Love or Lust: What to Look for in an AI Leasing Agent

There are so many multifamily chatbots in the proptech sea—how do I know what’s right for me?
February 24, 2021
Tech

AI for the Multifamily Industry  

There are so many reasons to love having an AI leasing agent for your multifamily properties. Unlike the human members of your leasing team, a leasing agent powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) can connect with rental prospects 24/7 and doesn’t need sleep or coffee to do its job exceptionally well. Plus, your human leasing team will love having an AI-powered coworker to handle the busywork for them—like answering common leasing questions, collecting guest cards, and scheduling tours.  

But is it love or just lust?

Avoid the heartbreak later. Don’t be fooled by basic menu-based chatbots that claim to be AI leasing agents. For a truly robust solution that you’ll love, look for these three features.

What to Look for in an AI Leasing Agent

1.  Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Your rental prospects all have a unique voice—literally. They will speak in different accents, tones, and use their own choice of vocabulary when communicating with your property. It’s important to let them use their voice and ask questions in their own words. By doing so, your prospects get the answers they need faster, you are able to track their exact needs, your leasing team is able to personalize their follow-up activities, and much more.  

This is why NLP is such an important feature of an AI leasing agent. NLP allows your prospects to have freeform conversations without limiting them to a simple menu of options in order to guide the conversation. So, what should you look for to avoid heart break later? An AI leasing agent that has the best of both worlds—Natural Language Processing and buttons within the chatbot experience to help guide the conversation.

2.  Omni-Channel: Chat, Text, and Phone Calls

Speaking of NLP, that brings us to the next feature that you should look for—an omni-channel experience. When your AI leasing agent has NLP, it opens the door to new communication channels such as:

  • Phone calls
  • Voice commands
  • Text messaging
  • Email Capabilities

Any bot that does not have NLP will never be able to provide your rental prospects with an omni-channel experience.  

Just like how your prospects have a unique voice, they also have unique preferences for communicating with your property. Some may like to chat on your property website, while others may want to pick up the phone to call or text you. Your AI leasing agent should be prepared to answer and provide a consistent experience, no matter the channel.  

Check out the data from December 2020, for the properties that used ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant. The majority of their handled conversations by ACE were actually phone calls (67%), followed by chat (32%) and text messages (1%). Don’t get lusty over basic chatbots that are tied to your property website. Meet the demands of your rental prospects by using an AI leasing agent that supports an omni-channel experience via phone calls, chat, and text for your properties.

3.  Chat from Anywhere—Not Just Your Property Website

Traditionally, a chatbot is installed on a property website using a little snippet of code. However, most renters (72%) use 3rd-party listing sites, like Apartments.com or Zillow when searching for an apartment according to a study conducted by NMHC / Kingsley Associates. So, a true AI leasing agent should have the ability to chat with prospects on the websites they use the most—not just your property website.

When shopping for your AI leasing agent, look for one that has the ability to be added and shared on any website via its own unique URL. This allows you to place your chatbot virtually anywhere that a link can be placed. When prospects click on the link, a new browser window appears where they are able to instantly chat, get answers to their common leasing questions, and schedule a tour. Then, once their conversation is over, the leads are funneled to your leasing team, so they can do what they do best—close the lease! Check out this blog article for more information about adding a chatbot to Google, Yelp, and more.

Choosing a chatbot with these three features, we know you’ll be in love—and not just lust—with your new AI leasing agent.

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