Real estate and property management involve multiple data processing tasks, including management of documents, inventory, and other key processes, such as procurement, accounting, reconciliation, etc.
These data-heavy, documented, and rules-based processes in real estate can reduce the productivity of employees and the business.
Thanks to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology, 70-80% of rules-based processes can be automated, thus making the real estate industry, which is ridden with rules-based workflows, ripe for automation. Delegating mundane tasks to bots can allow realtors to focus on more important tasks, such as closing deals, providing personalized support to home-buyers, and helping them find the best accommodation with respect to their budget and needs.
In this article, we discuss the top 7 use cases and applications of RPA in the real estate industry.
What is RPA in real estate?
RPA is the technology to automate processes that have a high degree of standardization and repetition rates.
RPA’s ability to perform and automate tasks such as:
- Data extraction,
- Data migration and entry,
- Data update and validation,
Enables real estate companies to improve the quality, speed, and efficiency of processes whilst reducing the risk of errors and the workload of employees.
What are the applications and use cases of Robotic Process Automation in real estate?
We have spotted 60+ RPA use cases, and almost half of them applied to real estate since these processes include daily, back-office activities every business needs to perform.
Here are the common real estate processes RPA can automate:
Real Estate Operations
1. Tenant onboarding
A tenant’s onboarding process has various manual and time-consuming tasks that could result in a negative customer experience. The subsequent disillusionment might lead them to pass on the opportunity and sign a deal with a competing landlord.
RPA bots can be programmed to extract and process information to handle rule-based tasks in the tenant onboarding process. Specifically, they can:
- Create a new tenant application
- Run criminal background checks
- Verify income, employment, and references
- And approve or disapprove the applicant based on whether they’ve passed the aforementioned preliminary checks.
2. Payment reminders
Late payments are a common, repetitive, and emotionally taxing part of real estate management. Automating rent payment reminders include setting up a bot for checking incoming payments to verify the payee’s information, and sending email reminders to non-paying tenants.
3. Portfolio Management
Portfolio management, the same as traditional asset management, is the process of managing real estate assets to preserve, optimize, and increase their value. Real estate portfolio optimization is offloading underperforming properties and purchasing those that are in demand or have room (no pun intended) for growth.
Visibility into the specifics of a portfolio’s assets can make portfolio management more efficient and streamlined. For instance, RPA enables realtors to automatically list the sold-out/rented properties from the ERP systems, and update the data on multiple websites simultaneously to offer high visibility into the existing properties.
4. NAV calculations
The net asset value (NAV) is one of the useful metrics for assessing the value of a real estate investment trust (REIT). Net asset value (NAV) in private real estate investing is the total value of an asset, minus any outstanding debt and the cost of any fixed or planned capital expenses.
Real estate investors should understand NAV because asset prices are what drive current and future investor returns. For example, an increase in NAV correlates with an increase in distributable dividends to the investors who had invested in the property.
Real estate investors can automate some of the NAV calculation steps by using RPA solutions. NAV calculation consists of manual and labor-intensive steps such as collecting, validating, and processing market data and applying this to the funds to calculate a complete and accurate NAV.
For example, Maitland, an investment and fund administration company, automated the NAV processes for 500 of their 700 funds with an RPA solution1.
5. AML/KYC Compliance
RPA bots can validate existing customer data on transactions by extracting customer data from various internal ERP sources. Customer info can be verified autonomously or transferred to an employee for review. RPA also can automatically send emails with alerts to frontline staff requesting necessary KYC documentation.
RPA also minimizes human contact with sensitive data which reduces the probability of fraud and compliance issues. This allows a detailed audit in case issues arise.
See our articlea about:
6. Accounts Payable (AP) / Accounts Receivable (AR) automation
Manual processing of invoices is expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone. Thanks to hyper-automation, which is the addition of advanced technologies to RPA, ~80% no-touch AP automation is possible for invoices submitted outside of the company’s Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
With the further augmentation of RPA with machine learning and document extraction technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), businesses can automate most of AP and AR sub-processes, such as data verification, balance sheet forecasts, invoicing, and more.
7. Bank & Account Reconciliation
RPA can automate the extraction of bank statements from different banks, that the real-estate firm works with, in order to reconcile their account, and cross-match them with their general ledger entries.
RPA simplifies this process by uploading downloaded bank statements to a shared drive or financial application for account reconciliation.
For more on RPA
To learn more on RPA, feel free to read our comprehensive research on the topic:
- 45 RPA Case Studies: Explore RPA in your Industry & Function
- Future of RPA: In-depth Guide to RPA Innovation
- Top 100+ RPA Use Cases/Projects/Examples
To get a more in-depth look into RPA, download our RPA whitepaper below:
And if you still have questions on RPA applications in real estate, don’t hesitate to contact us:
If you feel like you would benefit from RPA in your business, you can check out our prioritized, comprehensive list of RPA vendors to choose the right RPA vendor for your business.
- NAV calculation case study
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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