Why Chatbots Are Your Next Secret Weapon
Logan Paton | June 8, 2018
Why Chatbots Are Your Next Secret Weapon
There are no hard and fast rules when potential buyers are looking for a new place to live, or potential sellers are considering selling their home. It could be 2 am, it could be 11 pm… or anywhere in between. And when these particular buyers are looking for answers, the concept of “too soon” simply doesn’t apply to them. They are searching for answers — and they want them now. So when those leads and questions come in at 2 am, what do you do?
In the past, you had a few options: you could set up some sort of an automatic reply system (which, unfortunately, is often a confusing and exasperating experience for your potential customer), you could have the messages delivered straight to your mobile phone and handle them yourself in real time (who needs sleep, anyway?), or — worst case scenario — you could lose out on the lead entirely.
In today’s market, when real estate professionals are expected to juggle their sales transactions, marketing new and existing listings, evaluating products to improve their business, marketing themselves as agents, and keeping an open line of communication with clients, responding immediately to leads as they come in can sometimes be too much to keep up with.
But is there a solution? Yes, and the answer is simple — chatbots. Even if you think you’re not familiar with chatbots, it’s virtually guaranteed that you’ve seen them or even used them before. So what is a chatbot? Simply put, a chatbot is an automated system that is capable of holding a virtual conversation with your leads and your clients. Sound too good to be true? It gets even better — chatbots can also gather information from your clients, giving you key information that can tell you where they are in their sales process and giving you insight into how to best serve them.
What Type of Buying Experience Do Real Estate Customers Want?
Have you been by an Apple Store recently? Think back to your last time you were there. What was the customer experience like? When you first walked in, you were greeted immediately by an employee. That employee may have been in sales, support, training, management, you don’t know. But you know what? They are there to help you. As you walk around the store there is always someone nearby if you need help with a question or a product. But no one is pushing products on you; the employees are just there to help.
Think about it like this. Having chatbots on your site are like having top notch Apple Store employees on your site 24/7 and 365 days a year. It’s like taking your best salesperson. Taking their knowledge of your market, your knowledge about your product, your personality, your charisma; taking all that and bottling it up into a helpful, interactive, personal concierge who is figuratively in the wings immediately ready to help. And if this digital personal concierge can’t answer your customer’s question, they will route them to a member of your team who can.
Real Estate Applications for Chatbots
Chatbots are likely the future of every industry, but they have a special appeal in the real estate industry. Real estate, by nature, is a very personalized and relationship-driven industry, with buyers and agents forming bonds over one of the largest and most important transactions of a consumer: buying and/or selling a home. And while chatbots won’t replace the personal touch in that client-agent relationship, they can be used in a number of practical ways:
- Answer generalized questions regarding real estate (e.g., I’m looking for a loan with a low down payment option. Can you help?)
- Provide details on a property from a large database of information (e.g., I’m in the market for a house with at least 3 bedrooms in downtown San Francisco.)
- Ask leading, open-ended questions to help build a prospect profile (e.g., Are you looking to upsize your home?)
Integrating Chatbots Into Your Marketing Mix
New disruptive businesses are emerging in real estate faster and faster each and every year. With all the tasks that real estate agents and professionals have on their plate each day, it’s no walk in the park to keep up and stay competitive. But we all know it’s essential that we continue to find solutions that improve our customer’s experience and automate more of our workflow. This is at the core of growing a successful and defensible business today.
Chatbots are new. When we at CommissionTrac decided to invest in this channel, we saw the value in generating leads and growing our audience using chatbots–but we’d seen promising technology like this in the past. In the past, it was easy to miss maximizing an opportunity like this by trying to do everything in house without any experts or guidance. Because chatbots were so new, we realized that we internally did not have the expertise we needed to get up and running fast.
So this time we did things differently. We found a trusted chatbot partner in an industry leader, ConvoPanda. It was a no brainer working with them since they’ve been building chatbots since 2016 and had built over 80 to date. They have been super easy to work with and quickly paid for themselves with the new leads they generate. They freed up my team’s time to focus on higher value activities rather than spending our energies reacting to routine live-chat conversations and building out chatbots.
Ultimately, you want to make sure you implement a solution that improves your customer’s buying experience, that’s profitable for your business, and that works with the rest of your tools. With the right mix of experts, software, and strategy you can make sure your chatbots will do all of the above.
The efficiency doesn’t stop there. To learn more about streamlining your back office accounting and commission management, request a free demo today!