United States

Robotic process automation in commercial real estate


RSM senior manager Laura Dietzel sits down with Privcap to discusses the remarkable rise of innovations in automation that are affecting real estate data management.

Privcap: What innovations in automation, analytics, or real-time reporting could influence data management for commercial real estate owners and the investors?

Laura Dietzel, RSM: We certainly find ourselves in an exceptionally tight labor market, so a lot of companies are looking for ways to invest in technology that will help them become more efficient through their back office, as well as front-office operations. 

An area that is exceptionally helpful for real estate would be robotic process automation, so really the streamlining and standardization of these traditional, menial tasks that can be automated.

A firm that we have partnered with, Automation Anywhere, is one of the leading solutions for middle-market clients, and really allows for the automation and learning of these processes to automate the back-office reporting and drive efficiencies for back office operations.

Privcap: What is an example of a menial task that could be automated?

Dietzel: Cash reconciliation every month—tying out your cash receipts, deposits, as well as your cash transactions from a bank statement. That is a tedious task and time-consuming and can easily be done through robotic process automation.

What parts of the asset management accounting and reporting processes are you seeing your clients automating?

Dietzel: Clients would really love to have data that speaks to them and lets them know how to better manage their busi-ness. They are looking for dashboarding of their budget to actuals, real-time information, and with the growth of the internet of things and further investment in technology and AI, we’re really finding that pulling from various information sources, from a property or even from an operational stand-point, are helping drive more meaningful business decisions, especially across large portfolios.

How are real estate companies using AI to meet the demands of tenants and investors?

Dietzel: The rise of artificial intelligence is really benefiting real estate developers and investors. At no time before this could we have the ability to comb through tons and tons of data in a very efficient way and learn about the metrics that make an investment successful, or learn from our past projects to really help guide decisions in future projects.

Real estate investors can utilize AI and machine learning to help drive predictive analytics and really make better business decisions about underwriting and asset management.

What would be an example of a prediction that an algorithm could make that would be beneficial to an asset owner?

Dietzel: In underwriting for a specific tenant, you may find use-ful information about their past credit history that could indicate future default and give you that analysis ahead of time. This could give you signals about when they could potentially be in a default mode before you arrive at that, so that you can have a little bit more lead time in terms of re-leasing your property.


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