Tuesday 24 October 2023
In the fast-paced world of property management, time is of the essence, and urgent matters can arise at any time. Property managers often find themselves juggling a multitude of tasks, from responding to customer enquiries to addressing maintenance issues. The volume of work can lead to high stress levels and poor work-life balance, as work spills out of regular business hours.
Little Real Estate is familiar with the challenges of balancing quality service and employee well-being, being the largest independently owned real estate agency in Australia. Founded in 2009, Little Real Estate manages over 20,000 properties across Australia, boasting offices across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
In pursuit of their mission to provide the best experience for both their clients and their team, Little Real Estate partnered with reHeroes and implemented an AI-powered chatbot “Alex” across their network of 12 offices. By harnessing the power of AI, they found that the chatbot helped to improve the team’s property management workload without compromising on quality service.
Property managers are no strangers to stress and heavy workloads, as inquiries and urgent matters pour in routinely. The demands of the job can lead to burnout – in 2021, stress prompted 30 per cent of residential property managers to leave the industry in search of other opportunities. Recognising the toll this takes on property managers, Little Real Estate sought a technological solution to address these challenges in the form of the AI chatbot “Alex”.
Anne Crarey, Executive General Manager of Property Services in Little Real Estate, emphasised the need for change, stating, "It was absolutely a no-brainer to work with reHeroes in regards to giving our clients the best service we possibly can. With 'Alex,' we could assist our customers in getting that instant response back on a property without the need for human interaction, which is necessary in some cases because we receive thousands of inquiries for rental properties."
Little Real Estate adopted the complete suite of reHeroes’s product line: Alex for Tenants, Alex for Calls, Alex for Websites, and Alex for Emails. These AI-powered tools have revolutionised the way Little Real Estate operates.
Now, Alex for Tenants streamlines tenant inquiries, efficiently addressing common and transactional questions and troubleshooting routine maintenance issues. Alex for Calls helps the team manage inbound phone traffic, reducing the burden on Little Real Estate's staff. Alex for Websites generates new leads by providing instant responses to potential clients who visit their website. Meanwhile, Alex for Emails supports the leasing team by delivering personalised and instant responses to inbound inquiries.
Anne Crarey noted the positive impact of these tools, stating, "Our leasing consultant told us how grateful he was to use Alex for Emails because he only needed to deal with the exception of the inquiries he was getting."
This means that Little Real Estate’s leasing consultants only had to deal with one or two complex inquiries while ‘Alex’ provides a personalised and satisfactory response from the listing agent to enquiries from realestate.com.au and Domain (which can typically range from 50-60 inquiries per day).
As “Alex” can efficiently handle routine tasks and enquiries, it has allowed Little Real Estate’s property managers to focus their time and energy on complex enquiries. It has also given clients an enhanced experience by allowing them instant access to smart, personalised responses and further reduced wait times for more complex inquiries.
Little Real Estate’s industry-leading decision to enhance its business practices with AI has led to great efficiency gains for the company. Anne Crarey emphasises that while AI can never fully replace humans, integrating AI into their operations has allowed their team to concentrate on customer satisfaction rather than administrative tasks.
Anne also emphasised the importance of choosing an AI solution that seamlessly integrated into daily workflows and worked intuitively for her team. She added, "You can play with GPT for 10 minutes and still be completely overwhelmed by the possibilities. For me, reHeroes just slotted directly into our business without too much thought needed from us. reHeroes also provided individual training for different team members to make sure everyone was comfortable using 'Alex.'"
AI brings a multitude of opportunities to savvy property management companies, allowing them to improve efficiency and quality of service through automation. However, AI also entails its challenges which must be considered. These include data and privacy concerns, which can be mitigated by ensuring you choose a reputable AI service provider with best-practice data and privacy compliance.
Furthermore, AI implementation can entail additional costs and complexities that must be considered before selecting a provider, including staff training and support.
As well as this, a lack of human interaction has the potential to lead to a poorer customer experience. Due to this risk, it is imperative to strike the right balance between AI and human responses and ensure that clients can still access human assistance if needed. After all, AI is best used to enhance workers’ productivity, not to replace them entirely.
This strategic approach to AI implementation is crucial for property management companies looking to improve efficiency without sacrificing the human touch.
In 2023, “Alex” has proven itself as an invaluable addition to the Little Real Estate team. Handling more than 100,000 enquiries to date, “Alex” has significantly lightened the load for Little Real Estate's property management teams.
Anne Crarey proudly states, "Our team is really thrilled with how it's all working, even when we're reviewing it from a maintenance perspective as a property manager. The efficiency and time-saving aspect has been greatly appreciated. So really, 'Alex' is part of the Little Real Estate team now."
By introducing the AI-powered chatbot “Alex”, reHeroes has not only helped Little Real Estate address common property management challenges but has also improved the overall work-life balance of their staff. In an industry where responding to calls and texts outside of business hours is the norm, AI-powered solutions can help to protect staff from burnout. This improved work-life balance is essential for maintaining productivity, job satisfaction, and motivation among property management teams.
Little Real Estate’s partnership with reHeroes has allowed them to revolutionise the way their team works, alleviating staff workloads and improving overall well-being and efficiency. The introduction of “Alex” into their team has enabled them to streamline their operations, improve customer service and enhance all-important work-life balance for their dedicated property managers.
By implementing the right AI solutions, businesses can maintain a high standard of customer service while lightening the workload for their staff, allowing teams to focus on high-impact tasks and provide enhanced customer service when dealing with complex enquiries. It also helps clients by giving them 24/7 access to personalised advice, meaning less time spent waiting for staff availability.
It’s no secret that AI tools like “Alex” have the potential to transform the world of property management, for clients and employees alike. Interested to hear how AI could help your business? Book a demo and we can discuss how “Alex” can help your property management team thrive.