How to Build an AI Property Management Chatbot for Rental Properties?

June 27, 2024
17 min

Did you know that there are a myriad of ways AI property management chatbots can optimize real estate operations, and help you reduce costs? A simple property management chatbot for rent collection or handling tenant inquiries would save hours in your working schedule. And what if you had several such tools within your main system?

Ascendix has been diligently crafting custom AI tools for various real estate needs. We’re excited to demonstrate the basics of creating property management chatbots using AI.

What is an AI Property Management Chatbot?

A property management chatbot is an AI-powered assistant that helps to understand and respond to users like a human would. For instance, property management chatbots can manage tenant queries by generating tickets in the system, provide updates about certain properties, schedule appointments, and more.

A 2024 Deloitte survey has shown that over 72% of real estate decision-makers are either planning to invest in AI or are already doing so. Let’s discover in which real estate domains AI property management chatbots can be beneficial.

Use Cases of AI Property Management Chatbots

Property management chatbots are a definition of multitasking and versatility. We present you the key cases of AI Property Management Chatbots in real estate:

AI for Rental Property Management:

  • Tenant Inquiry Management: Addressing routine questions and escalating complex issues.
  • Maintenance Request Coordination: Automating logging and coordinating service appointments.
  • Community Updates: Efficiently broadcasting news, policy changes, and event information.
  • Lease and Payment Assistance: Helping tenants with lease inquiries and payment processes.

For Lease Management:

  • AI Lease Abstraction: Extracting key points and terms from leases in minutes, improving accuracy and efficiency while reducing costs.
  • Financial Details and Terms: Summarizing base and total prices, taxes, reimbursements, and other financial obligations.
  • Key Dates and Clauses: Highlighting important dates, use clauses, termination clauses, and other critical provisions to ensure compliance and awareness of lease terms.

For Brokers and Agents:

  • Client Pre-Qualification: Handling initial inquiries to focus on qualified leads.
  • Appointment Scheduling: Managing property showings and consultations.
  • Instant Property Information: Providing up-to-date listing details.

For Buyers and Renters:

  • Property Matching: Using AI to match preferences with available listings.
  • Tours Scheduling: Facilitating live virtual tours for remote buyers.
  • Rental Application Assistance: Guiding users through the application process.

For Enhanced Communication and Operations:

  • Automated Check-In/Out: Streamlining processes to reduce wait times.
  • Multilingual Communication: Offering multilingual support.
  • Emergency Protocols: Providing instant assistance with emergency procedures.

For Tenant and Guest Relations:

  • Onboarding and Orientation: Facilitating the onboarding process for new tenants or guests.
  • Booking and Renewal Reminders: Proactively sending reminders for lease renewals or bookings.

For Maintenance and Facility Management:

  • Supply Management: Tracking inventory levels and initiating restocking processes.
  • Service Provider Communication: Liaising with maintenance staff and vendors.

For Reporting and Analytics:

  • Interaction Reports: Compiling data to understand common inquiries and improve services.
  • Sentiment Tracking: Analyzing feedback to track satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.

Key Features of AI Property Management Chatbots

Business plus conversation equals satisfied customers. AI property management chatbots bring innovation and help you stay dynamic while following outlined strategies. But how to find the ‘one’ property management chatbot? We’ve included a few key features to look for in AI property management chatbots:

Key Features of AI Property Management Chatbots

Key Features of AI Property Management Chatbots

24/7 Availability

The 21st century is the ‘online age’. Hence, AI property management chatbots are always on duty, providing immediate responses to inquiries at any time of the day or night. This constant availability keeps potential clients engaged and interested, enhancing the chances of successful transactions.

Real-Life Example:

Imagine a potential renter in a different time zone searching for a new apartment late at night. The chatbot can answer their questions about available units, provide virtual tours, and schedule an appointment for a viewing the next day. This immediate, around-the-clock support ensures the renter’s interest is captured and nurtured, increasing the likelihood of closing the deal.

Enhanced Services

AI property management chatbots help with various tenant and client services such as handling inquiries, coordinating maintenance requests, broadcasting community updates, and assisting with lease and payment processes. They can also provide up-to-date property information, schedule appointments, and guide users through rental applications.

Real-Life Example:

A tenant notices a leaky faucet in their apartment late at night. Instead of waiting until office hours, they use the chatbot to report the issue. The AI property management chatbot logs the maintenance request and schedules a plumber for the next morning, keeping the tenant informed throughout the process.

Effective Lease Management

AI leasing chatbots can extract key points and terms from leases in minutes, summarizing financial details, important dates, and critical clauses. This ensures accuracy, reduces costs, and keeps all parties informed about lease terms and obligations.

Real-Life Example:

A property manager needs to quickly review lease details for multiple units. The AI leasing chatbot extracts and summarizes key information like rent amounts, due dates, and renewal options, allowing the manager to make informed decisions without sifting through lengthy documents.

Personalized Support

AI property management chatbots provide personalized service by using user-specific data. They tailor interactions, such as matching properties to client preferences and showcasing relevant listings.

Real-Life Example:

A family is looking for a home with a good school district and nearby parks. The AI property management chatbot uses their preferences to highlight suitable listings, showing homes in family-friendly neighborhoods and providing information about local amenities.

Cost Efficiency

By automating routine tasks such as check-ins, follow-ups, supply management, and service provider communication, AI property management chatbots save time and resources. They enhance customer engagement, track sentiment, compile interaction reports, and reduce operational costs, allowing property management teams to focus on more complex and strategic activities.

Real-Life Example:

AI property management chatbot can handle tenant check-ins and supply management. This automation reduces operational costs and allows the team to concentrate on improving tenant relations and expanding their portfolio.

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Types of AI Property Management Chatbots

Before building or integrating any kind of AI chatbot for real estate, be it property management chatbot or lease assistant, it’s key to understand what tasks you need it to perform. Generally, there are two types of AI property management chatbots.

Real Estate AI Chatbots | Informational vs Actionable AI Property Management Chatbots

Real Estate AI Chatbots | Informational vs Actionable AI Property Management Chatbots

Informational Chatbots

  • Natural Language processing (NLP) understands users’ queries and provides actual answers.
  • Informational chatbots provide suggestions on users’ preferences.
  • Informational chatbots offer details about properties, including listings, pricing, amenities, and availability.

Informative chatbots are solutions that can handle requests for providing information, e.g. property management chatbots where users can inquire about lease terms, conditions, and rental rates, receiving instant and accurate information about the property’s leasing details.

Informational AI property management chatbots are a simple solution that offers factual information to users. In most cases, they can be built with a no-code approach in a few minutes because the only thing required is the company’s website integration with the chatbot.

Informational chatbots act as libraries – the data is stored in a separate vector base, and later, users access the data through intuitive queries.

For example, when GPT is combined with a vector database (like JLL GPT or Redfin ChatGPT), it uses the data stored in that database to answer user questions. This data includes the company’s documents that were uploaded earlier.

For instance, OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Microsoft’s AI Bot Service excel at responding to user queries and showcasing property details, utilizing advanced features like natural language processing (NLP) and full-text search.

Nonetheless, you should remember that informational chatbots have limits, since their performance fully depends on the vector base data. So, if you want to build an AI real estate chatbot that can answer open-end questions and perform tasks related to property management as well as lead management in addition, you’d better consider building an actionable chatbot.

Actionable Chatbots

  • Actionable chatbots automate tasks like scheduling appointments, submitting rental applications, and processing online payments.
  • Property managers align actionable chatbots with real estate records.
  • Actionable chatbots improve user experience.

Actionable AI property management chatbots are tools that go beyond information retrieval and can initiate actions such as creating tickets, inputting records into CRM systems, sending messages and tracking workflows. Opting for this kind of property management chatbot is ideal when you want your solution not only to answer tenants’ questions about maintenance work status but also to automatically log these inquiries as tickets into the CRM system.

These chatbots integrate features like RAG, geo-spatial search, and hybrid search, offering a comprehensive solution for users.

However, building such chatbots requires far more resources and tech knowledge compared to informational AI property management chatbots. For instance, to create a more intricate chatbot like the one equipped with a ticket tracking system, one needs additional API integration, such as the website integration with Zapier.

Best AI Property Management Chatbot

There are already many AI property management chatbots that come as ready-made solutions. Let’s explore what each of these chatbots can offer:

  1. RentGPT — a free property management chatbot that handles tenant inquiries, provides tailored responses, and automates tasks such as maintenance requests and lead conversion, enhancing tenant experience and saving time for property management companies.
  2. BetterBot — an AI leasing agent that helps prospects gather information and schedule tours at their convenience.
  3. Elise AI — optimizes operational processes, responds to emails, texts, and phone calls within minutes, and schedules maintenance requests.
  4. MobileMonkey — a platform that integrates with social media websites like Facebook, and Instagram. It combines all messages into one inbox and automates sales outreach, helping generate high-quality leads and improve tenant satisfaction.
  5. Tars — provides real-time updates and easy listing distribution. With features for capturing leads and strong integration capabilities, it is a valuable tool for real estate.
  6. Century 21 Sofia — helps potential buyers and renters with property searches, appointment scheduling, and connecting with real estate agents, providing a seamless and personalized customer experience.
  7. Compass Concierge — answers common inquiries, schedules property tours, and connects clients with agents, enhancing accessibility and convenience for Compass clients.
  8. RedfinBot — addresses inquiries about services, connects users with agents, and offers personalized recommendations, streamlining the buyer and seller experience.
  9. MyHome — offers 24/7 support, handles warranty and home maintenance requests.

However, there are cases when ready-made solutions cannot cope with the complexity and number of tasks. Say you need to teach an AI property management chatbot to operate on your data, manage a specific workflow, and address the unique needs of your stakeholders. Actionable chatbots can be customized to handle these tasks, ensuring seamless integration with your existing systems and providing tailored solutions to meet your requirements.

Best AI Property Management Chatbot

How to Build an AI Property Management Chatbot: Property Management AI Example

Now let’s delve deeper into building an actionable AI property management chatbot that can handle informational requests, recognize property maintenance inquiries by analyzing text and log those as tickets into the CRM system takes.

Say we need to develop an actionable property management chatbot with AI component for handling informational requests AND performing some actions, like creating maintenance tickets and logging records in the system. Potential workflow would be as follows:

Welcome and Greeting

Introduce the AI-driven chatbot with a friendly welcome message, setting expectations on its capabilities in handling both informational requests and property maintenance tasks.

User Intent Recognition

Leverage natural language processing (NLP) for understanding user intents. Distinguish between general informational queries, like lease details, and maintenance-related requests.

Informational Queries

Guide conversations on predefined topics for informational queries, addressing questions about lease terms, property amenities, or neighborhood information.

Maintenance Request Recognition

Utilize NLP to identify maintenance-related prompts. Train the chatbot to recognize keywords or phrases indicative of a maintenance request, such as “broken,” “repair,” or “issue.”

Maintenance Solutions

Provide immediate solutions for common maintenance issues through predefined responses, such as troubleshooting tips or informing users about expected resolution times.

Ticket Initiation

Initiate the creation of a maintenance ticket in the property management system if further assistance is needed. Collect necessary details, including the type of issue, location, and any additional information.

User Verification

Verify the user’s identity, if necessary, before processing maintenance requests, ensuring security and privacy.

Confirmation and Follow-Up

Confirm the initiation of the maintenance ticket and provide a reference number. Follow up with the user on the expected timeline for issue resolution.

Fallback Responses

Implement fallback responses for unclear user intent or unfamiliar prompts, prompting users to rephrase or offering alternative options.

Integration with CRM System

Seamlessly integrate the chatbot with the property management CRM system to log maintenance tickets and relevant details automatically.

User Feedback and Survey

Collect user feedback on their interaction with the AI chatbot, utilizing it to continually enhance the chatbot’s performance.

Maintenance Status Updates

Optionally, incorporate a feature allowing users to inquire about the status of their maintenance requests and receive real-time updates.

Property Management AI Chatbot Development Approaches

1. No-Code Approach: For streamlined tasks like creating property viewing tickets and basic CRM interactions, the no-code approach is effective. This involves integration with no-code automation platforms such as Zapier. For instance, connecting a Tars-built chatbot with Zapier to create tickets when users express interest in viewing a property.

2. Custom Integration Approach: This approach is crucial for more complex transactions within AI chatbots for property management. Develop a custom chatbot using platforms like Microsoft Bot Framework or build a dedicated solution. An example involves integrating a chatbot built with Microsoft Bot Framework with a custom CRM system to handle intricate transactions and client interactions.

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AI Property Management Chatbot: Development Stages

Before building an AI property management chatbot you should be aware of the software development process stages.

1.Choose the Right Tech Stack:

To start, the selection of the right technology stack lays the foundation for success. Opting for a chatbot framework like Microsoft Bot Framework or Rasa AI provides the necessary customizability for tailoring the chatbot to specific real estate requirements. Enhancing language understanding is critical, and utilizing cutting-edge Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools like GPT-3.5 elevates the chatbot’s capabilities.

2.Choose the Architecture Design:

In terms of infrastructure, the cloud platform plays a pivotal role. Azure, with its robust infrastructure and AI services, emerges as a top choice for ensuring the scalability and reliability of the AI property management chatbot.

Moving forward, the architecture design phase involves crafting a user-friendly conversational UI, developing bot logic with the chosen framework, and integrating advanced NLP through GPT-3. Back-end services, such as Azure Functions, contribute to scalability, while a well-structured database stores crucial information about properties, bookings, and reported issues.

3.Ensure Model Training:

Model training is a crucial step in enhancing the chatbot’s understanding of user queries. Utilizing a diverse dataset and fine-tuning the model with the help of Llama or Azure tools, especially for real estate-related terms, ensures that the AI chatbot for real estate can comprehend nuanced queries accurately.

For this stage, you’ll need to use your own models or Azure GPT models.

4.Follow with Bot Development:

Bot development follows, where the conversational flow, decision-making logic, and integration with the chosen framework are implemented.

5.Proceed with Thorough Testing:

Testing is imperative to guarantee the chatbot’s functionality and user satisfaction.

Unit testing, user testing, and performance testing assess various aspects of the chatbot’s performance.

Oh, and don’t forget to validate your model if it’s the custom one.

6.Integrate Your Chatbot with Azure

Once the bot is refined and functional, integration with Azure Services, such as Cognitive Services and Functions, further elevates its functionality:

You can integrate services like Text Analytics for sentiment analysis. This empowers the AI chatbot for real estate to discern user sentiments, providing a more personalized and responsive interaction;

You can integrate Azure Functions to leverage serverless functions for backend processing;

As for the Azure Database integration – it is instrumental in storing and retrieving relevant data about coworking spaces, creating a structured and accessible repository for critical information.

Additionally, you can ensure with Azure Services that your AI property management chatbot can analyze images, recognize sounds, and can be controlled by voice.

7.Deploy Your Property Management AI Real Estate Chatbot

Deployment marks a significant milestone, with cloud platforms like Azure providing a stable environment for the AI property management chatbot to operate. Continuous integration and deployment are configured for seamless updates and improvements.

8.Monitor and Optimize Your Chatbot’s Performance

The journey doesn’t end with deployment; monitoring and optimization are ongoing processes. Setting up monitoring tools enables tracking user interactions, and user feedback becomes instrumental in optimizing the chatbot’s responses to evolving needs.

This comprehensive development process ensures that AI property management chatbot are not just functional but continually evolving to meet the dynamic demands of the industry.

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Software to Start Building Your Property Management AI Property Management Chatbot With

Prototyping Software

Prototyping software enables designers and developers to efficiently design, test, and refine the chatbot’s functionality and user experience before committing to full-scale development.

Unfortunately, there are inherent limitations in terms of customization, particularly regarding styling and prompting. Despite these constraints, such software proves invaluable for creating quick demos and proof of concepts, offering a glimpse into the chatbot’s potential without the need for extensive coding.

Software Examples: Notable examples in this category include tools like Wondershare Mockitt and Justinmind. The latter focuses on rapid prototyping for intricate UI/UX designs and boasts strengths such as state-driven prototyping, built-in persona creation, and extensive accessibility features, making them well-suited for efficiently conceptualizing and presenting AI property management chatbots in their early stages of development.

Complete Builders

All-in-one chatbot building platforms such as Botpress and Voiceflow stand out in the realm of AI chatbot development for real estate, providing a comprehensive solution that goes beyond mere prototyping.

These platforms offer a broad spectrum of opportunities, allowing developers to build anything from basic to massively complex chatbots with ease. The capabilities extend to performing various actions tailored to the real estate domain, including property search, lead qualification, appointment scheduling, and seamless integration with real estate databases.

What sets these platforms apart is their user-friendly drag-and-drop interfaces, AI integration functionalities, and the ability to deploy AI property management chatbot effortlessly across major channels such as websites, messaging apps, and voice assistants.

While the learning curve may be steeper compared to prototyping tools, with some coding knowledge required for advanced customization, the trade-off is the ability to create robust and fully functional real estate chatbots capable of handling intricate tasks.

Software Examples: Tools like Voiceflow, Botpress, and ManyChat exemplify these all-in-one platforms, offering a comprehensive solution for the development and deployment of AI chatbots for real estate.

 

Advanced Chatbot Building Tools

Advanced chatbot building tools like Zapier, Stack AI, and Make play a crucial role in crafting custom functionality for AI chatbots in the real estate sector. These tools stand out by facilitating the integration of chatbots with legacy systems, enabling seamless connectivity and automation.

Their primary focus lies in automating tasks and building workflows, utilizing pre-built connectors and AI components. In the context of real estate applications, these tools empower chatbots to connect with CRM platforms, automate email triggers for leads, integrate with scheduling tools, and leverage advanced AI capabilities like sentiment analysis.

Unlike prototyping tools, which concentrate on design and testing, and complete builders that handle full development and deployment, advanced chatbot building tools excel in automating specific tasks or functions. They can be applied at any stage of development, whether for specific workflow automations or enhancing existing chatbots.

Software Examples: Zapier, Stack AI, and Make exemplify the diverse capabilities of these advanced tools, showcasing their pivotal role in integrating AI chatbots for real estate with intricate systems and workflows.

 

Our Experience in Developing AI Property Management Chatbots

For decades, we’ve seen our clients struggle with traditional property searches. Whether it was complex filters or the output heavily depending on the specific format of the input data, the inefficiencies in the conventional property search process have been evident. That’s why we’ve decided to alleviate customers’ challenges when it comes to property searches by developing an interactive assistant capable of understanding natural human language and conducting AI searches.

Stage #1: Looking for the Dataset and Realistic Data

Before diving into the development stage, we’ve delved into the survey, trying to simulate real-life scenarios. So, we looked for a dataset that resembled real estate listings and had different types of information, making it easy to use different search filters.

After considering various options, we opted for a dataset from Public.opendatasoft.com, specifically Airbnb Listings, due to its comprehensive and legally clear data under the Creative Commons license. Our emphasis was on diverse global property types, allowing us to thoroughly test AI capabilities.

Further, we utilized Chat GPT-4 extensively for tasks like data analysis, format conversion, cleaning, and generating additional data.

Stage #2: Azure Cognitive Search Testing

Our AI search testing focused on core functionality, followed by data analysis handled by Business Analyst specialists.

Three main search endpoints were examined: full text search, vector search, and hybrid search. Key testing strategies included assessing common search features and incorporating AI-specific scenarios like synonyms, misspellings, multilingual capabilities, and contextual understanding.

In the end, we leveraged Chat GPT-4 for query generation, initially creating queries manually and later enhancing the process with automated generation.

 

Stage #3: Chat GPT Integration Testing

During the testing phase for Chat GPT integration, our primary objective was to assess the efficiency of Chat GPT in interpreting user search queries and generating corresponding search requests. This phase played a crucial role in verifying the chat interface’s ability to handle diverse user inputs while maintaining the integrity and security of the search process.

During the Chat GPT integration testing, we’ve:

Worked on Diverse User Queries:

  • Tested Chat GPT’s ability with various user queries, including specific, vague, grammatically incorrect, and ambiguous requests.
  • Assessed handling of multiple questions and requests with mutually exclusive elements.

Formed Valid Search Queries:

  • Created requests potentially misinterpreted by Chat GPT, involving non-sortable fields, forbidden operators, and alterations to default parameters.

Ensured Security and Contextual Integrity:

  • Ensured Chat GPT did not disclose sensitive information unrelated to listing search.
  • Tested chat’s ability to maintain context in long conversations and handle changes to search criteria accurately.

 

Stage #4: Addressing Development Challenges

A notable challenge we faced was that modifications to system prompts, whether due to bug fixes or the introduction of new features, frequently resulted in unpredictable alterations in the system’s behavior.

Even minor bug fixes had the potential to impact a broader section of the system. In response, we began implementing automated tests utilizing Playwright. This approach enabled us to offer swift feedback, reduce the need for manual testing, and uphold a high standard of precision and efficiency in our testing procedures.

 

Stage #5: Designing the Tool

Starting with the project’s design, it was divided into two phases. The initial phase focused on a quick and straightforward design to test the idea and implement functionality. Our internal design system was used without unnecessary embellishments. The user flow for a successful case was created, along with additional screens explaining extra features.

In the second phase, the goal was to give the product a different look and feel. This phase introduces a modern design and operational changes. Notably, filters are now hidden by default, and search results are moved out of the chat to the right. Despite reducing the number of search results, we ensured they are of high quality, enhancing user efficiency in finding what they need.

 

Why Trust Ascendix with AI Property Management Chatbot Development?

Ascendix, a proptech software development company based in Texas, is committed to unlocking technological potential for businesses.

Why Ascendix?

  • Over two decades of tailored real estate solutions development for large enterprises and startups;
  • Trusted by major players like JLL and Colliers for developing in-house solutions;
  • With five global offices, we cater to startups and established companies across diverse geographic destinations.
  • Extensive development expertise in AI tools for lease abstraction, contract summary, property descriptions generation, AI natural language property search for listings, and AI property management chatbots.

How can we help you?

  • We can integrate AI into your company’s software or build a brand-new AI solution that aligns seamlessly with your unique business workflows;
  • We offer comprehensive assistance and consultancy in choosing the most suitable AI tools for commercial real estate, whether it is AI property valuation, natural language search, or AI-driven chatbots;
  • If your commercial real estate AI is already operational but not as smooth as desired, we can conduct a thorough tech audit and testing.

Contact us to discover how our experience in property management, proptech, and AI can innovate your business.

Need Technology Partner with Experience in Real Estate?

We speak real estate. We’ve been developing software products for real estate for 2 decades. Speak to Ascendix consultant.

FAQ

What is an AI property management chatbot?

AI property management chatbot is an AI-powered tool used by real estate professionals for purposes like engaging with customers, conducting property searches and appraisals, managing properties, and more.

What are the main types of AI chatbots for real estate?

The main types of AI chatbots for real estate are informational and actionable chatbots. While informational chatbots act as libraries, storing data in a separate vector base and responding to user queries based on that data, actionable chatbots can initiate various actions, such as creating tickets, inputting records into CRM systems, sending messages, and tracking workflows.

How can real estate benefit from AI property management chatbot?

Property managers are bridging the gap between a client and real estate. AI property management chatbots are their building blocks. They help with initial client engagement, can provide customized conversations, and offer up-to-date market insights.

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