A case for chatbots for real estate companies

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A case for chatbots for real estate companies

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Chatbots take care of a significant portion of customers’ needs in today’s ultra-fast and competitive real estate market. When implemented on the website for any given company, these AI bots can answer prospect questions quickly and efficiently, help them search for properties to buy or rent with ease, and solve anything that may happen while browsing through listings. The best chatbots offer significant advantages to both the business owner and potential prospects: it reduces operational time spent by employees, which allows more deals to be closed faster.

Chatbots have been growing in popularity and for a good reason. With the rise of social media, people want information now, and they want it in an easy-to-digest form. Chatbots offer this type of information with the click of a button. In the process, these bots learn about the individual, their likes and dislikes, and when it is most convenient for them to be contacted. As a result, companies can provide a more personalized service that will increase customer satisfaction and interactivity on behalf of the company.

Millennials and Gen Z buyers now make up 44% of all American property buyers as of 2019.

With a younger demographic of homebuyers moving in, it has become even more important to implement these tech tools to make the buying process seamless and hassle-free. Millennials and Gen Z buyers now make up 44% of all American property buyers as of 2019. Today’s customer wants more convenience with fewer hassles when purchasing homes or commercial properties — and this is where new technologies come into play!

Source: Zillow’s 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report

But before we dive too deep into how you can implement chatbots into your real estate business, let’s explore first what a chatbot is and a bit of the history of artificial intelligence.

What is a Chatbot, and where did they come from?

A Chatbot is a computer program that conducts conversations via auditory or textual methods. Chatbots are designed to simulate human conversation using artificial intelligence and conditional logic.

Believe it or not, the history of AI dates back from ancient Greece when philosophers like Aristotle discussed animism — how everything has some soul (or life force), whether animate or not — and believed that natural causes move the world within themselves rather than outside influences. This idea was later expanded by Islamic scholars who added “intelligence” to the definition and further discussed how this intelligence is present in everything around us.

Since antiquity, the concept of AI has existed, but it wasn’t until 1956 when a group of scientists at Dartmouth College led by John McCarthy coined the term artificial intelligence. Since then, advancements in text-based interactions with these types of bots have made them more usable for businesses today — genuine estate companies looking to make their customer service experience faster and easier!

As we know them today, the first chatbot was called Eliza, and its purpose was to psychotherapeutic treatment for people with psychological problems by pretending it had the same emotions as humans do. In today’s times, these bots have evolved into answering questions about products in an e-commerce setting or providing general customer service online through text messages/phone calls.

Although chatbots and the idea of artificial intelligence have been around for a very long time, it was not until the past five years or so that more businesses could put them to use. Companies like ManyChat, Chatfuel, and Mobile Monkey make it more attainable for companies to build out their own chat marketing solutions without knowing how to code.

While there is a bit of a learning curve for using these tools, there is so much education to help you accomplish your goals. Or, if you would prefer to have someone build them for you, I can help with that.

So how can chat automation help your real estate business?

Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

The Benefits of Chatbots

Do you want your customers’ needs met 24/h a day? This is where chatbots come in.

Chatbot benefits from the business perspective:

  • Reduced operational time for employees, which allows more deals to be closed faster
  • Fewer customer service complaints
  • Higher lead conversion rates

Chatbot benefits from the customer perspective:

  • Instantaneous responses 24/h a day, every day of the week — no more “call us during office hours” or dealing with hold times while you’re trying to show your house on an open house. This also eliminates human error when working with other people in charge of answering phones and emails for messaging back and forth about customers’ questions!
  • Less friction: Sometimes, customers are not quite ready to talk to a human. A chatbot can act as an in-between to help customers get the information they need while assisting agents in capturing important contact information and data about their needs.

Here are just some ways chatbots are transforming the real estate industry today:

Qualify Leads:

Chatbots can be used to gather information about leads that clients are providing. This is important because it enables agents to get a better idea of customer needs and preferences outside the context of a single sales process. This helps agents improve the effectiveness of their selling strategy and identify areas where they need to focus attention.

Here’s how it works:

Chatbots are trained to filter out unqualified leads for the sales and marketing teams. At each stage of the lead scoring process, chatbots ask questions that qualify leads or send them through to a human sales or marketing person to continue engaging with them. Any leads not qualified by the end of the questionnaire are then marked as invalid and not passed along.

According to a 2016 report by the Boston Consulting Group, companies using chatbot technology have seen a 26% increase in customer satisfaction scores and a 30% decrease in their cost per acquisition.

Companies using chatbot technology have seen a 26% increase in customer satisfaction scores and a 30% decrease in their cost per acquisition.

Automated appointment setting:

Getting prospects on a call or to a pre-listing appointment can be the difference between a new customer and a missed opportunity. Chatbots can help a real estate agent book more calls by having leads book directly inside the chat automation. Most chatbot builders integrate with scheduling services to eliminate friction and make it super easy to book appointments. Calendars are updated automatically, and everyone is kept in the loop.

According to a case study by chatbot platform Chatfuel, one of their clients saw an increase of 567% in appointments by adding a bot to their websites. They went from around 30 appointments a month to 200 appointments a month, all through the power of bots!

Booking more calls and listing appointments means more money in your pocket.

From ChatFuels: 3 Secrets to Setting Appointments Using Bots

Keeps your customers engaged:

You can be on 24/h a day, every day of the week, with some help from a chatbot! Your customer will never have to wait for you or call back later if they need something because they know that when they contact you — you’ll always be there waiting for them. Plus, leveraging the power of AI to make your website stand out and get that sale you’ve always wanted. According to WebFX, 89% of people shop with a competitor after a poor online user experience, and 38% of people stop engaging with a website if it’s unattractive. A Chatbot helps make the user experience better by providing an automated and easy way to get the information and answers they need in real-time.

According to WebFX, 89% of people shop with a competitor after a poor online user experience

Captured offline leads:

People want convenient experiences everywhere, including buying homes, so using QR codes at live events, trade shows, open houses, etc., becomes crucial. Before this technology existed, people could show up interested but leave without giving any information about themselves (i.e., Name, email address). Nowadays, with QR code scanning and chatbots, you can capture their data in real-time!

QR codes are the most common form of dynamic data collection in mobile apps today. When the user scans a code with their camera, a URL is opened to display content and receive input from the user interactively. Nowadays, all mobile devices can scan a QR code by opening the native camera app and hovering over the code.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

With the help of a chatbot, you can even make the experience more personalized by creating an interactive chat experience after they scan. Give valuable information about a home they are viewing, share video tours, and get their contact information, all with the help of a QR code.

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