How AI can leverage smart real estate responses during COVID-19

Azizi Developments chief information officer, Dr Syed Mahsud, on how AI can be a “powerful tool” to invest in real estate

Azizi Development's chief information officer Dr Syed Mahsud (pictured)
Azizi Development's chief information officer Dr Syed Mahsud (pictured)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a new concept in the real estate sector, but it has quickly become an important one.

AI may be nascent, but the grounds have been preparing for its integral use within the sector long before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Just like AI-enabled consumer apps, machine-learning interfaces and chatbots are already benefiting a lot of e-commerce businesses by collecting customer data and helping them improve lead generation and content marketing, and real estate is no stranger to the benefits that are being yielded due to these technological advancements.

Today, real estate executives are looking beyond data sheets towards predictive analysis, smart technologies, and the Internet of things (IoT) applications, in general.

One of the earliest applications of AI in real estate is the building of automation systems, which serves as a type of IoT system. It involves placing sensors in strategic areas around the property, including in lighting or heating systems, elevators, and security systems, to collect data that helps building owners improve energy efficiencies.

Predictive analytics are also being used by real estate companies to analyse the condition of buildings and properties as well as details about owners, collected by special algorithms to provide custom-made, personalised offers and services.

AI is a remarkably powerful tool - it allows property owners to understand how they need to invest in their buildings, what they can invest in, and what returns they can expect.

The purpose of such analysis is determining a property’s financial and operational performance to make the most reasonable real estate investment decision, which often involves dealing with a lot of data.

AI-powered software can be a solution for improving the ability of a real estate business to provide accurate, comprehensive information about a property to clients.

In the context of current times, real estate businesses can track rental and property listings and requests for maintenance as well as collect tenant applications, among others, with AI, while abiding by the social distancing protocol put in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Real estate agents often monitor social networks to collect more information about a customer and utilise big data algorithms to help them extract all the information they seek faster and more precisely.

Though the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak is unknown, and most companies have initiated remote working procedures, AI can assist the sector in predicting sales revenues and employee engagement based on prior-pandemic historical data.

Additionally, international economics, macroeconomic, and cross-industry data can be utilised to retrain the AI platform for better predictions.

AI tools can also refine the processes of a sector where there is quality data available, especially regarding sales, human resource planning, and financial management. AI can predict sales growth, the optimum number of employees, and current business engagement in addition to related cash forecasting in this crisis period.

It is evident that information management is playing a vital role in the impact of COVID-19 around the world. Organisations are leveraging information management and AI in this outbreak to enhance everyday operations.

‘Quality Data’ and acceptance of AI at the senior management level are the most challenging areas for this technology in real estate.

The sector has a lot of data, but there is a real shortage of ‘quality data,’ which is one of the prerequisites for AI. At the same time, there is often a lack of awareness about the capability of AI at the senior management levels across the sector.

It is a fact that AI is not vigorously deployed in the real estate sector for now. But we also need to take into consideration that it is not fully adopted in the sector globally, at least not yet.

Most of the real estate companies are training on AI tools and optimising their functions and, in doing so, preparing for the future.

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