How AI Is Revolutionizing Multifamily Operations

These tools have vast potential. Can they even replace your human staff?

Marcie Williams, CEO of RKW Residential. Image courtesy of RKW Residential
“We have been able to leverage data-driven insights from AI to evaluate staffing models, monitor prospect conversion and help us develop benchmarking for our leasing teams,” said Marcie Williams. Image courtesy of RKW Residential

AI is revolutionizing multifamily property management. The technology provides innovative solutions that streamline operations, enhance resident experiences and optimize property performance. In property management, where efficiency and resident satisfaction are paramount, AI technologies are being used in various ways to meet these demands.

Initially used for prospect-facing solutions such as chatbots, AI has evolved to include predictive maintenance, delinquency management and renewal nurturing. This cutting-edge technology is reshaping the landscape of property management.

How is AI used in property management?

For property managers, AI isn’t just a tool—it’s a game-changer. “Currently, systems are starting with advanced workflows, automating marketing descriptions for properties, and decision-making for maintenance troubleshooting,” said Aaron Bracken, director of systems for Real Property Management.

From chatbots, to facilitating engagement with potential renters and scheduling appointments to providing assistance throughout the leasing process, AI is becoming integral to property management by simplifying operations to achieve greater efficiency and elevating the prospect and resident experience. “Leveraging AI for website copywriting provides numerous benefits, such as enhancing content quality and streamlining the content creation process for maximum efficiency,” said RKW Residential’s CEO Marcie Williams.

RKW Residential also uses AI to craft SEO-optimized content for their websites, as well as leveraging an AI-powered revenue management tool that helps optimize rents occupancy rates. By integrating real-time and historical market demand data, their AI system provides insights into lease renewal trends, even at the granular level of individual floor plans. “Additionally, it evaluates various factors impacting conversion rates, including online reputation, to ensure optimal pricing strategies for our properties,” Williams noted.

Stacy Brown, Director of Technical Training Real Property Management. Image courtesy of Real Property Management
By having AI scrub FAQ’s, policies and procedures, lease agreements, and addendums, instant access to answers may alleviate an office’s need to hire additional staff to simply answer the email or phone, said Stacy Brown. Image courtesy of Real Property Management

AI operations allow property managers to have a better insight for informed decision-making. “Our consumers spend more time researching apartment communities than they do physically visiting them,” noted Alex Abernathy, executive vice president of marketing at Asset Living. “This requires our teams to be equally as savvy to the marketplace, understanding the consumers value matrix and how that affects their decision.”

How does AI help property managers?

AI empowers property managers with the tools and insights they need to streamline operations, enhance resident satisfaction and maximize the financial performance of their properties. By leveraging AI technologies, they can work more efficiently, make better-informed decisions and deliver exceptional experiences for renters. “At RKW Residential, we have been able to leverage data-driven insights from AI to evaluate staffing models, monitor prospect conversion and help us develop benchmarking for our leasing teams,” said Williams.

It can be used different areas of property management to enhance operational efficacy and customer interactions. “We utilize AI currently in our broad business data analysis,” said Abernathy. “Locally throughout our business we have seen benefit in task-oriented implementations across areas such as resident collections, lead analysis and management and communications.”

Executive Vice President of Marketing at Asset Living, Alex Abernathy. Image courtesy of Asset Living
It’s hard to see a world where we reduce headcount, but I believe that we will be able to better focus that headcount with our resident being the primary beneficiary, mentioned Alex Abernathy. Image courtesy of Asset Living

The day-to-day tasks that once took hours “can now be reallocated to providing personalized service and experiences to our residents,” noted Abernathy.

Another way property managers use AI technology is to “look at historical data to predict leasing, eviction, resident movement, and behavior trends in seconds instead of days, weeks, or months,” said Stacy Brown, director of technical training at Real Property Management. “AI could also show those trends without the property manager having to review and extrapolate the information to assist in making the right decision at the right time.” It can also potentially help renters self-diagnose maintenance items to determine if a work order for repair is necessary. 

Will AI replace the staff?

Although AI is more prevalent everywhere, there are no concerns of replacing the human team entirely. Sure, it helps automatize some areas of management such as daily calls and email and can answer questions from prospective renters, but it lacks personalization and emotions. One area that requires human attention is the collections of rents—otherwise residents can lose sight of the importance of paying their rent on time, according to Abernathy. “It’s hard to see a world where we reduce headcount, but I believe that we will be able to better focus that headcount with our resident being the primary beneficiary.”

We have not made it a priority to utilize AI to reduce resources, rather, (we) provide AI as a supplement to our teams to provide elevated services to our communities and residents,” Abernathy noted.

One of the biggest challenges of using AI is doing it without sacrificing personalization, according to Abernathy. “If our residents only wanted a product, we could definitely replace staff with AI, but we do not provide just a product,” he noted.

Another significant challenge in implementing AI solutions in property management is the bevy of local and state laws. “This is a disruptive technology, to stay ahead of the curve they need to be informed, understand the benefits and risks, and go through change management to implement and benefit from these technologies which can be quite the challenge in this business,” said Bracken.

“By having AI scrub FAQ’s, policies and procedures, lease agreements, and addendums, instant access to answers may alleviate an office’s need to hire additional staff to simply answer the email or phone,” Brown said.

How can AI improve resident experience and satisfaction?

AI-powered analytics are transforming how rental pricing and occupancy rates are optimized. At RKW Residential, 32 percent of inquiries from potential residents and 72 percent of the property tours arranged by AI happen after business hours, so by leveraging AI, “we promptly engage with these prospects, ensuring no opportunity goes unanswered,” said Williams.

Aaron Bracken, Director of Systems, Real Property Management. Image courtesy of Real Property Management
This is a disruptive technology, to stay ahead of the curve they need to be informed, understand the benefits and risks, and go through change management to implement and benefit from these technologies which can be quite the challenge in this business,” said Aaron Bracken. Image courtesy of Real Property Management

It is often hard to keep up with all the touchpoints a potential residents’ needs during the leasing experience, so AI-powered tools allow property managers to measure overall sentiment and trends in order to know if improvements can be made. “In some cases, it’s not as simple as asking AI what our top priority should be to quickly improve resident experience,” noted Abernathy. “This was always possible, but it wasn’t probable to aggregate this insight on a daily basis.”

In the age when there are many ways to connect, “remembering that many questions have been asked before is imperative,” Brown said. “Because AI doesn’t sleep, it can respond to FAQ at any time, this ensures information is truly at the renter’s fingertips.”

What is the future of AI in property management?

We are very early in the use of AI in property management. Despite that, as AI progresses, it will likely transform the industry as we know it. A better automation and decision-making with AI can help property managers to have the time to develop relationships and engage in meaningful conversations with their investors, according to Brecken. “We are delving into how we can assist investors to better understand their portfolios and how we can help them achieve their real estate goals through the use of data and insights into their financials and projected returns, which can only be done efficiently with AI.”

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