What’s ahead for FM and Proptech in 2024?

January 31, 2024

Let’s take a look at what’s in store for facilities management in 2024

If you’ve logged onto LinkedIn in the past few weeks, you’ll have noticed the typical crystal ball gazing that comes with the new year. From individuals predicting the next big trends, to companies prophesying their indomitable rise to the top, January is prediction season.

One industry that needs to be conscious of significant change is facilities management (FM). Historically a highly traditional space, 2023 saw the FM industry change more than ever before, and that trend is set to continue in 2024.

In recent years, we have witnessed key technologies define the sector. From the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), to the use of smart sensors and Internet of Things (IoT), FM has experienced dramatic change on account of new tools hitting the market. 

As it becomes increasingly necessary to integrate technology solutions, facilities managers must rapidly innovate and implement new processes. Data-driven decision-making, for example, is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a requirement to remain competitive long-term. 

Research by Deloitte has shown that job postings by real estate firms requiring GenerativeAI (GenAI) skillsets increased by 64% in 2022, and by another 58% in August 2023.1 AI is truly becoming entrenched in real estate.

We predict that AI will remain the dominant trend in 2024. From greater and more efficient technology, to new capabilities, these solutions will start to drastically change the industry, and become truly market-ready.

The continuing rise of AI in facilities management.

Since 2017, over US $7.2 billion in venture capital investment has gone into AI and machine learning (ML) across real estate.2 Investment and development of AI will continue at pace this year. As AI, ML, large language models (LLMs), and natural language processing (NLP) flourish, they will drive significant new capabilities in how we manage buildings and communicate with tenants. 

Traditional AI - trained to pull insights out of small data sets - will continue to grow. But, GenAI will re-energise real estate this year, providing a significant ROI for building and facilities managers.

A key AI use case is the interaction between end users and operators. Expectations are shifting. With the rise of digital services, tenants and customers expect to easily report tasks and needs to FM operators. Quick and effective communication is vital.

The capacity for communication has significantly expanded because of AI. Conversational AI, unlike traditional chatbots, incorporates rapidly developing AI advancements. Modern digital assistants, such as ours at askporter, employ NLP and ML, meaning they understand user queries and provide human-like responses.

askporter’s digital assistant facilitates the process of repair reporting, allowing users to easily make maintenance requests. The digital assistant is able to triage issues while also offering the convenient option to attach photos for enhanced diagnostic accuracy.

Utilising AI within FM also means that communicating a job status becomes an automatic function of FM task completion. Previously, helpdesks were slowed by the intricacies that occur between an issue being raised and its resolution. Collecting requests, deciding whether they are under contract, and applying urgency levels, meant that customer feedback was low on the priority list. 

AI tools like askporter’s ensure all aspects of FM customer support can be automated and improved, with customers kept updated on a particular job status. As a result, we expect AI to become a powerful driving force across FM in 2024, with even greater integration across processes, most prominently customer communication and task resolution.

Facilities managers will turn to outbound communication.

We’ve looked at handling inbound communications, but what about proactive outbound communications? Facilities managers have historically avoided outbound communications due to limited capacity. With advancements in AI, capacity is exponential.

Customers are no longer left in the dark until their problem is fixed. Instead, status updates are triggered via SMS, emails, etc., and linked into the digital assistant to ensure a two-way conversation (receive ratings on a job well done, feedback on engineer service, amend/change of appointments etc.).

askporter’s outbound communication tool means managers can share reminders with their customers and ensure prompts for documents and required information are automated. Customers can then utilise multiple channels to engage and interact with managers.

AI integration is the key driver of 2024.

2023 saw the advancement of GenerativeAI and the rapid growth of ML, LLMs, and NLP. In the coming year, we expect to not only see these tools continue to develop, but also see their integration as a critical part of the FM armoury. Professionals and companies that look to embrace AI now, will undoubtedly steal a vital march on the competition.

¹ https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/financial-services/generative-ai-in-real-estate-benefits.html 

² Ibid.

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