Own, or rent? If you live in a big city, odds are you do the latter. In the last decade, we’ve seen the largest gain in housing history as nine million households have become renters, with 60% of residents in cities like New York and San Francisco choosing to rent instead of buy.  

But with more rentals comes more multi-home property management, and with demand comes innovation. Artificial intelligence is one technology that appears on track to disrupt property management, and the outlook seems positive both for industry insiders and tenants.

The real estate industry is an old one ripe for reinvention, and a variety of new startups are providing the software to do just that. Artificial intelligence, in theory, could streamline communication between tenants and property managers, using smart software for rent payment, issue reporting, lease negotiations and more.

Zenplace is a prime example of this theory in action. The company, according to Forbes, “features an AI-powered service that works using chatbots and through devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, which makes it effortless and convenient for tenants to pay rent easily, extend their lease and report issues with the property 24/7.”

Though only a human plumber can fix a leaky pipe, reporting the issue to AI when management office is closed could save everyone time, trouble, and even money. Since Zenplace is marketed toward owners who live away from the properties they manage, this convenience makes perfect sense.

Zenplace uses machine learning technology to let property managers find new tenants, locate cost-efficient vendors, and proactively recommend maintenance and management tasks. As Engadget details: “Using machine learning, Zenplace gives a heads-up to the owner that 47% of tenants typically will have an issue with the garbage disposal, and including a $5 wrench could avoid the otherwise inevitable $100 service call. Not only does that mean ease and simplicity for owners, it also means higher returns for owners and better maintenance of the property.”

The deal appears to be just as sweet for tenants, who, aside from paying rent and reporting problems, can manage bills (including TV and the Internet), manage security, and solve other property-related issues. The software is simple to use on both ends through a sleek app with a modern and intuitive design.

For renters that have historically had to deal with distant, over-worked landlords, adding some AI into the equation could be just the ticket to blissful living in big cities and beyond. And as tech-driven startups continue to change the game, competition in this department could be afoot sooner rather than later.