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AI After Hours – Unlocking Tech’s Off The Clock Potential

In the swiftly evolving landscape of multifamily housing operations, artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a game-changer. On a recent episode of Open Door from Cox Communities, host Valerie M. Sargent dove into the transformative power of AI with Lacy Brown, Senior Vice President of Multifamily Operations at Case and Associates, and David Lee, Assistant Vice President of New Ventures and AI at Cox Communications. They shared their insights on how technology is propelling the industry forward, from enhancing resident services to streamlining management tasks.

AI Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: A New Era of Customer Service

Lacy Brown introduced us to Kelsey, an AI-driven virtual assistant, whose deployment in property management has been nothing short of revolutionary. Providing immediate responses, scheduling virtual tours, and following up with prospects up to eleven days, Kelsey ensures that no lead is left unattended. With an impressive 80% staff buy-in and a significant increase in conversion rates, Kelsey’s impact is quantifiable—a 20% revenue spike speaks volumes.

One intriguing aspect of Kelsey is her ability to build rapport with prospective residents. She’s not only fielding questions after hours, but she’s also becoming a quasi-member of the community, with Kelsey receiving personal invitations and even gifts from the people she interacts with. This level of engagement illustrates the increasingly sophisticated role AI can play in crafting personalized customer experiences.

The Analytics Edge: Informed Decision-Making 24/7

Property management doesn’t clock out at 5 PM. Lacy highlighted the importance of AI-powered analytics for decision-making after hours, which has led to a 5% boost in self-guided tours. This data-centric approach allows for real-time adjustments and a deeper understanding of resident preferences and behaviors, optimizing operations around the clock.

However, embracing AI isn’t without its challenges. Data privacy remains a top concern, along with the potential for AI to deliver inaccurate information. Addressing these concerns requires a proactive approach to technology management and safeguarding sensitive information.

AI as a Resident Engagement Tool

Beyond operational efficiency, Lacy and David explored the potential of AI in fostering community and enhancing resident engagement. They envision AI assisting in organizing events, curating personalized experiences, and even supporting educational endeavors. The key is to make AI an asset that adds value without becoming intrusive or unnatural.

Streamlining Maintenance with AI

As the pandemic highlighted the need for contactless solutions, Lacy discussed how YouTube tutorials became a go-to resource for DIY repairs. Looking forward, there’s enormous potential for AI to assist with maintenance issues, providing custom-tailored solutions from an ever-growing database of digital knowledge. These innovations not only improve the maintenance response time but also empower residents to handle minor issues independently.

AI’s Role in Security and Staff Optimization

David shed light on the more nuanced applications of AI, such as enhancing security in multifamily communities and optimizing staffing. With its 24/7 availability, AI can be a vigilant eye, monitoring and managing access control and surveillance systems. Moreover, by freeing up staff from more menial tasks, AI allows teams to concentrate on relationship-building and providing exceptional customer service.

Starting Your AI Journey

A key takeaway from the conversation was the importance of openness to new technologies. David offered practical advice for businesses wanting to harness AI’s potential, urging them to treat these tools as cost-effective “interns” that can boost productivity significantly. Lacy echoed this sentiment, advocating for an open-minded approach to adopting such innovations.

The Fast-Paced Evolution of AI

Touching on the rapid improvements in AI technology, David highlighted its democratizing effect—soon, expertise and knowledge that used to be the domain of specialists will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This rapid evolution underscores the need for businesses to stay agile and informed about the newest developments.

Ensuring AI Reliability in Real Estate

Despite their capabilities, AI tools still require human oversight, as Valerie noted. Using AI effectively in leasing and property management involves a balance—leveraging its strengths while mitigating risks through diligent human review and verification.

AI and the Future of Work

David also commented on AI’s differential impact on various types of work. While digital tasks are more susceptible to AI optimization, physical work might not see the same level of AI integration. This dynamic necessitates a strategic approach to implementing AI—identifying where it can create efficiencies and allow teams to prioritize critical aspects of their roles.

Integrating AI in Smart Spaces and Beyond

As they wrapped up the episode, the conversation circled back to the potential integration of AI in smart spaces and amenity areas within multifamily communities. The future is bright, and as AI continues to evolve, it promises to bring about new paradigms in how we manage properties, engage with residents, and envision our communities.

AI is not the dawn of an impersonal, tech-dominated world; instead, it’s a tool that, when used thoughtfully, amplifies human capability and frees us to focus on what truly matters—building genuine connections and creating living spaces that feel like home.

The Open Door Podcast by Cox Communities

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Leaders in the Multifamily industry have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to providing residents with the best possible solutions for their technology needs. This podcast explores topics and trends shaping the resident experience and how to improve that experience using technology. Join Cox Communities host, Valerie M. Sargent, as she has conversations with thought leaders and experts to help you make the best decisions for your communities.

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