realestatebusiness logo
Home of the REB Top 100 Agents

What’s stopping Aussie businesses moving forward on AI?

By Orana Durney-Benson
22 March 2024 | 10 minute read
using laptop reb

Six in 10 small businesses believe that artificial intelligence (AI) could boost productivity – but only half that number are actually investing in AI. So what’s the catch?

NAB recently ran a survey of over 700 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Australia and found that a lack of training was the primary barrier in AI adoption.

Across all sectors and states, 48 per cent of businesses cited the need for additional training as a barrier for emerging technology solutions.

Over a third of small businesses (36 per cent) stated they did not have the time to bring in AI capabilities, while a similar number (35 per cent) did not understand AI technologies.

In fact, only 7 per cent of businesses stated there were “no barriers” to AI adoption, indicating that small Australian businesses face a wealth of challenges in moving forward.

This research comes as real estate agencies around the country take steps to integrate machine learning into their businesses. From social media marketing to search engines, real estate is leading the way in integrating AI into everyday systems and processes.

At the same time, some proptech leaders have expressed reticence about integrating AI before all the flaws have been ironed out, with JLL’s head of business technology, Paul Faulkner, warning that businesses need to make sure they are integrating new tech “for the right reasons” rather than just hopping on a short-lived trend.

According to the NAB survey, the primary benefit AI offers to small businesses is increased productivity, with 58 per cent of respondents citing this as a major advantage.


Businesses also noted that AI would allow them to reduce administrative tasks (57 per cent), while 39 per cent of respondents stated that AI would make businesses more profitable.

Other common benefits cited include reducing the need to employ staff and dealing with online enquiries. A mere 6 per cent of SMEs surveyed claimed that there were “no benefits” to AI technology.

Despite these positive responses, the NAB survey revealed that there is still a long way to go until Australian businesses fully understand AI and its business potential.

Only 15 per cent of respondents said they had a “clear” understanding of AI, while 28 per cent said they “understood the concept” and 44 per cent said they had a “basic understanding” of AI.

Until businesses have a strong, coherent, and data-backed understanding of what AI is and the specific benefits it offers, integration is unlikely to reach its full potential.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!

Do you have an industry update?
Subscribe to REB logo Newsletter

Ensure you never miss an issue of the Real Estate Business Bulletin.
Enter your email to receive the latest real estate advice and tools to help you sell.