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Multifamily Minute Reader Reflections: How Will AI Impact the Industry?
We asked our 44,646 Multifamily Minute subscribers what they thought the impact of generative AI will be on the industry. Here's what they said.Start Your Application and Unlock the Power of Choice$5.6M offered by a Bank$1.2M offered by a Bank$2M offered by an Agency$1.4M offered by a Credit UnionClick Here to Get Quotes!
Last week, AI was the focus of a lot of conversations I happened upon, whether we're talking techbros on Linkedin or even my neighbors at a (fairly frigid, to be honest) barbecue.
It's a week later, and AI is still top of mind, but for different reasons, following Sam Altman's firing from OpenAI — and then his hiring at Microsoft before the weekend was done.
Despite the seeming chaos at OpenAI over the past few days, there's no shortage in demand for generative AI in many aspects of businesses, including in the multifamily sector.
All of this isn't to say that AI sneaking into all aspects of every apartment building owner's business is inevitable — a few of the responses from last week's poll made it perfectly clear where some of you stand on this change.
But let's take a look at the full results from our survey:
Areas with most potential AI impact
Percent of respondents
Tenant/prospect communication and support
Market analysis/investment decision support
Streamlining property management ops
Tenant communication came in first, followed by lease management and maintenance scheduling. I'm not too surprised, given the growing popularity of chatbots everywhere, but that category is probably worth its own analysis.
I don't think it's likely that AI will ever replace good, old-fashioned customer service in the industry. After all, when you're looking for more info and you call a property up, odds are you'll want to talk to a living, breathing human (right? I'm not alone on this, am I?).
My thoughts for how generative AI can assist on the communication side is more in line with chatbots, frequently asked questions (e.g., "Did you get my rent payment yet?", "How much extra do I need to pay to get a dog here?"), and others that are part of any property's Greatest Hits program.
Really, it all comes down to balance for tenants and for property owners and managers. On one hand, with rising costs, you can't staff everything you used to be able to — without burning your staff out completely, anyway. On the other, many residents will likely perceive too much AI-ification as impersonal, devaluing them and potentially giving them an excuse to move (at a time when everyone's already worried about rising vacancy).
This is a deep topic, and I don't think I can do it justice, fully, in a single post here. But regardless of my take (or yours), AI isn't going away anytime soon. Best we learn what it can (and, critically, can't) do for us.
In the meantime, don't you worry. The Multifamily Minute is written by me, a human. (And nope, I don't plan on changing that.)
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Last Week's Survey
In my previous survey, I asked you about the fees you charged your renters. Building off of the White House's positioning on so-called "junk fees," we (that's you and me) crafted a huge list of fees some of us are charging.