Use of automation and artificial intelligence is on the rise in multifamily and chatbots are a prime example. A chatbot is an online instant messaging tool programmed to interact with humans and perform certain tasks. This new smart tech helps marketers recruit new renters and helps residents with common requests like submitting payments and maintenance requests. Heading into 2020, implementing a chatbot on your website will allow potential residents to interact with your company on their own terms – that means no waiting on a human to reply to their message as questions can be answered 24 hours a day.

Chatbot Technology

Chatbots work in two different ways. Decision-tree chatbots use a predictive model to give users a list of preset options displayed as “Quick Replies.” These chatbots don’t require machine learning. The bot locates the keywords and directs the conversation at each decision. Rule-based chatbots use this technology to narrow the conversation with a user in order to provide the response they seek.

Chatbots built with AI use machine learning to run a natural language processing program. These bots interpret patterns and make inferences rather than scanning for keywords. AI-based chatbots take time to set up as they must learn how to respond to your audience. These types of chatbots benefit companies with multi-lingual traffic and higher-level inquiries. They become smarter over time and will eventually be able to close up to 80% of customer interactions without human intervention. 

5 Tips for Smarter Chatbot Marketing

  1. Optimize For Conversions — Think of your chatbot as an extension of your leasing team. Your chatbot needs to be able to answer common questions and provide a path for users to self-schedule a tour after all of their questions have been answered.
  2. Promote Your Chatbot — Encourage engagement with your chatbot by promoting it organically. Mention it in blog posts, email newsletters, and with appropriate links on your website to initiate the conversation. 
  3. Set KPIs and Monitor Progress — Set goals for your chatbot such as, “increase response time on website” or “increase the number of self-scheduled tours by 20%”. Remember to regularly maintain your chatbot to ensure you’re making progress.
  4. Use Past Data to Improve Chatbot — After implementing your chatbot, analyze data collected from bot interactions to better support your users. Make meaningful updates based on the most frequently clicked topics and look at frequently received messages outside of automated workflows. 
  5. Collect Customer Feedback — In addition to helping users with their queries, a chatbot can be used to ask for feedback on your properties. Chatbots on a residents’ page, for example, may ask a question about their satisfaction with maintenance procedures.

Use Chatbots to Connect with Potential Renters

Multifamily properties continue to embrace new technology including AI and automation. By implementing AI-powered chatbot technology, properties may benefit from increased resident satisfaction and increased efficiencies in marketing and on site. Chatbots provide real-time answers to customer questions and allow prospects to schedule tours through community websites — pre-qualifying leads and streamlining the search experience. 

For more digital marketing trends to keep your eye on in 2020, download G5’s Multifamily State of the Industry Report.