Apartments Using AI Have a Competitive Advantage

Improve your property’s customer service and increase leasing opportunities and cost savings by implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI).
February 26, 2020
Tech

Over the past few years, advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have captured our imaginations and have led to widespread adoption of the technology. It has changed the way customers interact with products and created a new experience standard: fast, easy, accurate and personalized. The multifamily industry is utilizing AI in order to deliver on this new standard and create enriched customer experiences. If you invest based on these improvements, you’ll find that implementing AI for your apartment communities can deliver a powerful competitive advantage.

Improve Customer Service

According to Gartner by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI. That’s a 400% increase from 2017. There are many apartments already using some level of AI to assist with their customer service—you’re probably already familiar with seeing chatbots on property websites.

What you might not have heard of yet are virtual leasing assistants. These are AI-powered bots that offer an omni-channel approach to providing customer service by interacting on the preferred channel of the prospect. LeaseHawk’s ACE AI does just that. It conversationally interacts with rental prospects over the phone, as well as chat. It can even send follow-up text messages to give prospects directions to a property or to confirm their community tour appointment.

Increase Leasing Opportunities

Another advantage that virtual leasing assistants offer is that they are able to capture leads that would have otherwise been lost. With nearly 49% of all calls missed by agents, a virtual leasing assistant can help answer all of those calls.

Here’s an example scenario of how many prospects it could convert for a property:  

Let’s say that “Pretend Properties” receives…
100 calls per month to their leasing office and according to the industry average, 49% of those calls will be missed by the leasing team.
100 calls x 49% = 49 missed calls
Next, according to LeaseHawk data, we know that on average 30% of leasing office calls are prospects with leasing intent.
49 missed calls x 30% = 14.7 missed prospect calls
And finally, we know that on average, LeaseHawk’s virtual leasing assistant, ACE AI converts prospects to appointments 31% of the time.
14.7 missed prospect calls x 31% = 4.5 missed appointments

Every missed call is a missed leasing opportunity. It’s clear that a virtual leasing assistant delivers a competitive advantage by answering renters’ calls when they otherwise would have been missed. In the example above, the virtual leasing assistant could have given immediate pricing and availability information to approximately 15 prospects and converted nearly 5 of them to an appointment for your leasing team.

Increase Time and Cost Savings

In the past, before virtual leasing assistants were available, apartment owners and managers may have looked to call centers and answering services to assist their on-site teams. Unfortunately, this type of customer experience is full of friction points. Here are just a few of them:

  • Long on-hold time with elevator music. Studies show that 60% of callers believe even one minute of hold-time is too long.
  • Lack of service options. Many prospect callers are looking for self-service options.
  • A completely scripted, inflexible dialog where the employee drives the conversation in an often lack-luster fashion.
  • Unhappy employees on the other end of the line. Call center staff is often exposed to excessive call monitoring, low salaries and angry callers, causing stressful and oppressive workplaces coupled with high turnover.

Now that virtual leasing assistants are readily available for apartment communities, they are able to service your renters faster (goodbye to long on-hold music) and at nearly half the cost of a call center. Virtual leasing assistants handle calls, answer common leasing questions, set appointments and collect guest card information. Plus, callers are able to quickly get their questions answered, like pricing and availability, and feel more empowered by having the ability to drive the conversation based on their specific needs.

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