Artificial intelligence may still sound futuristic, but in reality, it’s all around us. From the controversial testing of self-driving cars to Google artificial intelligence’s algorithms that constantly self-evaluate and improve search results, we interact with artificial intelligence every day. And while the technology is poised to make a splash in transportation, medicine, manufacturing and consumer tech in coming years, it also has the potential to disrupt the apartment leasing industry.
Here are five ways artificial intelligence could transform your properties in years to come:
Imagine never having to call maintenance out in the middle of the night again. Artificial intelligence can read environmental cues to suggest preventive maintenance and predict equipment failures. This means you won’t have to keep excess parts on hand in order to fix problems quickly or inconvenience tenants while waiting for parts to be delivered.
Similar to automated thermostats that read when individual users are home and adjust temperatures internally, artificial intelligence systems take it several steps further by tracking and analyzing human presence and movement. Currently in use in some commercial buildings, these systems can take into account occupancy, people’s locations in the building, weather and time of day to make the most efficient use of energy resources.
Residents may never have to fill out a web form, call or come into a leasing office again to report issues, manage energy billing or pay rent. Artificial intelligence is making these tasks possible for residents to check off their to-do lists from the comfort of their apartment homes using chatbots and devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Think your marketing efforts and online ads are targeted now? Just wait until artificial intelligence gets involved. Rather than displaying ads for wide groups of people based on demographics or search history, artificial intelligence can capture and analyze the demographics and IP addresses of people who click on real estate ads and then serve up those same ads to people most like them, and therefore most likely to also click.
With all the technology available today, prospective tenants are still most likely to call your property (75 percent) versus email (23 percent) and text (2 percent) for information. Artificial intelligence could answer these calls for you. Google recently demoed what the company is calling an “experiment” in artificial intelligence technology called Duplex, a computerized phone assistant that sounds eerily human.
You don’t have to wait to reap the benefits of automated phone assistant technology. ACE (Answer Calls Every time), the multifamily industry’s first conversational automated assistant, takes calls, answers questions, collects guest card information and sets appointments when leasing agents aren’t available to answer the phone. And it’s extremely successful at converting inbound calls to appointments.
City Club Apartments, which uses ACE at 17 properties, has found the technology to be a good investment. In the first half of 2018, ACE answered 1,427 calls from prospects that would have otherwise been missed. Of those calls, it set 640 appointments, which is a 44.8 percent conversion rate.
“ACE has been a valuable contribution to our business because it allows us to be available to prospects 24/7 … whether it’s 2 a.m. or 3 p.m. when the office is tied up with a resident or tour,” says Cherise Soulliere, director of organization development for City Club Apartments. “This allows us to take a breath and not stress that we are missing phone calls, because we can be assured the system picks up anything we can’t take care of right away. It’s particularly beneficial because we have a large market coming from out of country, and having ACE accommodates any time zone.”
To watch a video about how ACE works, visit leasehawk.com/products#ACE.
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