Global real estate services firm CBRE is the latest real estate firm to explore how AI can help boost its business. The Dallas-based firm is experimenting with the technology in various aspects of the company’s businesses—including property management, lease administration, and marketing—to see how it can help speed up productivity and save time. Though CBRE has been working with AI and machine learning technology for years, the company said last month that its proprietary property management AI tool, Smart FM, is currently being used in 1 billion square feet of client space to help keep track of things like maintenance requests and to process building data. CBRE employees can use a generative AI tool to do things like summarize information about a building’s features or answer questions using information from large troves of documents accumulated over the years. The new tool is similar to ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms, but it is within CBRE’s internal network, so any private data inputted will not be shared outside of the company.
Ever since ChatGPT burst onto the scene, free generative AI programs for the public have continued to be rolled out, including Bard and Microsoft Bing Chat. Many more programs geared towards different uses and different industries are available as well, though not all are free. As the technology has advanced, real estate companies like CBRE are creating their own internal AI tools. Last month, JLL announced its own generative AI tool, JLL GPT, built specifically for the commercial real estate industry. Developed by JLL Technologies, the tool is trained on industry-specific data from both internal and external sources and will be used in-house by JLL employees. Colliers launched CoGence in 2021, an AI platform that enables remote site monitoring and generates analytics in project management, and Cushman & Wakefield last year announced it was partnering with Pupil to streamline digital measurements and create digital floor plans and digital twins of properties. As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more property companies creating in-house platforms or partnering with outside AI companies to help boost their business.