There’s a lot of noise around artificial intelligence at the moment. Automated supermarket check-outs are commonplace and driverless cars will soon be taking over our streets. However, according to AI expert and former president of Google Kai-Fu Lee, property managers can rest easy because, alongside therapists and fiction writers, management professionals are likely to remain irreplaceable – at least for the foreseeable future! The reason these jobs are safe says Lee, is that AI can't yet conceptualize or plan and lacks any sense of caring or empathy – all skills that professional property managers use on a daily basis. Good property managers not only understand the ins and outs of the blocks they manage and the legal and regulatory framework within which they operate, but they also have essential human interaction and communication skills. They are able to motivate, negotiate, and persuade; effectively connecting with residents on behalf of landlords and freeholders. According to Lee, the best managers are also able to establish a strong workplace culture and value system within their own organisations through their actions and words. Routine maintenance, cleaning, gardening and even reporting service charge expenditure to the annual AGM may all be carried out by robots in the future but, says Lee, “While AI may be used to manage performance, managerial work will continue to be carried out by humans”. Good news all round for both residents and their property advisers we hope you’ll agree!
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