Artificial intelligence has gained significant momentum this year as CRE stakeholders bet on its promise of boosting productivity and bettering bottom lines.  The most recent accolade belongs to AI-driven commercial asset management platform Asseti which this month attracted a healthy $2.5 million in investment from tech group Tidal Ventures to help further its increasingly successful proptech advancements. 

Becoming the norm

Asseti has already become a staple for the likes of Mirvac Colliers, Holcim, Ventia and CBH and now wants to broaden its horizons. Mirvac in particular is one of the greatest fans of the platform which excels at predicting what a property may face – anything from leaks to potential wear and tear – and then prioritises workflows. Clear advantages are minimising hold-ups due to repairs as well as maximising an asset’s longevity.

Mirvac’s senior technical operations manager Scott Robinson said the ASX-listed company is now “reliant on the system day-to-day” and cannot live without it.

“We (Mirvac) use the Asseti platform far more broadly than initially intended,” Mr Robinson said. “Use of the platform continues to expand… beyond the site maintenance management we also use it for contractor onboarding, periodic regulatory inspections and more.”

Another recent addition to the artificial intelligence CRE scene is MRI Software’s Property Manager X™ (PMX). This product is a new and improved version of the firm’s existing property management technology and can be utilised via an app as well as MRI’s Agora Insights platform as before.

MRI’s Asia Pacific vice president of product development Mark Cohen goes as far as describing the tool as a “revolution” in the way companies and individuals will “think about, manage and imagine the future” of their portfolios and businesses.

Overcoming fear of the future

Despite apprehension around losing the human touch and AI’s impact on jobs, the use of advanced machine learning and AI in general has been accepted as inevitable. Asseti for instance is a prime example of the sorts of AI technologies commercial agencies and C-suite are seeking to increase efficiencies and bolster end results. Now the discussion is circling the need for technologies that can audit the origins of real estate data. As intellectual property lawyer May Medeiros pointed out this week in the international press: “Just because an image or video content is available on the internet doesn’t mean it’s permitted to be used in any way.”

Data governance has become a primary focus. Programs with this function single out inaccurate and restricted material, helping greatly to outweigh liability risks. International AI vendors are also at the forefront of making their products more attractive by offering their buyers liability insurance and legal indemnity, as well as showing commitment to defend clients who find themselves sued for alleged improper use of computer-generated data. This is one of the reasons technology companies are focussing on creating audit software capable of mapping the derivation of property information.

The tide would appear to have shifted permanently in favour of AI and generative capabilities: as Robin Rivaton, CEO of European property operations SaaS platform leaders Stonal and a tech expert in his own right pointed out this week: “There is no qualitative data in [commercial] real estate.

“CRE will be a laggard without further standardization or further automated extraction from documents. Documents, commercial rental agreements and contracts have been digitized but underlying text has not.”