5 Conversational Leasing Must-Haves

When searching for conversational leasing tools, such as a chatbot or virtual assistant, these are five must-have features.
January 22, 2018

Conversational Leasing Must-Haves

Technology has played an important role in the growth of the apartment industry. In particular, the development of artificial intelligence through the use of apartment chatbots and virtual leasing assistants. These conversational leasing tools help on-site apartment teams answer rental prospects’ questions, collect contact information, and schedule community tours.

However, not all conversational leasing tools are created equal. To be truly conversational with your rental prospects, your bot should flaunt these five must-have features.    

1. Freeform Conversations

A menu-driven, or button-based, chatbot is one the most primitive forms of conversational leasing tools available. For a more natural and human-like experience, your bot should use Artificial Intelligence (AI). Unlike a menu-driven chatbot, an AI-powered chatbot uses NLP (Natural Language Processing) to understand the needs of the renter, as opposed to going through a predetermined set of options and menus. This allows the prospect to ask the bot any question using freeform text to get their questions answered quickly, rather than navigating through a maze of buttons or prompts.

2. Chat from Anywhere—Not Just Your Website

It’s now commonplace to have a chatbot on a property website, but that’s not the only place where prospects want to interact. The majority of renters today (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. To be the most conversational, your bot should be hosted on its own webpage or URL that can be placed virtually anywhere, in addition to being installed on your property website.

72% of renters use 3rd-party listing sites, like Apartments.com or Zillow when searching for an apartment. — NMHC / Kingsley Associates.

3. Send Text Messages

An overwhelming majority of U.S. adults own a smartphone and text messaging has become a preferred communication method for many. A great conversational chatbot gives rental prospects the option of chatting via text message. It’s all about giving your renters the option to choose how they want to communicate. And bonus, if your chatbot is text-enabled, it can send helpful text messages right to your prospect; such as a tour confirmation or directions to the property.

4. Answer Phone Calls

Missed calls are missed leasing opportunities. The average apartment community misses 49% of all calls. If you want to be competitive and offer the best experience for your prospects, you need to make sure that you have a solution in place to capture every incoming call. A conversational leasing assistant with voice capabilities is a great solution to solve this challenge. ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant is the only omni-channel conversational leasing solution that answers on-site phone calls, sends text messages, and converses via chat. With six voices to choose from, ACE conversationally interacts with prospects to answer their leasing questions, collect information, and schedule tours. What does your virtual leasing assistant sound like? Watch this video to hear for yourself:

5. Conversation Transferring

Sometimes a prospect just wants to talk to a human and luckily bots don’t take it personally. A bot that offers a truly conversational experience understands that this can happen from time to time. If a prospect requests a representative, your chatbot should have the ability to transfer the call to your leasing team or provide the direct contact information that the prospect can use to reach them.

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