Can artificial intelligence (AI) help landlords? It’s possible. However, unlike other industries, landlords are unlikely to be replaced by robots.
It seems like every industry is embracing AI to some degree. Although it’s not genuine AI, machine learning algorithms can make certain tasks safer and more efficient. For example, in an industrial setting, AI-powered robots can learn to perform tasks that are dangerous to humans, like welding.
AI has applications in the administrative world, too. Digital marketers have been using machine learning to gather data on customers and detect patterns in web visitor behavior. However, the way landlords might benefit from AI isn’t so obvious.
How can AI assist landlords and property investors?
For property management companies that provide free estimates, AI might help for the initial intake online. AI can be used to sort applicants and prioritize leads. However, nothing can replace the care of a human being.
For instance, Houston property owners prefer the personalized services provided by Green Residential. Personal interaction is part of what makes a great property manager.
You’re unlikely to see a robot going door-to-door collecting rent or fixing a leak, but there are several ways AI can help landlords and property management companies.
1. Data analysis
AI-powered software has the power to crunch numbers and identify patterns faster and more accurately than humans. For landlords, this could give them access to better data analysis.
For example, a software program can track details about a landlord’s properties and tenants over time. That data can be processed into patterns that will help the landlord keep tenants longer and identify properties with underlying issues.
AI can help landlords identify unreported problems
If a landlord owns an apartment complex, AI software can perform all kinds of calculations, including the turnover rate for each unit over time. Some units might have a significantly higher turnover rate than others.
This information would give landlords a reason to investigate the cause. For instance, the unit might have a bad view, or unpleasant smells from a neighboring unit might be coming in through the vents.
AI can help landlords set fair rental prices
The same software program can monitor trends in rent prices and help landlords know when to raise or lower the rent after leases expire.
2. Building surveillance
Surveillance is a sensitive subject, but it has a purpose. Granted, landlords shouldn’t be using surveillance cameras to track tenants activities, but building entrances and common areas should be monitored for everyone’s safety.
With AI-powered surveillance that uses facial recognition, landlords can quickly spot when non-residents have entered the building. When accompanied by a resident, that’s not a big deal. However, a non-resident who enters a gated, locked community without a resident could be a red flag.
Although AI-powered surveillance has the potential to protect a community, privacy concerns will likely prevent it from becoming mainstream for landlords. This type of surveillance has been used before, and landlords have not fared well in court.
Tenants living in the Atlantic Plaza Towers in Brooklyn, New York successfully fought their landlord’s plan to use facial recognition cameras.
Another application for AI-powered surveillance is catching criminals. Some apartment buildings have problems with people using their dumpsters. Using someone else’s garbage can without permission is considered theft of services, which is a misdemeanor in most states. Residents might be more willing to accept this type of surveillance, provided it’s only used temporarily.
3. AI can manage tedious tenant interactions
While AI is no replacement for personal connection, some repetitive interactions can be automated with AI-powered software. For example, tenants who pay rent online can be sent a reminder when rent is due and when rent is late.
This type of system can also track how many times late rent notices have been sent to each tenant, which will help landlords in eviction cases.
AI can set up maintenance and repair appointments
Landlords can use an AI-powered chatbot to talk with tenants about repairs and maintenance. Through a chatbot, tenants can explain the problem and schedule a time for the landlord to come over. The system will automatically insert the appointment into the landlord’s schedule along with the details provided by the tenant.
Artificial intelligence will become a necessity for landlords
Once landlords realize the power of AI, more will adopt this wonderful technology in their business. Everyone can benefit, from individual investors to large corporations. AI makes it possible to grow an investment business without compromising on quality service to tenants.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.