Increase Customer Engagement and Leads in Real Estate with a Chatbot Strategy
Technology is helping real estate agents to keep in contact with customers at these trying times. Today, instead of office staff, real estate agents have chatbots screening leads online, Virtual Reality tours, and virtual staging.
Today, as people are online most of the time, most leads in the real estate industry come through the web. You cannot afford to lose a single inquiry, it can be a potential customer! Chatbots take your lead generation to the next level by gathering information and email details conversationally. According to the American Marketing Association, chatbots generate a 20% increase in conversions than email. The traditional lead generation system involves an email subscription, but email’s click-through-rates are appalling: only 7%. Instead, chatbots increase leads up to 45%.
AI chatbots in real estate help you generate leads from your website or social media channels, like Facebook Messenger, and convert them into customers. In this post, learn how a chatbot can generate leads and convert customers for your real estate business.
What Is a Real Estate Chatbot?
First, let’s define what is a chatbot:
A chatbot is a domain-specific conversational interface that uses an app, messaging platform, social network or chat solution for its conversations. Chatbots vary in sophistication, from simple, decision-tree-based marketing stunts, to implementations built on feature-rich platforms. They are always narrow in scope. A chatbot can be text- or voice-based, or a combination of both. (Gartner’s Glossary)
In simple terms: A chatbot is a software application that answers the user’s typed questions with preset responses. Chatbots are applicable across industries, with more applications coming every time. From healthcare to customer service, banking and insurance companies are leveraging chatbots to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. A real estate chatbot is a software tailored to answer user queries related to the real estate business.
Not all chatbots are the same. The difference between chatbots depends on their use case. But, in general terms, we can separate chatbots in two primary groups: AI chatbots or Logic Tree Chatbots.
AI Chatbots – they use Natural Language Processing (NLP). It is a form of artificial intelligence that allows them to detect the user’s intention and give more accurate answers to questions. These chatbots also learn from interactions with leads, improving their responses. At SCSS Consulting, we specialize in custom AI chatbot solutions that can carry natural conversations and even make small talk with your customers.
Logic Tree Chatbots – they work like the automated phone answering machines of utility companies: “press 1 for accounts balance, press 2 for payments”. Logic tree chatbots can only provide answers to a predetermined set of questions. These types of chatbots cannot learn through interaction, needing design changes for every improvement.
Why Do You Need a Chatbot for Real Estate?
Let’s say there is a buyer looking on your website for a new home, or sellers willing to list their house. Both of them need immediate answers. A busy real estate office is juggling many tasks, and unless your staff is ready 24/7, you can miss the lead or answer too late.
Properly assessing the requirements and screening new leads is time-consuming. But at the same time, you need to collect as many leads as possible to meet the monthly quota of closed deals.
How it Works?
The bot can engage in conversation with customers at the top of the funnel. That means new enquiries, people that are just looking around or unsure of buying/selling the property.
Your chatbot can collect basic information about what they are looking for, price range, and zone preference. For instance, your bot can ask the following questions to a lead:
- Do you want to buy/sell/rent a property? – give the options in click-through buttons.
- What type of property do you want to buy/sell/rent?
- Preferred Number of bedrooms and bathrooms?
- What’s your price range?
- What’s your preferred location?
- How soon you want to buy/sell/rent?
This conversation usually results in an e-mail or phone number capture. The bot can transfer the conversation to a human agent for follow up, delivering the client information. The human agent can thus prepare relevant answers to answer the client’s query.
The chatbot needs to be on the platform your clients are using to reach you. For instance, if most customers contact you on Facebook, it makes sense to deploy a Facebook bot. If they come through your website, then a pop-up chatbot to assist your visitors in a purchase journey can be the best choice.
12 Ways a Real Estate Chatbot Can Help You
A chatbot can take your customer relations to the next level. SCSS Consulting experts build real estate chatbots that address exactly your customers’ concerns and expectations. How can a real estate chatbot help your company generate more leads and increase conversions? Let’s explore:
#1: Inquiries in real-time
A chatbot allows customers to get immediate answers to their inquiries. This increases customer satisfaction. In addition, since the bot takes care of the questions’ triage, you save costs on customer support.
#2: Available 24/7
Real estate agents have time limitations. Chatbots don’t take days off or vacations and can answer inquiries after office hours. They are available for your customers anytime and from anywhere.
#3: Screening and qualification of leads
A chatbot can use the information it collects to rank leads. They can compare the present prospect to previous ones. Your agents can only contact qualified high intent leads, saving you time and costs.
#4: Personalized recommendations
Bots use the user preferences to give recommendations tailored to their needs. All in a personable manner. For instance, a typical dialog with a chatbot can go:
And so on, collecting valuable information about your customer’s needs.
#5: Schedule viewings
A chatbot can even schedule house viewings and consultations. It can offer possible dates for the customer to choose. Then, when the customer selects one option, ask for the email or phone number to send a verification email.
#6: Collect rental applications
Searching for rental listings is much effective with a chatbot. Potential renters need not fill out long, tiring forms. Instead, they can search for listings with a virtual assistant. The real estate bot will ask users about location, budget and type of property. Then store their preferences and relevant data in the database. When it comes the time to review rental applications, the information is ready.
#7: Search and display listings
Once the bot collected the prospects preferences, will retrieve matching listings from the database and present them immediately. Customers can then verify if they are interested in any of the listing and leave contact details or book a viewing.
#8: Virtual tours
Social distancing rules can make house viewings challenging. The real estate chatbot can take care of it, offering your prospects 360-degree views and virtual tours. Your customers can take the tour straight from the same bot conversation tab.
#9: Log conversations
Collecting information is critical for following-up leads. The chatbot can keep a log of the interactions it has with your leads. Then present the findings to the human agent that does the follow-up. This helps the agent to know about the case before talking to the prospect. In this way, chatbots work like a full sales assistant.
#10: Avoid language barrier
No more language issues with different customers. Chatbots can support an array of languages, making communication easier with your target audience. You can programme the chatbot to answer in the main languages your audience speaks. This helps you broaden your reach and target niches you maybe didn’t explore before because of the language barrier.
#11: Automate follow-ups
You can even automate some follow-up processes with the help of the bot. The bot can send follow-up emails or text messages to warm prospects. Let’s say a customer asked queries in 2 bedrooms apartments in NSW. The bot can save the customer’s query and send messages when a 2 bedroom apartment becomes available. For a real estate agent, is like having a junior sales assistant sending available listings to prospective clients.
#12: Integrate with your real estate management software
When you add a custom chatbot to your real estate business, like the ones we design in SCSS, you don’t have to deal with an additional solution to integrate. On contrary, the chatbot integrates to your existing software. For instance, collecting information and serves it directly to the CRM.
Benefits of Adding a Chatbot for Real Estate
Unsure of the actual benefits a chatbot can bring to your real estate company? Here are some positive effects of a bot for your company:
Increase in qualified leads
Since the chatbot qualifies the lead, this ensures a higher percentage of qualified leads will enter the database. This results in more conversions and higher revenue.
Increase engagement rates on the website
The people that reach you on your website are exploring if you have what they are looking for in a property. When you have a chatbot that answers queries instantly, it is more likely the prospects are going to stay longer on your website. Moreover, this can increase the click-through rate of your website. The user finds it easier to communicate with your company, and it is instantly rewarding, so they’ll want to find out more about your services.
When you just have customers fill out an online form, you’re missing the opportunity of building trust with your prospect. A personable bot can nurture your potential lead by engaging it in meaningful conversation that addresses their pain points.
Support a multi-channel strategy
Companies nowadays cannot rely on a single channel to generate leads. Potential customers are everywhere. You can start your chatbot in the channel your customers use most, and then spread to others, like Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Skype. This will generate more leads from an array of touchpoints.
How is AI transforming Real estate?
AI technologies, specifically a chatbot strategy, can result in critical leverage for achieving business goals. AI can help business owners to make decisions based on data. Chatbots, in particular, assist with lead generation, engaging potential prospects. This capability is especially valuable for the real estate industry, where lead generation is one of the top challenges.
Chatbots can replace and support customer service representatives. The bots help avoid human errors, save costs and time. Most of the time of a real estate agent is spent trying to generate leads and gather information about:
- property and customer details
- quotes from insurers
- deal with paperwork signing
A chatbot can help with all these tasks. The bot can ask meaningful questions, such as eligibility for a mortgage. Therefore, it can filter and help with creating profiles for potential home buyers. In addition, AI chatbots build their database with every new prospect and inquiry.
Although it cannot replace the relation between an agent and a home buyer or renter, they can aid with routine tasks. Most important, they provide a real-time solution for generate leads through effective conversations.
A Real estate chatbot is a potential game-changer for real estate customer services and related ecosystems
Most Common Use Cases for Real Estate Chatbots
There are a number of common and not so common uses for a chatbot in the real estate industry. Let’s take a look:
Lead Generating Chatbots
These popular bots are exclusively dedicated to one task: customer acquisition. Lead generating chatbots automate the sales process, creating growth around the clock. As mentioned above, the conversational AI is designed to convert visitors by quickly attending to queries. The bots are then effective sales assistants.
Customers of a real estate company can arrive to the chatbot with an array of queries, varying according the type of properties, rental or purchasing agreement. Hiring a human customer service agent can be costly and time-consuming. A chatbot can filter and answer queries according to category, number of contract or client number. They can be trained to derive complex inquiries to human agents, preventing poor service and bottlenecks.
Loan and Finance assistance
The sale of a residential property often requires a mortgage loan to complete the process. Often customers will ask from the real estate agent for assistance to understand the application procedure. A chatbot can present the customers with several loans available, giving them information to assist them in choosing the better loan for them. You can even programme the bot to connect them with the corresponding banks.
Internal Chatbot for Agents queries
Real estate networks often get inquiries from potential new agents or franchisees. The agents can ask questions and register through the chatbots. Then the bot can help them with the onboarding process. An AI chatbot can easily help grow your business and increase revenue by adding new agents to your business sales team.
Why Chatbots are the Answer to Real Estate Marketing
Generating leads and converting customers in the real estate industry were always among the biggest challenges of the business. Now these activities are taking place online, where customers are.
Platforms like Facebook Messenger, KIK, Slack, WhatsApp, are being used for customers to interact with brands and companies. So, how can a real estate company make sure that is answering their customer queries where and when they need it? By adding a chatbot.
Hopefully, in this article we gave you the reasons and benefits a chatbot can bring to your real estate business. SCSS Consulting custom chatbots go above and beyond:
- 100% tailored to your target audience and your business needs
- Designed to gather contact information from the lead and send it straight to your CRM
- Fully integrated with your website
- AI-powered natural language. Our bots can make small talk and be nice to customers.
Start generating leads, automating sales, and increasing revenue today with SCSS Consult Real Estate chatbots.