The chatbot market exploded in 2020, largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This growth is expected to continue in 2021. In fact, it’s predicted that 85% of customer interactions will be handled by chatbots by the end of 2021. Multifamily is no exception – apartment chatbots have quickly become must-haves for multifamily properties.
The chatbots currently offered in the Multifamily space differ in the types of technology they use, and ultimately in their performance – the kinds of results they produce for leasing offices:
Rule-based apartment chatbots can only answer the questions they’re programmed to answer. For instance, the bot might be able to tell you that pets are allowed in an apartment community, but it probably can’t tell you anything more about the pet policy beyond the basics.
NLP-based apartment chatbots use Natural Language Processing technology to understand intent, which is different from simply knowing what is being said. NLP is not rule-based. Prospects can type in full, complex sentences, and NLP breaks down the sentence structure and utilizes its knowledge of grammar, idioms, and patterns to determine what the user is trying to say. This is true even if a dozen users say the same thing a dozen different ways and is possible because NLP apartment chatbots learn as time goes on. They continuously improve as more data comes in, which is a process called machine learning.
So how do you know which type of apartment chatbot to invest in? Maybe you’re considering a rule-based bot because you just want something simple. Or maybe you’re thinking of an NLP-based bot because you want your customers to be able to type in complex questions.
There’s no one right answer to this question. But here’s what we know about the user experience. When communicating with an NLP bot, customers experience a naturally flowing conversation without the frustrating hiccups that can occur with rule-based bots:
It’s possible that interacting with a rule-based apartment chatbot could be frustrating your visitors – even causing them to leave your site – instead of helping them. So while one of the goals for employing the bot is to capture more leads, you could in fact be doing the opposite and losing leads.
The decision ultimately comes down to getting the most for your investment in the apartment chatbot you choose – maximizing your ROI. So you need to weigh the pros and cons, determine what matters most, and go with the best option based on your priorities.
The Respage Chatbot is an NLP-based bot that tracks actual signed leases back to your chatbot leads, so you know your true ROI. Let us tell you more!