Advanced technologies played a strong role in helping apartment communities stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for many, there is no turning back.
Multifamily is experiencing a paradigm shift as artificial intelligence becomes a must-have for apartment communities going forward. Leasing teams that saw the benefits of AI-powered virtual leasing agents and website chatbots during the pandemic are continuing to use them, and competing communities are adopting this technology in order to keep up.
AI automates many processes that were once handled by people, reducing the workload of multiple staff members—and AI can often do it faster and more accurately. Not only that, AI leasing agents can manage multiple queries at once, which can be a lifesaver for busy leasing teams.
AI Applications in Multifamily
- Chatbots. They live on apartment websites and are capable of answering prospects’ questions about the community. The most competent chatbots use natural language processing.
- Virtual leasing agents. They follow up with prospects and nudge them toward completing an online rental application. Just like chatbots, the most efficient virtual leasing agents use natural language processing.
As more industries embrace AI in their customer service operations, an expectation is created. If a consumer interacts with AI across industries like airlines, online retailers and car dealerships, communicating with an apartment chatbot or virtual leasing agent would be a natural, normal part of everyday life.
What Artificial Intelligence Brings To The Table
Ask any property owner to brainstorm what skills and traits their ideal apartment leasing agent would have, and they’d most likely name a few key attributes: professional, knowledgeable, affordable, able to work long hours, a quick learner, bilingual, friendly and maybe even a little charismatic.
Qualities of Virtual Leasing Assistants:
Professional and friendly
The most effective virtual leasing agents and chatbots of today use natural language processing to understand human language, allowing them to carry on helpful chat conversations while also building language skills as time goes on.
Knowledgeable and learns quickly
Virtual leasing agents and chatbots are programmed with information about their property, and AI helps them learn as they go. This allows them to build their knowledge base, making them capable of answering a broader range of questions over time.
Unlike human leasing agents, virtual leasing agents and apartment chatbots can work 24/7. A major chunk of searches for “apartments for rent” happen outside the normal business hours when human leasing agents aren’t around, but virtual leasing agents and chatbots are.
Salaries and benefits account for a large percentage of any budget, but in general, virtual leasing agents and chatbots don’t require much, usually a small monthly fee. This is a minor cost when considering the potential number of prospects they could bring in.
About 13 percent of U.S. residents speak Spanish at home, making it a no-brainer for your ideal apartment chatbot or virtual leasing agent to be Spanish-speaking, too.
Technology allows for a great deal of personality customization in chatbots and virtual leasing agents, so they could play it straight, or throw in a bit of humor, whatever works for your business.
After unleashing the virtual leasing agent or chatbot, you can gain some insight into how things are going by opting for a service that provides a transcript of all AI-prospect conversations. This also allows human leasing agents to follow up and focus their sales outreach efforts on users who’ve shown an interest in their rental community.
Asks for help
Any AI-powered product works best if a human is available to step in when needed. Ideally, prospects should have the option of talking to a human if they have more complex questions that the virtual leasing agent or chatbot isn’t able to answer to their satisfaction.
ResMate, Respage’s virtual leasing assistant, and the Respage Chatbot have all of these qualities and more. And, they can start right away — the setup and installation are designed to be quick and user-friendly. If you’re interested in seeing ResMate AI Leasing Agent or the Respage Chatbot in action, reach out to us!