The Role Of RPA In The Real Estate Industry

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20th November 2022
4 Minute Read

By nature, real estate companies have a heavy workload of mundane, back-office processes. These often straightforward but repetitive tasks require considerable manual labor, which could ideally be spent elsewhere.

Issues of accuracy and compliance must be strictly adhered to as there is no room for error, which is a big ask when many of the manual tasks are so mundane. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a solution that has shown considerable success in real estate in effectively managing the back-office workload and maintaining accuracy simultaneously. But what is RPA in real estate?


What is RPA in real estate?


RPA in real estate is ideally suited to the industry. Real estate involves plenty of data processing tasks, such as extensive document management, accounting, extraction of data, and inventory processes. These time-hungry tasks can be digitally transformed into automated processes that work silently and accurately in the background 24/7.

RPA can automate the following types of typical real estate tasks

  • Data extraction
  • Data migration and entry
  • Data update and validation

This transformation creates a more efficient and slimmer company, where staff has more time to concentrate on creating value through building better client relationships, free from the burden of tedious administration.


What are the benefits of implementing RPA in real estate?


Increases efficiency


By applying RPA technology to the day-to-day, routine tasks in real estate operations there are significant time savings, as the work is completed more quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

In addition, once the framework boundaries for compliance are established in RPA work will only be completed within those boundaries, ensuring watertight compliance. In addition, RPA benefits include cost-effectively working around the clock, which enables even quicker turnaround on tasks and further time saving.


Improves productivity


One of the strongest cases for RPA is that by relieving staff from time-consuming administrative tasks they can concentrate on more value-driven work, thereby improving productivity.

For example, staff who spend many hours on routine administration can be freed to devote time to more productive tasks, such as revenue-generating projects, innovation, or improving the client experience through more direct contact.


Cost savings


With RPA successfully managing several administrative processes this results in significant savings in labor costs. With the elimination of human error and faster turnaround on most tasks, labor costs are minimized. Naturally, the capital implementation costs of RPA must be factored in, but the overall ongoing savings are substantial enough to offer a significant ROI.


Enhances customer engagement


As RPA takes responsibility for the bulk of the repetitive work so staff can spend more quality time building solid relationships with clients. Additionally, with more efficient back-office systems clients receive more timely and business-like communication.


Examples of RPA in the real estate industry


Payment Reminder


In real estate, delayed payments are acclaimed by all to be a recurring, frustrating, and time-consuming part of the business model. When automated using RPA rent reminders are sent out in good time and those tenants that make payments are verified and their accounts adjusted.

The remaining non-paying tenants are repeatedly sent timely reminders until they pay, or further action is escalated. The responsibility of RPA can even be extended beyond delayed payments to include other standardized communication such as rent increases and contract renewals.


RPA example – Payment reminder workflow:


RPA is programmed to automatically retrieve details from the relevant overdue pending accounts by date. A reminder is created and sent to the appropriate tenant. If payment is subsequently received this is reconciled and verified with the pending account. If payment is not received RPA schedules the next auto-reminder or elevates the payment for manual intervention.


Portfolio management


In the real estate industry increasing or maintaining the value of the property using technology or resources is called portfolio management. Ensuring property inventory is current is a valuable but time-consuming task. Prospective buyers expect to find up-to-date searches that are not cluttered with out-of-date listings. RPA enables agents and buyers to find quickly and efficiently sold or rented properties within their network.

Real estate companies can even upload this updated data to external sites, improving the visibility and reach of their properties.


RPA example – Portfolio management workflow:


Employing RPA realtors can ensure that their database of rented or vacant, for sale or sold properties is kept up-to-date, ensuring online advertising channels are updated. A validated database is also crucial for creating property details, leases, and other administrative functions, which all lead to improved business process management.


Final thoughts 


It has become clear the real estate industry is a prime opportunity to take advantage of RPA, with some comparing real estate to the effectiveness of RPA now found extensively in insurance and healthcare. All three industries share plenty of routine, complex administration that needs to be constantly updated.

Despite the proven potential, uptake is still slow in real estate and this can only be attributed to inertia and reluctance to change. Fortunately, there are now signs of change and several larger quality real estate companies have installed RPA successfully, which will hopefully usher in many more real estate organizations.

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