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Whether it’s explaining an apartment’s unique trash disposal system, providing lease information or coordinating a visit by a plumber, communicating with tenants costs time and money for property managers and landlords. In the year 2019, why not outsource all that to an artificial intelligence assistant?
Property management tech company Zego recently unveiled such an AI assistant, “Millie,” to help its customers with common tenant questions and needs. Millie joins a range of other recent AI-powered assistants that cater to property managers and tenants, such as Aptly, Jack and Zenplace.
Some of the common tenant queries Millie reportedly handles easily are: “when does my lease expire?” and “what time does the leasing office close today?”
It also can reach out to tenants to ask about and explain the process of lease renewals. Tenants can be prompted to fill out customer satisfaction surveys, and even write online reviews.
Millie can be a salesperson, too. She “upsells various services to drive ancillary revenue,” Zego says on its website.
The AI assistant is one component of Zego’s larger platform, which is designed to help property managers service buildings and engage tenants in a range of ways.
The platform offers basic online property management functions, such as a system for tenants to pay rent and request maintenance. Managers can also use the software to manually communicate with tenants via online chat or text message and make announcements.
But the platform is designed to enhance a tenant’s living experience in some more creative ways as well. For example, property managers can customize the app to allow tenants to book services at discounts, such as cleaning and dog walking.
Smart home devices are also available for purchase through Zego’s mobile app for tenants, and, once installed, those devices can controlled from the app as well.
Depending on the gadgets that a building or apartment is outfitted with, a tenant might use the app to unlock a door, provide a temporary access code to a guest or maintenance worker or turn on the thermostat.
Zego’s “Smart package” of smart device can be purchased and installed to allow full use of such capabilities.
Through a partnership with real estate investor S2 Capital and Amazon, Zego is slated to serve 30,000 S2 apartment units over the next three years.
In December, it already covered 20,000 units spread across 100 “multifamily communities” in the U.S., according to Zego.
Zego’s Millie adds to a growing list of AI-powered assistants that are meant to automate a wide array of real estate services.
Jack is an example of another AI assistant for property managers. If a tenant complains via message that their sink is clogged, he serves as the first line of defense against having to send a plumber.
“Did you try a plunger or the reset button on the disposal?” Jack would respond, according to its website. Jack and other AI-powered property management assistants can also help qualify renter leads and schedule showings.
AI is absolutely having a moment in residential real estate right now more broadly, with new assistants for various groups of consumers and professionals being released all the time.
Keller Williams and Realogy, for example, are among the better-known real estate franchise companies that have unveiled AI-powered personal assistants for agents, capable of performing tasks on voice command.