywhere. It is deeply embedded in our daily lives already, and companies that have not adopted the latest software and advances are quickly being left behind.  

In order to succeed it’s essential to move forward, so make the most of these exciting new AI technology breakthroughs to run a more modern business and stay competitive in the AI-driven economy. For a more in-depth look at AI in real estate, take a look at our detailed guide, “How AI is Transforming the Future of Real Estate.”  


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