The Promise of AI and Multifamily

There’s a lot of chatter about AI and its application to all industries; here’s what it means for multifamily owners and investors.


Main Takeaway: AI will significantly disrupt how multifamily operations are conducted. Investors who embrace it will generate disproportionate returns compared to the ones who are lagging. It’s an existential risk.

Story: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been reshaping various industries for quite some time now, and the real estate sector is no exception. However, numerous misconceptions exist about AI’s application in multifamily real estate investment. Let’s debunk some of these myths and get to know the real potential that AI offers to multifamily investors and owners.

“Property operations like physical turnover of units, re-keying locks, fixing your plumbing is quite secure from the improvements in AI. However, AI co-pilots and assistants will invade every other aspect of multifamily property management. A leasing agent will be supported with AI assistants that can chat with leads 24/7/365 in any language. Receptionists will be complemented with AI concierge built directly into mobile apps for buildings. Security guards will be complemented with computer vision, and AI-generated monitoring and alerting. This will create a significant delta in value creation for multifamily owners who adopt AI aggressively and leave everyone else behind. There is likely going to be a lot of consolidation in multifamily ownership and property management based on the winners and losers in the next five years.” 

Saurabh Bajaj – CEO, Swiftlane

Is AI a Threat to Jobs in Multifamily Property Management?

AI will increase productivity for each property management employee, reducing the number of people needed to manage a portfolio of buildings. 

  • Talking to leasing agents on the website and through phone calls and email
  • AI concierge can reduce 80% of questions coming to the  office staff
  • Remote computer vision-based security monitoring can reduce onsite security costs
  • Combining AI with centralized leasing and maintenance for their creates higher profits for multifamily investors

A recent survey of property managers found that over 40% of employees’ time is spent on busy work. AI tools can help alleviate this mundane work so employees can focus on more important tasks and ultimately become more productive. This will be a direct impact on the hiring goals companies will have. 

AI can take care of mundane tasks, allowing property managers more time to focus on complex, high-value tasks that require human intellect and emotional intelligence, such as maintaining client relationships and strategic decision-making.

Myth: AI is Impersonal – but is that a bad thing?

Many fear using AI in property management may lead to an impersonal, robotic interaction with tenants. However, AI can actually enhance personalization in customer service. For instance, AI-powered chatbots can provide immediate responses to common queries, and AI algorithms can provide personalized recommendations based on each tenant’s preferences and behavior.

On the contrary, an impersonal approach is sometimes beneficial, especially for top-of-the-funnel leasing prospects. Often there is sales pressure in talking to a leasing agent. So renters early in their research phase prefer to find information online or talk to a chatbot and get their questions answered instead of picking up a phone and talking to a leasing agent for 10 different properties they’re interested in. 

This speeds up their research and also reduces the sales pressure they feel. Once they know they are interested in a specific property, they are more comfortable getting on a phone call or in-person tour with a leasing agent.

AI can actually be hyper-personalized –  it can collect a renter or prospect’s full history and information, retrieve that from a database and then respond to a question in real-time.

Myth: AI Implementation is Complex

The misconception that integrating AI into existing systems is daunting often deters its adoption. However, modern AI solutions are designed to be user-friendly and can be integrated seamlessly with existing property management systems. By embracing AI, multifamily investors can achieve operational efficiency, lower costs, and improve tenant satisfaction.

Now that we have busted these myths let’s explore some of the innovative ways in which AI can be utilized by multifamily property investors and owners, as suggested by various sources:

  • Tenant Screening: AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data quickly, helping to streamline the tenant screening process. This ensures that potential renters are reliable and reduces the risk of future disputes or eviction proceedings.
  • Predictive Maintenance: With AI, owners can predict when their property may need maintenance. This preemptive approach helps to avoid costly repairs and ensures that tenants are satisfied with their living conditions.
  • Dynamic Pricing: AI can also adjust rental prices based on various factors, such as market conditions, property demand, and the time of year. This optimizes revenue for property owners and ensures competitive pricing for tenants.
  • Enhanced Customer Service: AI-powered virtual assistants can answer common tenant queries round the clock, enhancing customer service and allowing property managers to focus on more complex issues.

And renters want more digital tools. A recent renter survey found that over a third of respondents said using digital tools to help manage their rental has become more important to them.

For instance, property managers increasingly use more sophisticated chatbots like Swiftlane’s advanced AI leasing bot for multifamily operators called RentGPT. This is a free new AI tool for your apartment websites, speaking 20+ languages with prospects and helping you convert leads into leases with the most advanced and centralized leasing AI.

What multifamily owners and investors do with their data is more important than ever. Data plus AI will enable real estate firms to make more informed decisions, take fewer risks, and retain customers and employees better. We all must become early adopters of these new technologies.

Expert Take on Multifamily AI

“There has been a lot of focus on using AI for human interactions in the leasing offices and organizationally, with chatbots, as well as lead generation and lead management…It’s making more inroads to creating better customer experiences, increasing operating efficiencies and improving decision making. With better decision-making, we can optimize asset performance and better manage risk. That’s where I think AI is going, taking on risk management.” — Sudip Shekhawat, Senior VP of Engineering, LeaseLock

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