Generative AI is one of the most profound technological advancements on record. Early estimates indicate that generative AI can yield productivity gains of more than 40%. Not only can it solve narrower business problems, but its iterative nature reimagines how users broadly interact with software. Augmenting and simplifying the work of human teams, AI is no longer limited to simple point solutions. Instead, it has become a powerful engine guiding many workflows (and toppling siloes in the process).
Across the property management space, AI’s positive impacts will be magnified as the industry sheds its analog past and embraces new time-saving, cost-cutting features. I believe AI will radically simplify the process of managing communities. Here, I’ll explore three specific ways that large language models, or LLMs, which form one type of generative AI, will transform the multifamily industry.
Cultivating Stronger Resident Relationships
Personal connections have always driven success in our industry. Used responsibly, AI technology can complement and enrich these connections rather than undermine them.
By eliminating repetitive tasks and driving new process efficiencies, users will be free to focus on both people and performance. Impactful, nuanced conversations will remain interpersonal, while AI platforms will be put to work to identify needs, or absorb administrative alerts around payment processes or the status of open requests.
LLMs’ biggest advantage is that it can “plug into” all business data and easily pull a range of unique information or generate messages at scale – doing in seconds what once took hours. Users can then reinvest time in the high-value interactions that spur better resident experience and, for managers, greater job satisfaction.
Accelerating the Leasing Process
LLMs operate off trillions of parameters and have a deep knowledge base. As such, they can offer creative solutions to complex business problems. For instance, in appealing to prospects, LLMs can analyze preferences, lifestyles, and other requirements, and offer tailored property recommendations or curate personalized tours.
LLMs can analyze the rent roll to surface areas of opportunity, or absorb content creation duties for items like blogs, resident communications, or social media updates. Take the use case of creating compelling marketing descriptions for vacant properties. LLM tools like ChatGPT are radically changing this once labor-intensive process, allowing leasing agents to input prompts about the unit’s floor plan, location, lighting fixtures, and building amenities to generate an AI-powered description.
To go one step further, if that LLM is built into property management software, it already knows everything about the unit. That means drafting a marketing description is as easy as pushing a button – while still allowing leasing agents to leverage their unique expertise to make any desired changes before posting.
With LLMs, teams can be more efficient by using leasing automation where needed and engaging with the personal touch when it works best. In other words, it’s less time behind the computer and more time closing deals.
Predicting and Rapidly Meeting Needs
Our digital, on-demand age means deliveries can be tracked in real-time, and transportation or accommodations can be booked in seconds. Property management is evolving to a similar territory – providing on-demand service and real-time updates. Generative AI makes this leap possible.
LLMs can help teams automate rent collection and process bulk actions like renewals and move-outs. One of its biggest impacts will be within maintenance, where residents expect fast service and clear communication when there is an issue with their home. AI-powered maintenance intake communicates with residents to gather necessary information, dispatches a pre-approved vendor, and provides status updates. LLMs can also analyze historical maintenance data, weather patterns, and equipment performance to predict related needs.
Sophisticated AI technology will even allow properties to become more eco-friendly by embedding tools that can proactively monitor energy consumption and water usage, for instance.
Unlocking New Efficiency Gains
Property management has benefited from automation through chatbots, voice commands, and e-forms for years. LLMs expand these capabilities by leaps and bounds. What we’re seeing now is a paradigm shift toward a very broad application of this technology that anyone with a phone or computer can use – unlocking a transformational new way of working in property management.
The AppFolio team has been working for years to bring AI's potential to the multifamily industry. With this huge leap forward through LLMs (and the launch of our new AI suite, AppFolio Realm), we’re excited to bring this potential to life for both property managers and residents.