Home Property Australia Three in four property execs to prioritise automation in 2024

Three in four property execs to prioritise automation in 2024

  • January 31, 2024
  • by Property Australia
MRI Software Senior Director for Asia Pacific Professional Services Nikki Steadman

Looking ahead to the fiscal year 2024, nearly half of senior property professionals have expressed a keen interest in prioritising digital automation technologies that other industries have swiftly adopted, according to a new report.

This new technology includes artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics.

According to the recently unveiled Digital Transformation Journey report from MRI, over three-quarters (76 per cent) of C-suite and director-level professionals in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry deem automation as a pressing priority across all facets of their business from the present until 2028.

Indicating a potential tipping point, 47 per cent also highlight AI as a specific priority within that timeframe.

Additionally, 46 per cent intend to prioritize IoT or ESG-initiatives, focusing on smart buildings, while only 29 per cent plan to pursue solutions related to predictive analytics.

Speaking to the report findings, Advanced Analytics and Innovation Advisor to Investa Joanna Marsh suggests the discrepancy between an urgent need to automate and the lack of conscious intent to invest in property-industry specific digital transformation solutions is “short-sighted”.

“Unlike finance with its Bloomberg-based knowledge base, real estate lacks a singular data source. We have a huge amount of unstructured property-related data, and standard LLMs (large language models) aren’t going to cut it. We need real estate industry-specific AI language models that are trained to liberate data from documents and disparate databases,” Ms Marsh said. 

Nikki Steadman, Senior Director for Asia Pacific Professional Services at MRI Software takes an optimistic view of the 47 per cent AI-invested result.

“One could also look at that 47 per cent and say optimistically that there is almost 1 in 2 industry professionals considering AI,” she said.

“That fact suggests we’re about to hit a tipping point in my opinion. AI technologies are a perfect fit for industries that rely on repetitive manual intervention to manage budgets, leverage insights from data and drive business operations – and as more leaders talk about it, and continue increasing their competitive advantage, adoption will naturally accelerate.

“Look at any industry that’s further down the road in digital transformation than real estate and they started with a few progressive thinkers and industry leaders. With today’s market and salary costs skyrocketing, the industry is really feeling the pinch. The progressive leaders profiled in our report are saying digital transformation is necessary, irreversible, challenging but exciting, with measurable return on investment,” says Steadman. “The next five years will be truly transformative for our industry.”

One such industry innovation leader, Amanda Steele, Group Executive Head of Property for ISPT believes that AI-driven technologies, particularly generative AI, will reshape the industry and transform the way services are delivered to industry clients.

“I think that technology, AI and the associated speed and efficiency of delivery can really improve our ability to personally connect with our tenant partners. And that’s the real sweet spot for us,” she said.