Whether we realize it or not, artificial intelligence has been around us for years, helping with routine tasks and making our lives a bit easier. Gmail, for example, uses machine learning and natural language processing—components of AI—to help with spam detection and predicting the next words you’ll type in an email.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of AI technology, driven by the need for increased productivity and safety. In Multifamily, virtual leasing agents like ResMate™, powered by AI, have been handling mundane tasks, such as email. A virtual leasing agent can read and respond to messages within minutes of receiving them, whereas humans might take hours or days to reply to an email from a prospect.
Despite how far AI has come, it can’t mimic the complexity of the human mind, nor can it replace human characteristics such as intuition, creativity, and experience. AI is most effective when it works in tandem with human intelligence to provide the best possible customer service.
In this post, we’ll take a look at why blending AI’s ability to get work done efficiently with a human leasing agent’s ability to connect emotionally to prospects leads to better satisfaction for prospects and agents alike.
Combining human and AI leasing agents provides a consistent prospect experience
Despite the pandemic, Multifamily is continuing to thrive, meaning leasing offices are handling a high volume of calls and emails from prospects who expect quick answers. At the same time, many leasing agents are continuing to work remotely. A combination of human and artificial intelligence can help to resolve these issues. The goal is to have the optimal blend of the two to offer prospects a seamless experience.
By taking over repetitive tasks, AI allows human leasing agents to concentrate on what they do best: empathize and make a personal connection with prospects. The assistance of AI can help ease the burden on human leasing agents, which can help them do their jobs better.
AI leasing agents use natural language processing to communicate with prospects and guide them into the leasing process as far as its capabilities allow. Then, human leasing agents can take over with follow-up voice mails and phone calls to smoothly combine the best of both worlds.
AI can enhance a human leasing agent’s capabilities
AI has evolved to perform simple, repetitive tasks faster, better, and cheaper than a human could do. By taking advantage of this technology, a leasing office can exceed prospects’ expectations by replying to initial queries from prospects with lightning speed and moving them down the sales funnel, then passing the interaction onto a human leasing agent for a personalized flourish.
Because AI leasing agents can be assigned human names, prospects might not even realize that their initial interactions with an apartment community were with a bot. NLP (Natural Language Processing) can even help bots generate sentences indistinguishable from those written by human beings. This will help communities that have adopted AI technology to rise above the competition by delivering a better customer service experience.
Blended AI benefits prospects and human agents alike
Apartment communities that have successfully paired AI technology with humans in customer service are witnessing company-wide benefits, including:
- Improved customer experience. Humans cannot compete with AI when it comes to immediately replying to emails and other queries. Prospects expect a quick response, so it makes sense to allow AI to shine here. As the prospect moves along the leasing funnel, questions will become more specific and complex, and this is where human agents take over.
- Increased job satisfaction and efficiency. Human agents can offload simple, monotonous tasks to their AI counterparts, letting them focus on complex questions and allowing them to better connect with the prospect. Strategically pairing the strengths of AI with human leasing agents allows humans to find more meaning in their work, leading to better job satisfaction, efficiency, and productivity.
AI can help apartment communities increase productivity and deliver better prospect experiences. But AI only has value when combined with a solid operational foundation that includes living and breathing team members. AI technology combined with the human touch can help communities deliver a seamless, consistent customer service experience to prospects that can help them outshine the competition.
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