Eggers: “Artificial intelligence is likely to impact the economy as significantly as the industrial revolution.”

CHICAGO—By staying informed on artificial intelligence technology, property managers can bring ideal applications into their organization that will increase their own contributions as well as the revenue and efficiency of their organizations, Yardi Energy VP Matt Eggers tells Eggers will be leading a panel session on AI during the IREM Global Summit here Oct. 10-12.

Artificial intelligence is not something to be feared for taking away human jobs, but rather to be understood and used to advance our own uniquely human abilities in the CRE realm. As we reported in June, Jes Sherborne, chief technology officer of Truss, told, “AI is likely to increase the number of jobs in the CRE space. Just look what happened with banks. When ATMs became common, many people thought it would be the end for bank tellers. But that isn’t what happened—ATMs are everywhere, and the US has more bank tellers than ever before.”

Sherbourne added, “I believe that AI technology will improve the CRE industry and solve pain points that have existed for decades, without taking away jobs. Specifically, AI technology will ease logistics and improve transparency. For example, it will be easier to share relevant information and set up tours so that brokers can focus on providing the expert perspective and counsel that clients value. While AI will improve several aspects of CRE, brokers will not be replaced. Human interaction and personal relationships will continue to be a critical component of commercial real estate.”

The same thought process can be applied to AI’s use in property management. David Rowley, regional director of management services for the Southwest region of NKF, told in August, “A large percentage of property-management functions can be centralized or automated using specialized software, algorithms and artificial intelligence, significantly reducing workloads and human capital. The challenge over the next few years will be to create a culture with a high-adoption rate of these new systems by training existing property managers and recruiting new talent proficient in using dynamic workload solutions, resulting in highly productive property managers focused on creating value for clients.”

We sat down with Eggers to discuss his panel session, what attendees can hope to gain from it and why AI is valuable to this industry and property management in particular. Why should attendees attend your session on artificial intelligence?

Eggers: Artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the world as we know it.  It is likely to impact the economy as significantly as the industrial revolution. Tens of millions of jobs will be changed, and capabilities never imagined will be used in our daily work. Attendees should come listen to be on the front end of this. What can readers learn at this session that they might not learn elsewhere?

Eggers: AI is a broad technology that can be applied to many tasks. Attendees at this panel will hear several instances from experts in real estate, autonomous vehicles, machine learning, process automation and energy. Come prepared to think about questions like: Will the value of “place” change when autonomous cars whisk us from place to place? How soon will autonomous cars arrive? Can AI save 20 cents per square foot in energy costs and predict building-maintenance needs? Will AI help you negotiate leases and set rents? When might repeatable tasks such as data entry and document lookup be automated? What are the ideal process tasks for AI to automate, and which are too complicated? Why is artificial intelligence important to the CRE industry and the property-management realm in particular?

Eggers: Over a decade ago, powerful computers began to beat the best human players consistently at chess. But to this day, a team of a computer plus a human can still beat the best chess computers. There is an opportunity for property managers to learn the capabilities of emerging AI technologies so they can bring ideal applications into their organization in order to increase their own contributions and the revenue and efficiency of their organization. There will be several years of experimentation and learning, so they should come to this panel to be on the leading edge.