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What's a Chatbot? Why's It Important for Customer Experience in the Real Estate Industry?

21 August, 2019 | 5 min read
Online Marketing Professional
Kannan Gophal

If you are here, you might be on a search for solutions to enhance your real estate business and looking for solutions to engage your leads and prospects better. While there are a lot of websites and blogs offering solutions on that, so, why exactly should you read this post? In this article, I decide to handhold you through the next big thing that is going to affect the relators and how you could make the most out of it.  
 
 
To begin with, automation is no longer a distant vision it is here and making a difference to all the industries across the globe and the real estate sector isn’t left far behind. Customers are on the move constantly and looking for businesses to go with them and be available all the time. And automation is the only way to ensure that you have an omnichannel presence to successfully engage your customers.  "Revenue from Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will reach $1 billion by the end of 2019."  - Forrester 
 
In short, automation is happening and businesses are changing, chatbots are one way for organizations to invest in automation and get started with real-time customer engagement. So, What's a Chatbot? and Why's It Important for Customer Experience in the Real Estate Industry? 
 
A Chatbot is a simple tool that enables better, quicker and elaborate solutions to a customer query on the go. Integratable on multiple platforms including apps, Facebook messengers, and Skype, businesses can be available for their customers round the clock and change the way customers buy, sell, or rent properties, in other words, it can redefine the way the real estate industry works.  
 
Just like in the case of industries like healthcare, automobile, e-commerce, retail, and banking, which have seen an immense saving in terms of resources, time, and money, realtors have also noticed a significant difference to their business on implementing chatbots.  
 
According to the National Association of Realtors, around 56% of the buyers who find their house on the internet are less than 36 years old. 
 
Here are a few other benefits that chatbots have to offer in terms of enhancing the customer experience in the real estate industry. 
 
Omni-Channel Support -  
 
Chatbots make it possible for businesses to be accessible on multiple platforms for the customer without having to reiterate information shared through a different device or platform. In a recent survey by According to the State of the Chatbots report 2018, "69% of Consumers Prefer Chatbots For Quick Communication with Brands." One primary reason for this could be the possibility of getting detailed answers for complex questions, which an agent might not be able to provide instantaneously.  
 
24/7 Availability -   
 
A report published in The State of Chatbots Report, 2018, states that "64% of internet users say 24-hour service is the best chatbot feature." Customer service needs to be available round the clock without lethargy. This is possible only when a machine takes the place of humans, chatbots do just that. What's more? They're programmed to understand human emotions like anger, happiness, confusion, etc., and provide assistance accordingly.   
 
The decision to look for a new place might come up at any point in time and one cannot be expected to wait until the business hours start to find a home, office, or any other real estate engagement. This makes chatbots the right choice, which is why there has been a constant increase in the use of chatbots across the world. In fact, in a recent survey by the Opus Research, 2018, around 35% of customers said they would like to see more companies investing in chatbots.  
 
User-specific information -  
 
Not all your visitors are looking for the same kind of information, for instance, if one of your visitors is looking to rent an apartment, the other might be looking to sell a property, while another may be looking to lease office space.  
 
A chatbot in the real estate space can understand the user's needs based on just a few questions, skim through the entire database in a few minutes, and offer the right property suggestion. As the shortlisting of information happens even as the visitor is answering questions to further narrow down the search, the user is engaged with the website. This is a challenge when a human customer support interaction takes place and research have found that over “21% of consumers felt that chatbots are the easiest way for them to connect with a  business.” -Ubisend, 2019 
 
Higher conversions -  
 
Outgrow reported in that around 53% of customers expressed a likelihood to engage in business that can be reached through chat or message. Your website visitors are most likely to pick you over any other real estate agent or website if they can readily access you to have their queries answered, properties suggested, and appointments booked. A chatbot could help you do just that!                

Better customer engagement -  
 
Just like in the case of every other online business, real estate organizations are also facing a grave challenge of engaging users online and retaining their attention. Given 
the huge list of property sites, multiple listing platforms, and social networking groups, users have very little time and interest to spare waiting for an agent to attend to them.  
 
This delay creates an increase in the bounce rates and makes the business lose a lot of prospective leads. However, a chatbot, on the other hand, offers instantaneous replies, has the right answers, and can pick up the conversation from where the user left-off thereby engaging them better than a physical agent ever could. This increased user engagement would reflect in an increased lead to conversion ratio too. 
 
Seamless appointment scheduling -   
 
Chatbots can seamlessly integrate data from the CRM into the database and simplify access to property and user information without the need for human interference. This helps immensely in helping your prospects schedule appointments and visits at a time convenient to them, based on the information provided, and the property owner.  
 
The bot can also redirect the customer to the support agents or sales team based on the customer journey point and the assistance needed, which is what around 34% of respondents, of the Convince and Convert, 2018 survey say they use chatbots for. In other words, the survey found that around 34% of the respondents said they would use a chatbot to a human customer service agent. 
 
Are you into the real estate space to and would like to engage your customers better? Drop your queries in the comment section below, or visit ServiceForm now!