We tend to think of AI as a relatively new phenomenon, forged in the advent of Chat GPT. It’s easy to forget that we’ve been living with AI in property for 20+ years. It’s embedded in our autocorrect, Alexa devices, and even the algorithm that dictates the next post you see on your social media feed.

However, the push of AI to the front of our collective conscious has sparked fierce debate on the threat posed by the machines, starting with the death of creative thought and ending with allegedly 85 million of us jobless by 2025.

We want to set aside the big moral debate of whether AI is good, bad or downright cataclysmic for a moment. It’s time to start a new conversation around AI, with a critical awareness of what it can do for the property sector, and what it can’t. To start with, let’s think of AI as an extension of the human mind – a 21st Century answer to information overload. If AI can pull information from every source available quicker than it takes us to type the question, then there is some imperative to use that resource to our benefit.

What AI does and how well it performs is down to the human in the driving seat. Operated correctly, it can help to manage challenges of huge scale for our clients, including managing data, but also relating to so many issues in the property sector – think residential services, customer care, commercial, property management, even achieving net zero.

For those in the sector with tight budgets and a hard bottom line, AI and automation can be a cost saving exercise – managing the simple things, and freeing up humans to handle the tricky stuff, allowing us to focus on the ‘value added’. That’s where we come in as a PR agency.

Achieving value added within a business context could mean leaning on AI to automate the way we produce reports and presentations, calculate the sentiment analysis in media monitoring, or even generate speech to text for note taking. From a human perspective, that allows us to free up our time to focus on the things that matter to our clients – such as your campaigns and our media relationships.

In property PR we are privileged to handle perhaps the most emotive thing possible – where and how we live. To an AI, a house is just a house. We don’t feel the same way. Humans can take a sensitive and empathetic approach that technology has not yet achieved – so to us, it’s a home. The human touch and emotional depth are the beating heart of public relations.

Here’s our commitment as a PR agency: we’ll never ask AI to communicate or write on our behalf. We will never ask AI to take the place of nuanced human judgement or make ethical decisions on our behalf.

We do, however, recognise that AI is here to stay, and ask our sector friends and colleagues to see if for what it is – a human aided tool that, when used correctly, could make our lives a little bit easier.

Where do you land on the AI topic? Get in touch and share your thoughts with us.