The State of Apartment Chatbots in 2019: What New Survey Reveals About Consumers and AI

by | Mar 13, 2019

When we revealed the first-ever apartment chatbot in May 2017, the multifamily industry was skeptical.

Is this tool really necessary? How will it help make the leasing process easier? Do consumers even want to interact with bots? We encountered these questions daily. And truth be told, although we believed in the tool, it was hard to definitively say what the future would hold.

Today, that all seems silly. Chatbots are everywhere in 2019. Furthermore, consumers have embraced them with open arms. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 internet users revealed some pretty amazing statistics on the current chatbot landscape. Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from that study, as well as our thoughts on what they mean for multifamily.
 

80% of Consumers Reported Having a Positive Experience with Chatbots

The biggest takeaway of the study is that four out of five survey respondents claimed to have had a positive experience with chatbots. This indicates two important milestones for AI chat technology.

First, it shows that chatbots are becoming more and more popular. You can’t have a positive experience with chatbots if you’ve never encountered one in the first place. The fact that a significant majority of survey respondents can spot the difference between a chatbot and a live chat proves that bots have entered the mainstream.

Second, it indicates that chatbots are evolving. In the earlier days of this technology (and by that, we mean roughly two years ago), consumers were far less happy with the service provided by bots. Today, a sweeping majority doesn’t have many complaints. To us, this suggests that a lot of the early stage problems have been solved, and that bots are being embraced as a practical tool for consumers and businesses alike.

 

36% of Consumers Think Accuracy Needs to Improve

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the land of chatbot technology. Despite a “positive experience” rate of 80 percent, roughly 36 percent of survey respondents saw room for improvement.

And they’re not wrong.

Chatbots are far from perfect. We know this from experience. The revolutionary apartment chatbot from Respage has undergone multiple updates since we first revealed the tool two years ago.

And each time we update it, it gets better. Room for improvement is a good thing because it allows us to identify flaws and think of solutions. Our chatbot’s new Human Handoff feature, for example, serves as a filter for the leasing office by getting qualifying questions out of the way before directing a prospect to an in office representative. This saves your leasing office tons of time by reducing your chances of talking to people who aren’t qualified leads. And we wouldn’t have even thought of it without the feedback of our customers!

 

38% of Consumers Think Chatbots Should Promote Deals and Promotions

A significant amount of consumers believe chatbots should promote deals and promotions.

This one is a little shocking. In a digital landscape rife with spam, you would think the last thing consumers want is another channel screaming “Deals! Deals! Deals!”

But the numbers don’t lie. Many consumers do want promotional info in their chatbot experiences.

How we provide that info is another story. Odds are high that chatbot users don’t want to be bombarded with promotions as soon as they start a conversation with a bot. So what’s an apartment marketer to do?

The answer may lie in subtle suggestions. The Respage Chatbot, for example, gives site visitors several suggestions during the start of their conversation. Suggestions include things like amenities, pet policies, and specials. The latter gives real time information on current promotions for the community, such as first month rent free.

 

Want to See What All the Fuss is About?

Learn more about the multifamily chatbot services offered through Respage, a company revolutionizing apartment marketing through advanced AI.