JLL has partnered with EBI.AI to explore artificial intelligence and bots, to launch a virtual property manager for its tenants. The ‘always-there’ personal assistant is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK property industry.
The “property bot” uses artificial intelligence (AI), and can be used to log problems such as a leaky tap or malfunctioning boiler, to book contractors, and to help tenants fix simple property problems. Tenants can talk to JLL and make requests from anywhere, at any time. They simply tell Alexa the problem or send a message via a messaging service or app, and they receive an instant reply, either with assistance on how to solve the problem, or to book an engineer where required - the whole process takes as little as 30 seconds.
The bot lives on EBI’s AI platform in the cloud, so a range of user experiences can be used including Amazon Alexa, messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, as well as via mobile apps for specific managed buildings.
The bot is being trialled in two of the private rented sector schemes managed by JLL; One Eighty in Stratford and Queen Street in Leicester.
Sam Winnard, director at JLL, said: “We’re constantly looking at how technology and innovation can help us to provide a better service to residents in the buildings we manage, so wanted to try the property bot to help make the process of repair reporting easier. It means tenants have instant access to advice 24 hours a day, and direct contact when it comes to arranging a maintenance person to call. Because the bot takes on more routine tasks like maintenance requests and contract information, it frees up our property managers to concentrate on the overall service and maintenance of the building, providing a better experience for tenants.”
The bot has been four years in the making and is built using IBM’s Watson technology. Matthew Doel, co-founder of EBI.AI, said: “Making the property sector more humanised with AI is currently one of our biggest focuses. Not so long ago, the very thought of inviting AI into our homes sounded like science fiction. Today, it’s a comfortably normal part of daily life with many people using Amazon Alexas, smart lighting, heating and security.
"JLL has been a great partner to help us realise the property bot dream. The clever thing with bots is that over time, they learn from their conversations with real people and become more intelligent; JLL has allowed us to introduce the bot to actual tenants and the improvements this will bring are invaluable.”
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