Will Voice Technology and Artificial Intelligence Change the Way You Manage SFRs?

Posted by Michael Miller on December 27, 2018

Imagine this scenario: A tenant’s furnace stops working. Rather than scrambling for your phone number, the tenant tells Amazon Alexa. The device sends a message to your property management software, and an AI responds, detailing the next steps. Simultaneously, you receive text and email notifications. Soon, help is on the way.

Voice recognition technology, combined with AI software, is already penetrating workplaces and social event planning with apps that make it easier than ever to stay connected to co-workers and friends. The next iteration of this technology could also make it easier to be a real estate investor and landlord.

Be Proactive About Maintenance Issues

Zenplace, an AI-powered property management platform, can track usage and lifecycle on utilities such as HVAC systems or water heaters. When it detects a problem could be on the horizon, such as filters that need to be changed on a central AC unit or a water heater that could begin leaking in three to six months, the software will notify the landlord and suggest a course of action.

Communicate with Tenants

The Hey Landlord app utilizes an AI chatbot to field tenant requests and answer questions, notify tenants of upcoming rent payments or maintenance visits, and even create communities of tenants for enhanced communications. Cloud-based storage lets landlords securely store and access documents like lease agreements to tenant profiles.

Make Paying Rent Easier than Ever for Tenants

Only about 20 percent of American households still write checks; younger generations have embraced online payment methods such as Paypal and Venmo as a way of transferring funds. Some project management platforms already permit online bill pay, but new skills developed for Amazon Alexa could make paying rent as easy as telling the Voice Assistant, “Alexa, pay the rent.”

Of course, the landlord’s bank will have to be set up to accept payments, and the tenant will have to pre-program what “paying the rent” entails. The upside? Landlords may never again need to hear, “The check is in the mail.”

The Future of Property Management?

The increase in SFR properties and the rental market as a whole is not breaking news to seasoned investors. But what you might not know is that, with the rise in rentals, the property management industry has also grown to $73 billion a year. There are plenty of tools available to help investors manage this aspect of their business.

Some futurists predict that, within 10 years, prospective tenants will deal directly with voice-enabled AI rather than leasing agents, and that unique, personalized rental ads will be generated in real-time as a tenant searches for an apartment. While this timeline may seem ambitious, it is a certainty that emerging technologies will remove some of the challenges that landlords face—sooner, rather than later.


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