Multifamily operators have been embracing automation for years...
And trends including the Great Resignation, remote work, unprecedented amounts of venture capital, and cheap computer power are accelerating innovation and the adoption of technology that replaces staff.
AI-driven tools that price rents and answer prospect questions better than humans are here to stay, and the best companies are actively thinking about what to automate next.
To some degree, tongue-in-cheek, leasing agents will be more able to kick back when it comes to the most menial tasks such as tracking, measuring and responding to leads; weighing appropriate digital ad spend; scheduling tours and sending reminders to interested prospects; managing events; and doing ID verification.
“Leasing agents will be service concierges,” Thompson said. “Let’s let agents be seasonal agents and only work for six months a year during busy time. Onsite staff is not going away, but as an industry, we can’t find them to hire them now, anyway, and virtual leasing offices can cover for that.”
In “The Leasing Office of the Future,” Ellen Thompson, Co-Founder, Respage, spoke about the inevitability of the automated leasing office – if it’s not here already
Here are more strong comments from the session:
- People don’t want to work weekends, especially younger-aged workers, Thompson said. And with automation, they really don’t have to.
- Residents can actually become leasing agents, Thompson said. They can be the one who could show apartments; as well as local influencers.
- Younger employees are finding that they gig economy pays more.
- Measure quality of leads (lead scoring). This is being improved.
- Recommendation engines that get prescriptive reports – be that analyst for you.
- Tech is the new capital improvement expense.
- Supportive outsourcing for most positions, as needed.
- When you are looking to add all the automation that’s out there, supplier partners collectively “will get you about 80 percent of what you need if you cobble it together,” Thompson said.
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