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Chatbots for Real Estate: The Ultimate Guide

What’s intelligent, invisible, and available 24/7 to answer queries from real estate buyers? A chatbot, of course. Chatbots are computer programs built to automatically respond to people’s messages. While they aren’t a breakthrough technology, advances in AI (artificial intelligence) have led to rapid adoption of chatbots, making them a key-trend in business and personal communications’ space.

According to the data from Facebook IQ, chatbots discussion had the following activity from January 2017 to January 2018.

Source

Let’s discuss chatbots in more detail.

Chatbots: What Are They?

A chatbot is a computer program designed to automatically respond to people’s messages. They can be instructed to respond in a similar fashion each time, to give a different response to every message based on the keywords they contain, or use machine learning to adapt their answers to a person’s question.

Chatbots work like an IM (instant messaging) application. They can be set up on a variety of channels too, including SMS, on a website, or on Facebook Messenger. They exist in different forms. Some are hilarious like the Boibot, a chatbot speaks to you and adapts to the conversation.

This raises an important question. What types of bots exist? How do they help businesses like real estate deliver better experiences and save time? What do consumers aim to achieve when speaking to these bots?

To explore the answers to these question, let’s look at the research cited in ‘The State of Chatbots’ report

🤖 Responses differ, and people are talking with chatbots for a variety of reasons. However, these are the key things they expect the chatbot to do: Resolve an issue or complaint
🤖 Provide quick answers to their questions
🤖 Give a more detailed overview to queries
🤖 Connect them with a human agent

The study shows that businesses need to start utilizing chatbots to streamline sales, experiences and success.

How Valuable Are Chatbots?

In today’s competitive landscape, businesses from every industry need to automate as many processes as they can to stay competitive. Evidence of this has apparent in the rise of self- ordering kiosks and checkout machines in restaurants.

Chatbots’ real value likes in their ability to automate conversations throughout a user’s company. Below are some of the benefits organizations can expect to realize after deploying chatbots.

1. Free Up Chat Agents

By automating communications that would otherwise require the presence of a chat agent, companies save money and time that can be geared towards other efforts. Inbound agents can then reallocate time to proactively work on important tasks such as resolution plans.

2. Generate Leads

Chatbots utilize direct messaging to collect information necessary for the sales team to provide effective information. For instance, Domain’s Facebook chatbot qualifies prospects and redirects visitors to its landing pages where they can contact Domain’s support for more information (lead generation).

This chatbot also fights the fatigue by answering the same questions people ask over and over. You’ll see your team happier with higher quality leads and free time to spend on more crucial tasks.

3. Offer ’24-Hour’ Support

As we saw from The State of Chatbots report, the most popular reason why people use chatbots is to get quick answers. However, companies that don’t provide 24/7 support won’t be able to give answers when their team is out of office. By leveraging an intuitive chatbot after hours, you can let customers access the information they need regardless of on what day or hour they get in touch with customer service.

Using Chatbots

Interested in setting up your own chatbot? Who isn’t these days. The idea of letting a bot fill your pipeline with leads is quite exciting. Here’s what you need to do to get started.

1. Choose an Objective

With such a wide spectrum of chatbot applications available, it’s difficult to nail down a specific one for real estate That’s why it is important to spend time doing some research at the beginning to define your goal and then start to explore different applications.

Do you get more inquiries on your website? Are you looking to generate quality leads through Facebook? To find out which application will be most effective in your case, talk with your website manager and social media lead.

Whatever the answers, keep tabs on what you’d like to achieve as you begin to lay out the overall plan.

2. Pick a Channel

Your customer interactions will vary based on the channels your brand lives on. The most ideal places for a chatbot are:

🤖 Your domain (website)
🤖 Facebook Messenger

A person making a direct visit to your homepage is likely more familiar with your brand than a person checking out one of your articles, so your chatbot needs instructed accordingly.

3. Create Your Content Flow

Think about what questions people are likely to ask your bot; this will allow you to deliver the most relevant answers. If you’re uncertain of the commonly asked questions, talk to departments that interact with end users, such as:

🤖 Sales: Ask your sales reps about the questions that stop people from becoming customers.
🤖 Customer Support: They can help you identify trends in customer questions.
🤖 Quora: This is a website where people go to ask questions about different things, including brands. See if there are any related to your own brand.

4. Give Your Bot a Personality

Putting a personality on your bot will humanize the experience it delivers. To let visitors know that they are speaking with a bot, several companies provide a name to their chatbot. This allows them to be more transparent with the audience, while giving off a friendly tone.

5. Map Customer Journeys

Once you gather the initial questions, map out what potential conversations may look like. You can use Canva to create paths with arrows and shapes. Have multiple answers in place for evey potential question so that can improve your chances of satisfying buyer’s needs.

How Do I Set Up a Chatbot for My Real Estate Company?

With such a wide spectrum of chatbot applications available, it’s difficult to nail down a specific one for real estate That’s why it is important to spend time doing some research at the beginning to define your goal and then start to explore different applications.

Do you get more inquiries on your website? Are you looking to generate quality leads through Facebook? To find out which application will be most effective in your case, talk with your website manager and social media lead.

Website Chatbots

If your website manager is seeing high bounce rates, that could be something a bot can help address. If your social media lead is struggling to keep up with people’s messages on Facebook, you may want to set up a bot there. Using a tool like Intercom allows you to create a deploy a website chatbot within minutes.

A Chatbot-powered Live Agent cuts down your resource cost, removing the need to hire multiple agents for live chat support. Additionally, it learns over time, notifies human agents when customers request a call, and gets smarter everyday.

Facebook Messenger Chatbots

If website chatbots don’t top your list of customer service assets, it may be time to consider a Facebook Messenger chatbot, and here’s why: Its adoption rate. Some 13 million Australians use Facebook Messenger each month. Messenger chatbots continue changing the way real estate agents and prospective buyers interact on the world’s biggest social media platform.

Today, over 300,000 bots are being used on this messaging app to make real estate recommendations, take questions, gather information and even to advance corporate social responsibility. 77 percent of Australian consumers are comfortable with the idea of having a Chatbot address their enquiries, and the virtual assistant industry is expected to be worth $7.72 billion USD ($10.84 billion AUD) by 2023.

Messenger chatbots help answer queries or collect details via automation. Some of the features that make that chatbots effective and convenient are:

🤖 The ability to send and receive greetings.
🤖 Template that allows people to click buttons and request more information from your bot.
🤖 CTAs to prompt users to “See More” or “Get Started”.

Want to create a Facebook Messenger chatbot for your Facebook Business Page? Use MobileMonkey. MobileMonkey chatbots are a sequence of chat pages that trigger on Messenger based on what the prospect chooses or types. Using the MobileMonkey Bot Builder, you can set up a chatbot with quick forms, text, images, qualifying questions and more.

Here are some key features of the Bot Builder:

1. Choose from chat widgets from GIFs, visuals and more into the FB Messenger funnels.
2. Place your content into groupings such as folders that offer intuitive workflows for quick
and easy chatbot set up.
3. Drag and drop any widget into the chat workflow as you design an interactive experience.
4. The Bot Builder’s integrated error handling features informs you of any problems along
the way (think missing attributes).
5. Choose trigger keywords for your chat pages with a single click.

The content experience offered by MobileMonkey’s Facebook Messenger chatbot can’t be achieved with email and is more streamlined than mobile web experiences. With MobileMonkey, you can offer dynamic content like appointment scheduling and quick surveys to anyone who visits the Facebook Page of your real estate company.

The best part? It’s free to get started with MobileMonkey.

Other Chatbot Apps
As you consider making your own chatbot, below are some additional tools that can help you along the way. We’ve listed options that will fulfill your customer service needs on social media, website, and more.

🤖 Intercom’s Answer Bot

Intercom is a live chat and conversation-enablement platform that connects companies with relevant leasd in real-time. It’s chatbot for support – Answer Bot – gives precise answers means visitors get exactly what they came for. Also, real estate agents can give Answer Bot a personal touch by iclduing the company name, visitor’s name, and more in the reply.

In addition, Answer Bot populates frequently asked question, allowing you to find general ones to automate. It also measures the time chat agents save with insightful, detailed reports. Other than that, those implementing Answer Bot save time by avoiding repetitive questions, so they’re able to give more time to productive tasks.

🤖 Zendesk’s Answer Bot

The Answer Bot from Zendesk will function alongside your client servicing team to answer prospect’s questions with assistance from your knowledge base and its own algorithm for machine learning. By analyzing the questions it receives over time, it is able to get smarter and give more appropriate answers to real estate queries.

If the prospect uses email to ask a question, Answer Bot collects the most relevant posts/knowledge base articles fitting to the questions and sends them over. Nothing more happens if the ticket is resolved. If the prospect decides to escalate the ticket, the question is routed to the company’s support team for a more personalized follow up.

What Should I Do Next?

Once you’ve set up your chatbot, you need to spread the word about it to your audience. Though many prospects will discover your chatbot naturally, you can also take steps to promote your bot for additional conversations.

For instance, the conversations initiated via Facebook would open in Messenger, but that doesn’t mean people who find you outside of Facebook have to miss out. If you’re using WordPress, you can install the WP Facebook Messenger plugin. Other than that, you could let your email list know that an intelligent bot awaits them on your official Facebook page. Give a cool name to the bot so that it sounds like a futuristic agent will be answering people’s queries.

Can Chatbots Really Up My Real Estate Game?

Yep, absolutely. A huge part of real estate is relationship-oriented, where clients and agents engage in dialogue over transactions that are often the biggest investments clients make in their lives. Chatbots can aid this agent-client relationship by starting a conversation.

Want to ask if they are married and in what time period are they considering investing? Leave it to your chatbot. Want to schedule a call or arrange a meeting with them? Your chatbot can! Even if the prospect closes the chat right away, your chatbot keeps a record a record of that visitor. Boom. You’ve collected lead information. If they chat more and tell your bot about their preferences, even better.

Secondly, chatbots can help prevent the criticism aimed at front-line agents. Front-line agents occasionally get a bad rap for being too salesly and too pushy – where is where a chatbot can be a blessing in disguise. By eliminating the human element at the prequalification stage, it can make the procedure objective and therefore make people feel more comfortable about sharing their information. Finally – think about the hours you could save by having your chatbot ask questions upfront.

Buyers could be looking at new neighborhoods, staging a home or comparing prices…there are tons of things that call your attention during your day. When you have a bot working with you and for you, your work schedule is streamlined.

The Future Belongs to The Bot

We believe robots should never fully take over your customer service responsibilities, but chatbots have the power to enhance both the real estate agent’s and the customer’s experience by bolstering reliability and speed.

Therefore, real estate companies can leverage chatbots to put together a more informed support team where each social interaction is given individual attention, leading to a superior response and client experience. And of course, there’s the option to opt out of the conversation. But then again, why would anyone opt out of the future?

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