Automation is everywhere. From self-driving cars to chatbots, our products and services are embracing automation to streamline a vast range of processes usually carried out by humans.
The CRE market is starting to adopt automation across a range of processes. Research reveals an estimated 41% of CRE firms are already using automation for benchmarking and performance analysis, 39% for scenario and sensitivity analysis and 36% for budgeting and forecasting.
What’s more, the use of AI and machine learning, which is regarded as the next stage of automation, is approaching a critical mass, with 19% of CRE firms using these technologies for scenario and sensitivity analysis, and 16% using them for accounting and property management.
The CRE Innovation Report from the Altus Group states: “The findings reveal that driving efficiency through automation is a key priority for CRE executives and the use of AI and machine learning is on the rise.”
While the perceived threats of automation are easy to understand, let’s look at the benefits of automation for the real estate industry.
Ditching repetitive tasks
Automation can relieve you of those time-consuming and rule-based tasks you find yourself carrying out on a day-to-day basis.
There are many automation tools available, working across a range of workflows. For example, you could use business process automation for auto-scheduling open houses and showings, sending follow-up emails, and so on.
Automation can also help you more effectively manage your tenants. For example, JLL is developing a lease administration automation system that reportedly will let the company identify, extract and manage key terms and information from corporate documents, including contracts and leases, in more than 20 languages.
Such automation can free you to focus on more valuable work that a piece of software cannot carry out, such as building client and tenant relationships.
Uncovering new insights
Commercial real estate businesses are built on data. Automation can help you collate your data and then extract valuable insights from this information and analyze it to help you stay ahead of the competition.
For example, you could use automation to generate comparables (comps) that include the pricing data of similar properties. This also reduces the subjectivity associated with the broker’s opinion of value (BOVs).
You could also determine a property’s real value using data-driven algorithms that can predict the probability an asset will sell and for what price. This provides you with more meaningful insights to determine a strategy to yield the best results.
Automating your marketing
It can be difficult to keep track of leads. Marketing automation software can collate your leads and organize them in a database, helping you to identify potential opportunities.
Once these leads are collected, automation software can then channel and segment your leads into groups. You can then develop targeted and timely marketing campaigns for the most appropriate group.
Automation can also provide further insights into these campaigns, by monitoring activities such as click and open rates and automatically pooling this information in a database. As a result, this will help you analyze your current campaign and optimize your future marketing efforts.
Automation will free you from the dull and repetitive tasks you’re so often faced with. This shift in thinking provides an opportunity for more innovation, creativity and strategic work in the CRE sector.