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JLL creates AI bot for residential lettings

JLL has partnered with EBI.AI to launch a virtual property manager for its tenants.

The “property bot” uses artificial intelligence, 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. The bot has been four years in the making and is built using IBM’s Watson technology.

Tenants can talk to JLL and make requests by telling Alexa the problem or sending a message via a messaging service or app. They receive an instant reply, either with assistance on how to solve the problem, or to book an engineer where required. JLL says that its AI bot means tenants can resolve issues in as little as 30 seconds.

The bot is accessible to tenants via a variety of platforms, including Amazon Alexa, messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, as well as via mobile apps for specific managed buildings.

The bot is being trialed in two of the private rented sector schemes managed by JLL; One Eighty in Stratford and Queen Street in Leicester.

JLL has not revealed how much it has invested in the AI bot.

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.”

Matthew Doel, co-founder of EBI.AI, added: “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 Alexa, smart lighting, heating and security.

“The clever thing with bots is that over time, they learn from their conversations with real people and become more intelligent. JLL have allowed us to introduce the bot to actual tenants and the improvements this will bring are invaluable.”

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