Winners And Losers: Three Ways Leasing Professionals Can Embrace Artificial Intelligence
With any new technology shift or macro change, there are winners and losers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is no exception. In multifamily tech folklore, there is a lingering belief that the AI winners will only be big companies, and the AI losers will be smaller enterprises like leasing teams. I’m here to tell you that is false.
For small to mid-sized operators, if you think AI is only for the large operators and the public companies, then you’re missing the opportunity to let tech help level the playing field. Without taking advantage of current tech, you risk getting disrupted by large operators (and become their asset instead of their competition). Perhaps that sounds dire, but I believe that when smaller operators are looking to prove value and higher costs for their customers than larger competitors, better customer service (i.e., timely responsiveness) is vital. So, if your business has to choose between cost, speed or quality (and cost is off the table), then you know what your focus should be.
For leasing professionals, you should view AI as a colleague and advocate. If you do, you are in the best position to leverage it to win. Does AI sometimes lead to smaller teams via natural churn and attrition? Yes. Does it also work hand-in-hand with team members to allow them to do more with less and automate the parts of their job they hate? Absolutely.
As we know, the arrival of automated machines at Ford factories meant some jobs became irrelevant. Despite this, Ford remained one of the largest employers in the state of Michigan. How does this relate to multifamily? Just like at the Ford plant, when AI is leveraged in multifamily, it means some tasks take longer and are more costly to do manually.
So, if you’re a team member who prides yourself on being the first to respond to every lead as fast as possible without spending the time to craft the perfect response, you may find more success focusing on closing that lead once they’ve been warmed up. Closing is a skill set that AI is not designed for, but a fast response time is. So, focus your time and attention on working with, instead of competing with AI. I personally do not have a goal or belief that AI will replace humans, for I believe both are necessary for our industry; technology can be used to aid leasing professionals and amplify their impact.