Is it just us, or has a lot changed since February? Leasing offices are understaffed, call centers are overwhelmed, and virtual leasing is the new normal. To handle the unprecedented rise of calls, the multifamily industry’s tech-stack has shifted. Chatbots and virtual assistants are now critical for maintaining communication with prospects and residents. This is seen through the surging increase of chatbot-driven customer service sessions, which raised a staggering 426 percent (Evans, 2020).
LeaseHawk created ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant to enable management companies to capture leads that would have otherwise been lost. It is the multifamily industry’s only omni-channel virtual assistant that makes human-like connections in a highly conversational manner to answer common leasing questions, collect guest card information and set appointments 24/7. Since May 2020, ACE handled over 122,300 conversations (and counting) through voice, text, and chat for apartment communities across the country.
With a brain powered by artificial intelligence, ACE is continuously learning to ensure prospects have all the information they need to make informed decisions. Here are 10 new skills and features ACE has learned since its release.
Your property website is not the only place where prospects want to interact with you. That’s why the ACE chatbot can be placed anywhere. Add it to the About, Bio, and Appointment sections of your listings and social media profiles, or virtually anywhere that a link can be placed. When prospects click on your ACE chatbot 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 leases!
Interested in making ACE sound more human-like? You can now add response variations to ACE’s leasing and resident questions. Response variations allow ACE to rephrase answers and sound less repetitive.
For example, if a prospect asks, “Do the units have accent walls?” ACE will randomly choose between a selection of approved responses, so prospects could hear a response like, “Yes, our property includes an accent wall in every unit. They are painted using designer colors in neutral tones. They really do bring an understated elegance into each of our units,” or a more straight-forward response, such as “Many homes feature accent walls to add a pop of color to your living space.”
ACE’s conversational skills have improved! When a prospect asks ACE to repeat itself, it will now repeat the last response that was provided to the prospect. Additionally, when a prospect thanks ACE for providing information, it will respond with, "You are welcome!"
ACE can answer leasing questions regarding military housing for Civilians, Military Retirees, W1 through W4, and E1 through O-10. Whether it's an Airman Recruit or Admiral, ACE can provide the right answer to help our servicepeople and their families get the information they need.
For example, if a prospect asks, “What do you offer for 0-10?” ACE conversationally responds with a tailored response unique to the needs of Admirals and Generals.
Now, ACE can answer over 175 leasing and resident questions!
A few new resident questions that ACE has learned include offering information about a community’s lost and found and what to do if a resident gets locked out. As for new leasing questions, ACE can now provide helpful answers when a prospect inquires about property amenities such as community barbeques and car charging stations. ACE also answers questions about property services such as current promotions, covered costs, and more.
Now, the ACE chatbot can be customized even more to align with your community’s brand. Use rich-text and custom HTML to style the pop-up and welcome messages of your ACE chatbot. This can make your welcome message even more engaging to capture the attention of prospects. And of course, the ability to use rich-text, images and hyperlinks is available for any chatbot responses as well.
All of ACE’s leasing and resident question responses are conveniently managed within the LeaseHawk Admin Center. Now you can use filter by the Type of question, including Frequently Asked to find the top questions your prospects are asking ACE. This filter is especially helpful to ensure ACE’s responses provide complete information for these hot-button questions.
Speaking of frequently asked questions, here’s a fun word cloud of questions ACE gets asked on a regular basis from prospects. In September 2020, the most frequently asked questions handled by ACE included utilities, application and rental qualifications.
After ACE completes a conversation, leasing teams receive an email notification with all of the guest card and appointment information. Now, those email notifications also include a convenient link to instantly read the conversation transcript. Conversation transcripts make it easy for you to read ACE's conversations with prospects word-for-word, without having to listen to lengthy call recordings.
There are many ways to say hello, such hey, hi, and howdy; just like there are many ways that prospects and residents can ask a leasing question. ACE uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to engage with renters and recognize the intent of their speech. Over time, ACE learns new phrases, words and synonyms to keep the conversation flowing naturally.
So far this year, ACE has learned over 400 new synonyms related to prospect and resident questions. So, no matter how a prospect phrases a question, such as how much the fees are for having their “fur baby” live with them, ACE will always know exactly how to answer.
When talking to prospects, it's normal to ask for clarification or to encourage more questions—it keeps the conversation going! ACE does this too, and now knows additional fallback and action responses, such as "Sorry, I didn't get that. Can you rephrase?" and "How else can I help you?"
ACE is continuously learning new skills and features to help multifamily businesses and renters alike. When your office feels understaffed or when your call center is overflowing with calls, you can rest assured that ACE can be there to help. ACE alleviates your call center volume and makes sure people always get the answers they need. ACE never sleeps, so you can.
Katie Evans | May 13, 2020. On hold: Retailers encounter customer service strains amid coronavirus. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2020/05/13/on-hold-retailers-encounter-customer-service-strains-amid-coronavirus/
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