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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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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Prospects are seeking instant answers from digital resources to make their rental decisions. However, 73 percent won’t use your chatbot again if their experience ends up being a negative one. Be on the lookout for these chatbot mistakes and learn how you can avoid disappointing your prospects.
The era of automated leasing is upon us. The pandemic created 10 years’ worth of apartment industry technology in about 100 days, some are saying. But the technology with perhaps the greatest penetration – and growing – are virtual leasing assistants.
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