Are you a property manager navigating the wild world of tenant screening, rent pricing, and building maintenance while trying to maintain strong relationships with your tenants?
If yes, you know you may constantly juggle a “million” tasks, and sometimes, you just wish you had a little help.
This is where AI property management solutions can come in. It’s all about making your life easier, streamlining processes, and optimizing decision-making.
It can analyze credit reports in the blink of an eye to predict when your HVAC system might need servicing and more.
To show you what is possible, I discuss the following in today’s article…
- AI & Property Management: A Match Made in Heaven? (5 Benefits)
- The potential pitfalls of AI in property management
- 6 AI software companies for property managers
AI & Property Management: A Match Made in Heaven? (5 Benefits)
Only in passing, I mentioned one benefit of AI in property management in my past article about AI property valuations and that an AI appraisal system could be integrated with a property management system.
In this section, you will learn about many more benefits of AI for property managers.
But first, let’s answer the question of what AI in property management even means…
It refers to applying artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in property management to improve operational efficiency, optimize decision-making, enhance tenant experiences, and streamline various processes.
AI-driven property management solutions involve machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and predictive analytics, among other advanced technologies.
To the not-so-techy folks, this definition sounds a bit dry. So let’s continue with its five benefits, which will better convey the point.
1) Tenant Screening
There he was, minding his own business, running a little property management empire.
But the unthinkable happened: a vacancy.
No, not just any vacancy, but one in apartment 3B. You know, the one with the weird carpet stain.
So Ben did what any self-respecting property manager would do: he put out a sign and waited for the tenant applications to roll in.
And boy did they roll in…It was as if each applicant confused him with a book publisher.
They were filled with numbers, letters, and the occasional doodle in the margins.
Screening these folks was about as fun as wrestling a giant jellyfish.
There he was buried in paperwork, trying to figure out which applicant had a credit score higher than Ben’s bowling average and which had a criminal record longer than his wife’s shoe-shopping list.
A few days later, as he sat at his desk after the 87th cup of coffee and remembered how sunlight looked like only by the picture on his desk of his last vacations in Mexico, a miracle happened: AI (which doesn’t stand for alien invasion)
However, even that would have been a welcoming distraction at this point.
This kind of AI could take the whole tenant screening thing and make it as easy as pie.
And this machine took all those applications and spat out a clear, concise, and remarkably doodle-free analysis of each applicant in a matter of seconds.
It was like watching a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat, except the rabbit was a credit report.
With AI by Ben’s side, he could finally see the light at the end of the tenant-screening tunnel.
No more agonizing over numbers and records, no more second-guessing his decisions.
They were an unstoppable, tenant-screening dream team.
Getting from the fictitious world of Ben’s property management business to the real world and breaking the benefit down into one sentence:
AI can help property managers quickly and accurately evaluate potential tenants based on various factors, such as credit scores, rental history, and employment status while reducing human bias.
2) Rent Pricing
Carol was a lovely woman, always ready with a smile and a friendly wave, but she had a secret: she was absolutely terrible at rent pricing.
Whenever a vacancy arose, Carol would break into a cold sweat, her hands shaking like a caffeinated squirrel as she tried to figure out the perfect rent for her beloved properties.
She’d consult tea leaves, astrology charts, and even the occasional Magic 8 Ball, but she could never quite get it right.
Her tenants would either flee in horror at the astronomical prices or move in with glee at the absurdly low rent, leaving poor Carol wondering if she’d ever crack the code.
Then, one fateful day, Carol stumbled upon the magical world of AI—Artificial Intelligence.
With the power of AI at her fingertips, she could now analyze oodles of real-time market data, transforming her into a rent-pricing wizard.
Gone were the days of guessing games and frantic consultations with the stars.
AI was like a trusty sidekick, guiding Carol through the murky waters of rent pricing and leading her to the sweet shores of success.
And so, with AI by her side, Carol finally found the perfect balance, and her properties were filled with happy tenants paying just the right rent.
So as you could learn from this short story, AI algorithms can analyze real-time market data to suggest optimal rental prices for properties, ensuring they are priced competitively and maximizing profitability.
3) Predictive Maintenance
When something’s about to go wrong in your building or with one of the properties you manage, predictive maintenance with AI is like having a crystal ball.
If you are a property manager, you may juggle a “million” responsibilities, and from one day to the next…BAM the HVAC system and toilets go kaput.
Tenants are fuming, and you’re left scrambling to fix the problem.
It can be a nightmare from a property manager’s horror movie.
Instead, by incorporating AI into predictive maintenance, a property manager can access a treasure trove of real-time data from sensors placed throughout the building.
These sensors monitor everything from temperature fluctuations to water leaks, sending their findings to the particular AI software.
The AI software sifts through this mountain of data, hunting for patterns and anomalies that could signal impending doom (e.g., a broken pipe).
Once the AI spots a potential issue, it’s not content to sit back and let disaster unfold.
If the AI-powered software in question works well, it alerts you to the problem and even offers suggestions for fixing it.
Depending on the software in use, AI-powered predictive maintenance doesn’t just help you tackle problems as they arise; it also helps you plan for the future.
By analyzing trends and historical data, the AI can predict when equipment might need servicing, allowing you to schedule maintenance in advance and keep your property in tip-top shape.
4) Enhanced Communication With Tenants and Owners
AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle routine queries and requests from tenants and owners, providing instant responses and freeing you as a property manager to focus on more complex tasks.
Unfortunately (for some), managing properties isn’t just about maintaining buildings and collecting rent.
A huge part involves communicating with tenants, vendors, and other stakeholders.
And this is how AI can help you with that…
Let’s say it’s 3 AM, and a tenant, after their 10th beer and who knows what, have a burning question about their lease.
Instead of waiting for office hours, they can chat with an AI-powered chatbot, available 24/7. It can answer their questions, handle maintenance requests, and even assist with leasing.
Automated Notifications and Reminders:
Suppose it’s time to send rent reminders or maintenance updates. In that case, AI can automate these communications, ensuring tenants receive timely notifications via email or text.
This improves efficiency and reduces the likelihood of missed rent payments or forgotten appointments.
AI can analyze tenant data and preferences to tailor communications, creating a more personalized experience.
For instance, AI can suggest relevant events, local businesses, or even energy-saving tips based on a tenant’s lifestyle and interests.
This helps foster a sense of community and makes tenants feel more connected to their living environment.
Not all property managers are trilingual language genies. So for those who are not, clear communication between property managers and tenants who speak different languages can be challenging.
AI-powered language translation tools can bridge the language gap, ensuring smooth communication and improving tenant satisfaction.
AI can also analyze communication patterns and tenant feedback to gauge satisfaction and identify potential issues.
Based on this help, you, as a property manager, can proactively address concerns and maintain positive relationships by understanding the sentiment behind tenant communications.
5) Efficient and Effective Real Estate Marketing
This topic is close to my heart (well, that’s why this website)… AI can lend a helping hand in real estate marketing, making property managers’ lives much easier.
Getting Better to Know Your Target Group/ Audience:
As a property manager, your time is precious.
AI can sift through mountains of data to identify your target audience’s preferences and behaviors.
With these insights, you can tailor your marketing efforts to appeal directly to potential tenants or buyers, ensuring your message or real estate sales copy hits home.
Virtual Open Houses:
With AI, property managers can spend fewer hours organizing and hosting open houses.
AI-powered virtual tours let potential tenants or buyers explore properties from the comfort of their own homes.
These immersive experiences save time, attract a wider audience, and help properties stand out in a competitive market.
AI-Powered Lead Generation Chatbots:
As is the case for other real estate professionals, AI chatbots can be your personal assistants, engaging with prospects 24/7, capturing leads, and scheduling property viewings.
This frees up time for property managers to focus on other crucial tasks, knowing that the AI chatbot handles inquiries and nurturing leads.
Property managers can use AI to optimize their listings by analyzing successful past listings and identifying top-performing keywords, descriptions, and images.
This helps property managers create attention-grabbing listings that attract the right tenants or buyers.
Social Media Mastery:
AI can analyze your target audience’s social media behavior, determining the best time to post, the most effective real estate content, and even the hashtags that generate the most engagement.
With AI’s guidance, property managers can maximize their social media presence without becoming marketing experts.
Market Analysis for Property Expansion:
While market analysis for property expansion may not fit squarely into the promotional aspect of marketing, it is still an integral part of a comprehensive real estate marketing strategy that incorporates the broader principles of the 4Ps, 7Ps, or 8Ps of marketing.
The latter aligns with the “Product” element of the 4Ps, 7Ps, or 8Ps of marketing, which refers to the properties themselves, their features, location, and potential for growth or return on investment.
So if you are looking to expand your property portfolio, AI can be your personal advisor, analyzing market trends, demographic data, and economic indicators to identify promising investment opportunities.
This empowers property managers and/ or their investor clients to make informed, data-driven decisions about where and when to invest.
Tread Carefully: The Potential Pitfalls of AI in Property Management
Unfortunately, with all great innovations, there are potential pitfalls we need to consider. Some may already be familiar, and I discussed them in my article about how AI is used in real estate.
Over-Reliance On Technology:
It’s tempting to let AI do all the heavy lifting but remember, it’s not flawless.
Over-relying on AI could lead to missed opportunities or inaccurate predictions.
Balancing using AI and employing good old human intuition and expertise is essential.
Data Privacy Concerns:
AI’s thirst for data is insatiable since its algorithms are designed to keep learning; they need data to learn.
Even the World Economic Forum made this subject of discussion (source). According to it, artificial intelligence design must prioritize data privacy.
So as a property manager, you want to be vigilant in implementing robust data protection measures and complying with privacy regulations.
Loss of Personal Touch:
AI might be efficient, but it can’t replace the warmth of human interaction.
Property managers must find a sweet spot to harness AI’s power while nurturing genuine connections with tenants, buyers, and other stakeholders.
The Cost of AI Implementation:
Implementing AI solutions can be pricey, especially for smaller property management firms.
As you will later see, current solutions are mostly tailored to larger property management companies, so using them as a smaller one would be shooting birds with cannons.
The available solutions often come with advanced features and capabilities that might be overkill for smaller firms.
However, this doesn’t mean smaller property management firms cannot benefit from AI.
As the AI market grows and evolves, you will see more affordable and user-friendly solutions tailored to smaller businesses.
In the meantime, if you are a smaller property manager, you can explore various AI tools and platforms that focus on specific aspects of property management, such as tenant screening or maintenance scheduling, which can provide targeted benefits without needing a full-scale, expensive AI solution.
The Learning Curve:
Adopting AI technology creates a learning curve for property managers and their teams.
It’s essential to allocate time and resources for training and ensure everyone is comfortable using the new technology.
AI can sometimes reinforce biases in the data it’s trained on, leading to unfair decision-making.
Property managers must know these potential biases and ensure AI-driven decisions align with ethical standards and fair housing practices.
6 AI Software Companies for Property Managers
|AI Property Management Software||What It Does|
|appfolio||An all-in-one property management software that includes AI-driven features like a leasing assistant.|
|Buildium||A comprehensive property management platform with an OpenAI's API integration.|
|RentManager||The cutting-edge AI Assistant expertly handles interactions with prospects and residents through various communication channels, including email, text, phone calls, and chat.|
|Propertyware||Propertyware Tenant Screening employs this advanced AI-based algorithm along with behavioral data, allowing for a more accurate analysis of applicants using a rental history database of over 30 million records.|
|Realpage||AI screening that goes beyond simply evaluating an applicant's ability to pay by offering insight into their willingness to pay.|
|Mainstreet Renewal||AI for single family property management|
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.