Could AI play a role in the lettings sector?
20 November 2018 1509 Views
Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in our lives – from virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Siri to driverless cars and drones – so it’s no surprise that the property industry is slowly but surely joining the party.
JLL, a professional services and investment management company which offers real estate services (including residential lettings) to a broad range of clients, recently trialled a ‘virtual property manager’ for a small number of Build to Rent tenants. The firm said the AI bot is the first of its kind in the UK property sector.
By using artificial intelligence, the bot enables renters to log problems and book contractors. In some cases, too, it can help tenants to fix simple problems or carry out basic repairs.
This is achieved by tenants telling their Alexa system what the problem is. Equally, tenants could send a message via an app or use a messaging service such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to report their issue.
From this, tenants receive an instant reply, either offering assistance on how to solve the problem or, alternatively, to book a professional where needed.
How could agents benefit?
Tenants like to know they are valued and that any repairs or problems will be dealt with in a fast, efficient manner. Having an AI system in place, which allows tenants to report issues and receive an instant reply, could help to reduce delays in getting problems solved. Communication between tenants, agents and landlords could also be enhanced, increasing the chances of a smooth, hassle-free tenancy.
If tenants can fix simple problems off their own back, with the assistance of AI bots, there will also be less call for agents hiring out experts or labour to sort the issues. This will save on costs, which will be music to the ears of tenants, you and your landlords alike.
What’s more, using technology and innovation to fix more routine issues such as basic maintenance requests and contract information could free up your time to focus on the overall maintenance and service of the rental homes you manage, as well as keeping tenants happy and informed and helping your landlords to expand their portfolio
As the world gets ever more interactive, tech-led and digital-savvy, we could see AI becoming more mainstream in a wide range of industries. Those agents who embrace this new tech from the start could be the ones to benefit most at a later date.
Strong fundamentals a must
Use of new technology should complement your existing processes, which form the bedrock of any modern, 21st century agency.
To compete in an increasingly digital world – where smartphone use has soared and the majority of people start their property searches online – you need a slick, cutting-edge website that works beautifully and more than looks the part too.
Powerful client-log in areas, Google Maps integration and the ability to search for homes by a number of criteria can all help your website to stand out from the crowd, while a cloud-based, all-in-one property software system can help you manage all aspects of your business from anywhere in the world.
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