Apartment Chatbots: Here to Help, Not to Take Your Job

by | Aug 8, 2017

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It’s a scenario that’s been a pop culture fixation and a familiar trope of sci-fi writers: Artificial intelligence has become so advanced that bots overthrow the human race.

The reality (at least in 2017, anyway) is that AI — chatbot technology in particular — is a tool that can be used to make our lives easier. Industries across the board are exploring ways to apply it, and customer service is emerging as the No. 1 way that companies are using chatbots.

In fact, tech research firm Gartner projects that chatbots will manage more than 85% of customer service interactions by 2020.

With this in mind, Respage launched the multifamily industry’s first-ever chatbot in May. It lives on apartment communities’ websites and uses AI to carry on seemingly “normal” conversations with prospective renters that’s not much different than two people conversing.

It provides information that may or may not be on the website, schedules tours, and collects contact information of every chatbot visitor, then forwards it to the leasing office.

The one thing it can’t do is replace human leasing agents.

Rather than posing a threat to the livelihoods of employees, the Respage Chatbot is meant to make leasing agents’ jobs easier and enhance customer service at the same time. Here are four examples:

Chatbots Are Always Available

The majority of searches for “apartments for rent” occur outside the usual business hours, an analysis of Google trends shows.

We all want answers immediately, and if a prospective renter can’t find the information they’re seeking on an apartment community’s website, they could decide to move on rather than wait for a human to be available via phone or email.

The majority of renters are millennials, who’ve grown up with the Internet and are driving our on-demand culture, making this point especially important.

Chatbots Remember

We might not always remember every person we interact with on a daily basis, but the Respage Chatbot does.

Visitors who use the chatbot leave a digital signature. If the visitor returns to the bot with more questions, it can recall the prior conversation, enhancing the customer service experience.

Chatbots Get Prospects Through the Door

Before the Respage Chatbot, prospects had to call during normal business hours to schedule a tour. Now, the chatbot can schedule tours with no human help needed.

Chatbots Improve Human-to-Human Interaction

By handling basic tasks, the Respage Chatbot can free up the time of leasing agents and property managers. This allows them to spend their time focusing on more complex customer demands and interactions that require human-to-human communication.

For example, if a tenant walks into the office with an immediate need, the staffer can address it right away because they’ll be spending less time answering prospects’ questions over the phone or email.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Respage Chatbot, or seeing one in action, check out our sandbox to interact with the Respage chatbot right now.[/softease_text_block][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row]