How Real Estate Businesses Use AI Chatbots
Conversation makes the world go ‘round. But an increasing number of businesses are delegating this duty to ever-smarter AI interfaces, which utilize data stores to power valuable dialogues.
The property sector is one such industry tapping into AI technology to match between landlords and tenants, arrange property viewings, answer home-buyers’ queries and more.
The events of 2020 have had a detrimental effect on a whole range of industries. However, real estate sectors appear to be holding up better than most – particularly since properties have accrued additional value in the minds of homeowners who have been forced into remote working.
Another reason for the industry’s success has been its use of AI chatbots to reduce overheads, free up staff time, and power more profitable interactions. Here are just a few ways property managers have harnessed conversational AI to thrive in the age of COVID-19.
What is an AI-powered ChatBot?
As explained by Ubisend – it’s a smarter version of the usual chatbot.
Using what’s known as NLP (natural language processing), which shouldn’t be confused with neuro-linguistic programming, it is a closer fit to how humans speak, so we trust it more.
Artificial intelligence chatbots also use ML (matching learning) to continue to build on their repertoire of understanding, knowledge, and communication.
Chatbots are not just reactive; they’re also proactive since they use data to identify customers’ requirements, preferences, and interests, and use it to ask better questions and elicit committed responses.
For example, an AI chatbot could identify that a website visitor is logging on from NY and ask them, “Are you interested in buying or renting in New York?” By the same token, chatbots segment audiences based on metrics such as age and gender to turn an innocuous query into a potential lead.
It’s not just a question of knowing the customer. It’s advantageous to be on hand to answer queries and assuage concerns.
Property managers use AI chatbots to engage subscribers on a 24/7 basis, something that wouldn’t be possible for a human rep. They provide instant support, logging the customer’s issues and providing solutions.
Relationship Management (Landlord-Tenant)
The landlord-tenant relationship is a contentious one. So much so, in fact, that one in two tenants move out because they are dissatisfied with their landlord. Conversational AI solutions can play an important role in helping to reduce this tension since tenants desire nothing more than prompt replies to their urgent inquiries, and landlords. – In theory, at least they are concerned with creating the optimal conditions for happy tenants.
The latter is difficult to achieve given that problems (burst pipes, electricity failures, etc.) can arise at any hour, and the landlord or property manager won’t always be available.
In recent years, property managers have used AI chatbots to open clear lines of communication between landlords and tenants, handling everything from rent payments (the chatbot sends a reminder when the rent is due, or even collects payment) and maintenance work to FAQs and the submission of documentation (leases, tenant agreements).
Utilizing smart algorithms, chatbots can even “match” landlords with renters by creating a recommendation engine for listers, and they solve the problem of initial bias by pairing people based on more than first impressions.
Simply by addressing all inquiries in a timely fashion, conversational AI solutions can help property managers to no end, freeing up time that could be dedicated to building a more lucrative business.
Moreover, the insights gleaned from such conversations can feed into better business practices and the ability to address potential maintenance problems before they result in a complaint.
Lastly, many chatbots are available in multiple languages, meaning you could theoretically pair an English-speaking landlord with a non-English speaking tenant, with the AI handling all dialogue (text, speech) between the pair.
Reducing Friction (Paperwork)
Renting, buying or selling can entail a veritable mountain of paperwork. While a virtual assistant won’t negate the paper trail completely, it replaces a percentage of it to the benefit of all parties – especially property managers whose job it is to ensure documentation is in order.
Technology is informing all aspects of property management. Property-related technology – known as proptech – is a fast-growing industry, encompassing everything from 3D virtual tours and smart doorbells to voice-controlled entertainment systems.
AI chatbots are proving invaluable to property businesses due to their data-driven insights, reliability, and efficiency. Property managers who refuse to utilize them are putting themselves at a disadvantage.