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Blog Apr 07, 2017

Three Real Estate Challenges and How Artificial Intelligence Solves Them

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a widely used buzzword, frequently featured in magazines and movies. A reason for its immense popularity is that it’s a powerful technology, impacting our lives. By providing shopping suggestions, translating documents and soon, by driving our cars, it truly influences the lives of many consumers. Although mostly thought of as a commercial technology, AI increasingly infiltrates the business landscape.

In a report released by Evercore ISI last September, they estimate that the enterprise-focused machine learning market will be worth approximately $21 billion by 2020. Applied in the enterprise landscape, AI can drive efficiencies and solve problems at scale. Among other use cases, it can be used to train algorithms to identify and understand text. The learning happens by repeatedly exposing the computational model to a term it’s supposed to learn about, until it learns to recognize it. A computational model can thus be trained to read and understand corporate documentation.

In 2012, the LEVERTON team started to leverage Artificial Intelligence technologies to build a smart data platform. The aim was to support the tedious, yet crucial process of extracting legally binding information from real estate documents. Since then the platform has evolved into a powerful system for managing real estate data and documents. In this article, we’ll explore three common challenges real estate stakeholders are facing and how AI can solve these.


Break down language barriers in global portfolios

Global corporations with offices around the world must keep track of thousands of real estate documents containing legally binding information – across various jurisdictions and in multiple languages. When negotiating lease terms, companies face the challenge of being dependent solely on local resources. Once finalised, only a speaker of the native language can understand the negotiated terms. AI technology can be trained to “understand” any language, enabling it to extract key information from all global contracts and convert it into a target language, regardless of the original language type. Thus, the application of intelligent technologies allows you to understand the contents of your international portfolio in any language. By overcoming these language barriers, a global portfolio overview and a new level of transparency can be achieved.


Inaccurate ERP data – a thing in the past

Have you ever tried to keep a data base or an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system accurate and up to date? When it comes to extensive real estate documentation, this requires great manual effort. The most common way to get critical data from a contract into a system is to manually read it out from the original document and re-type the information into the system. This is both time consuming and risky. Due to the human factor, there’s always a risk that the data entered into the system isn’t completely error free.

By having AI technology automatically read and gather crucial data from a contract and import it into your ERP system, you save a lot of time while increasing data quality. By maintaining your systems and keeping your data clean, you will experience great benefits. AI applied correctly can deliver more accurate and structured data. This means you can actually trust the data in your system and make better decisions upon it. Your reporting and forecasting will be significantly more accurate, too. And effortlessly having access to accurate, structured data also means you can focus on the value add activity – the analysis and the interpretation of your data.


Generate a document backed rent roll

The difficulty of keeping your data base accurate can also pose problems with the rent roll. The rent roll is arguably the most critical data set in formulating the value of property through its income streams. Hence, it’s crucial to get the numbers right. Rent rolls for large and complex portfolios are filled with data and numbers. So what if one tenant accidentally is missing, or graduated rent is not reflected in the rent roll? There are many things that can lead to the rent roll not being 100% accurate. And it is in fact, more common than uncommon that rent roll contains deviations of between 10-20%

Artificial Intelligence can help to bring back transparency and accuracy in the analysis of the rent roll. By having AI technology read lease files, and structure the data they contain, the risk of inaccurate data is minimised. Add on top of that the ability to directly trace data back to the original section of a document when in doubt over its accuracy. Such links between dynamic excel reports and lease contracts improves transparency, accuracy and decision making.

So Artificial Intelligence isn’t just for making our homes smarter and our lives easier. It can generate significant time and cost savings in enterprises too. Structured data is an intangible asset, but an asset crucial for competitive advantage, precise reporting and accurate databases.


Get in touch and find out more about how LEVERTON applies AI to generate insightful, actionable data out of unstructured documents.

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