What does it mean to be a digital person – and why should multiple families work?

“No, I’m an android. Lieutenant Commander Data,” Data replied.

“Synthetic Scotch, synthetic commanders,” Mr. Scott shrugged.

Boomers, Millennials, Gen X and Gen Z have all developed a fascination with sci-fi, futuristic worlds and characters in gaming, film and literature. As evidenced by the booming AR gaming industry, expected to reach $284.93 billion by 2023, interacting in a virtual world is an extremely popular form of entertainment escapism. The ability to create your own avatar that is faster, smarter, more skilled and more dynamic in every way can provide hours of power and excitement.

But the application of virtual reality and augmented reality is not limited to entertainment. These technologies find their way into the mechanisms of the everyday, real world. And as virtual as they are, digitally created humans can provide tremendous benefits and purpose to our physical world and lives.

WHAT IS A DIGITAL PERSON IN THE WORLD?

With the adoption of AR and VR accelerating every day, you may have already experienced a digital person. Digital humans are human-like characters created by combining two primary technologies — computer-generated graphics and artificial intelligence — to create a completely autonomous personality. Unlike a chatbot, you can interact with this visible person in real-life and real conversations.

Digital people can communicate, learn and express themselves in human ways. Their different personalities and emotional intelligence allow them to read the face and emotional tone of their human counterparts and adjust their responses accordingly. This AI-powered capability means digital people are always learning and applying that knowledge to provide even more lifelike commands.

We are only now beginning to realize the tremendous value and impact this technology has, not only for its entertainment value, but also for the future of every industry and society as a whole.

HOW DO METAVERSE DIGITAL PEOPLE FUNCTION IN OUR WORLD?

Meta is a Greek word that goes beyond or transcends. Therefore, a digital metaverse is conceptually an immersive digital reality separate from our physical world, where you can meet people, interact and experience life. This universe (within ours) has groundbreaking potential as a new omnichannel for every brand and company.

Imagine virtual stores where digital people walk you through the shopping experience, answer questions and personalize your product selections. Digital brand ambassadors and mascots become ‘real’ entities. They promote product lines and hold virtual events that enhance the customer experience and help deepen the relationship between a brand and its customers. The potential for digital individuals and the environments in which they can function is seemingly endless. Their introduction and diffusion are expected to revolutionize commerce, hospitality, healthcare, behavioral science, social media and many other industrial sectors.

We could take almost any industry as an example, but let’s use multi-family rental to illustrate some of the business and social benefits of adopting digital personal solutions.

A 24/7/365 AGENT WHO NEVER STRESS OR SICK (AND NEVER STOP)

In the age of AI and automation, exceptional customer experience means giving consumers what they want: emotional engagement, personalization and frictionless self-service. A busy rental office has to deal with numerous distractions and mundane tasks. In addition, there are customer-facing activities such as property tours and completing the applicant’s paperwork. On the other hand, applicants must find time in their schedule to research properties and amenities, plan and visit those properties, and start and complete a lengthy application process.

But what if the agent could delegate some or even most of its duties to a capable digital colleague with unlimited availability? And what if tenants could virtually view a property with a personal, knowledgeable real estate agent, from the comfort of their couch and whenever they have a spare moment?

Technology to do this is emerging and changing the way multi-family operators and clients engage in the property selection and rental process. A digital agent can efficiently perform all the functions for which it is programmed. For the multi-family sector, these may include:

  • Provide interactive, informative virtual property listings and tours while engaging customers with natural dialogue and responses, including multilingual capabilities
  • Respond to calls and service requests 24/7 and easily scale to handle larger call volumes or unexpected spikes
  • Collect rent payments and sign up tenants for additional products and services such as tenant insurance or parking
  • Promotion of the decor or furniture in the virtual apartment
  • Evaluate leads based on early customer engagement, accelerate prequalified leads to the leasing sales funnel, and free up agents for higher value tasks
  • Carrying out the entire lease application process and finalizing the rental papers
  • Provide a recognizable brand ambassador that responds to customer interests, predicts behavior and promotes brand values ​​through a frictionless experience

And unlike web pages and online forms that yesterday’s residents were accustomed to, a digital person can perform such tasks while interacting directly with their human customers.

PREPARING FOR A METAVERSE FULL OF DIGITAL PEOPLE

As metaverse platforms and their real-life users become more accepted and integrated, the number of AI-powered applications is expected to grow astronomically. Emergen Research estimates that by 2030, the digital person applications market will be worth more than $527 billion.

To integrate digital human software into your tech stack, consider bolstering your online presence, researching AR and VR apps, and establishing the right connectivity to integrate solutions. Work with solution providers to integrate your data with their platform.

Rediscover your brand beyond the two-dimensional in a more interactive, multisensory way. Recognize the value of AI technologies that can take your brand to the next level while promoting an engaging customer experience that keeps them coming back for more. You may not be supplying Android to serve your residents a synthetic whiskey, but you may be closer than you think.


John McNelly is Chief Product + Marketing Officer at Quext, a leading apartment technology and software company.

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