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11 AI Leasing Assistants Compared

Natural language processing (NLP) and generative technology have come a long way in the past few years, to the point that AI Leasing Assistants can now carry out text chats and email correspondence without the other party realizing they’re not human.

A number of proptech companies have been working on AI leasing assistants and property management assistants for years now. They can handle prospective tenant leads at the top of your sales funnel- answering basic questions about your buildings and policies, booking and rescheduling self-guided tours, handling follow up texts and emails, and guiding tenants towards signing a lease.

Who Should Use AI Leasing Assistants?

For large multifamily landlords and leasing teams, AI assistants can save a lot of time, and possibly a few employees. None of them publish pricing (nor did they want me to), but they are generally priced on a per-unit-per-month basis. They generally get cheaper with more units, and some require a minimum monthly charge, so if your portfolio is on the smaller side (less than 100 units), you may not have enough sales activity for these services to make sense for you.

The companies listed below are mostly just available in the USA, with the exceptions of the largest companies- Yardi and Appfolio, which have global reach. Both of those are full-fledged property management platforms and CRMs that offer AI leasing assistants as add-on features. With the exception of Adam, which also helps with property management, the rest of these companies focus specifically on leasing assistance. Here’s the list:

What to Consider When Choosing an AI Leasing Assistant

Communication Features

If you already have a property management platform that isn’t Yardi or App/listing/appfolio/Folio, then you’ll want to look at pretty much all the other options on this table. They are standalone leasing assistants that will integrate with most CRM’s and property management systems (PMSs). They’ll handle most of the top of funnel communications and generate reports on conversations and conversion stats.

The more contact mediums they cover, the less time your leasing team will spend on your top of funnel leads. All of them automate texting, emails, phone calls, and website chats, except:

  • BetterBot focuses on being an omnichannel chatbot, so it doesn’t handle texts and phone calls.
  • Zuma focuses on seamlessly blending text and email communications with human sales teams, so it doesn’t handle calls.
  • LeaseHawk doesn’t do emails without integration with a CRM, but it offers a CRM.

Most of these AI’s use NLP (natural language processing) and sound relatively human, but prospective tenants will typically realize that an instant response has software behind it. Any chatbots and phone trees are also obviously not human, so if you want to maintain that human touch for the entire experience, you may not want to use chatbot and phone features.

Founding Year and Company Size

As with any proptech startup, how long they’ve been around and how big they are can affect your risk with them. The worst case scenario of one of these companies going under while you’re a customer wouldn’t be catastrophic to your properties, but it would still cause you a pretty big headache if the company went under. Your top of funnel leads may not be taken care of and you may be understaffed. So the company’s track record and future prospects should factor slightly into your decision.

Zuma (2021), for example, is the youngest company on this list, and as of this writing they’re not available in all US states yet and are currently building out more integrations with CRM’s. Meanwhile, older companies like PERQ (2001) and Respage (2002) are fairly well established with very robust products. Elise (2017) may be the exception here as they are currently one of the market leaders.

As we’re at the beginning of an economic slowdown, the company size also matters because it can indicate how lean they are. When tech companies shed staff, service and functionality can suffer. Given its age and breadth of product features, Respage (11-50 employees) looks relatively lean and capable of weathering a downturn. But take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Differentiators Between AI Assistants

While these leasing assistants may seem almost identical based on this table, some of them have differentiating factors that could sway you to go with them.

Adam is almost in a category of his own because he’s a ‘digital teammate’. He handles both leasing and property management conversations. And in a very gracious move in the spirit of co-opetition, BetterBot hosted a group video call with almost all of these companies and published parts of it here. They discussed the technology and emphasized their omnichannel chatbot approach.

Not all of them have the same level of integrations, so depending on what software you already use, that could make the decision for you. Ultimately, if you’re in the market for an AI assistant you should go ahead and contact some of these companies to make sure they’re a good fit for your properties.

One ironically frustrating note: As I was researching these companies, I reached out to most of them as a legitimate customer because I am actually a multifamily landlord and combined with one of my co-GP partners, we run over 1000 units. For reasons I don’t fully understand, almost all of them do not use their own technology to manage the top of their funnel leads, and they did not follow up with me after I submitted my info. I did successfully speak with PERQ (who did automate their top of funnel!) and Zuma.

Regardless of which assistant you choose, it’s refreshing to see that real estate is on the early side of the technology adoption curve here. In the video at the top of this article, I explain my predictions for how NLP and generative tech will change real estate forever, so check it out! Proptech Scout, Out.