The Basics: A Beginner’s Guide To Chatbots For Real Estate Agents

Introduction

As a real estate agent, the greatest challenge facing real estate agents is perhaps keeping in touch with customers and providing excellent personalized service to every customer. Sometimes, the demand of potential buyers constantly calling, texting, and emailing can make things feel complicated.

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You may find it challenging to keep up with scheduling viewings, greeting potential new customers, and answering questions from current ones. The thought of lost commissions may haunt you because you didn’t read that one text in time or missed an important call. Perhaps you have a recurrent dream about a multimillion-dollar sale that got away because you missed a call from that golden client. Stop panicking 😱

Here’s something that may be the answer to your real estate marketing nightmare: a real estate chatbot.

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Chatbots work 24/7 and they never get tired. You can off-load the repetitive tasks that infringe on your time. Delegating as many jobs as possible will allow you to focus on what makes you successful in the real estate business: building in-depth relationships with your clients.

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What Is A Real Estate Chatbot?

Just about everyone has had an interaction with a chatbot in one form or another. You’ve likely encountered those tiny windows that pop up on your screen when you visit a website that asks you “…do you have any questions” or “…what can I help you with?”, etc. Sometimes they’re simple options {tree structures} on one’s phone menu, but most have some level of AI so they can bring a little nuance to interpreting and answering questions.

A real estate chatbot is a conversational interface that allows users to interact with and automate finding properties, renting or selling their current property, etc. The user interacts with the chatbot through text-based conversations, where the bot responds with appropriate replies. A real estate chatbot is built specifically for real estate marketing challenges. They can carry on virtual conversations with leads and clients. They can collect information and figure out how best to help the customers.

Real estate agents respond to the high number of phone calls from prospective clients they receive daily by integrating chatbots into their marketing strategy. The chatbot’s primary goal is to provide clients with an efficient experience through text or voice messaging. It allows a real estate agent to connect with potential clients (homeowners and future homeowners) and current clients. A chatbot can provide quick answers to various service requests, including financial planning advice regarding mortgages, contracts, and open houses. It can even recommend local establishments of interest, such as providing names, and directions for restaurants, dry cleaners, and even the best hiking trails.

What Can Chatbots Do For Real Estate Agents?

Why do I need one?

There are so many options for real estate chatbot software. If you’re a real estate agent, you know how important it is to be available 24/7. But the truth is that no one can do this. Real estate agents are human, and they need sleep. One of the main things chatbots accomplish is being available at all hours of the day and night, especially when you’re resting up for the next day’s challenges. Any time you can’t respond, you risk losing a client. So often, customers who don’t get a response move on to the next agent. A chatbot can be your eyes, ears, hands, and feet when you’re not available to help a potential client. For example:

Chatbots can:

  • Answer customer questions even when you’re busy.
  • Collect vital customer contact details and other information.
  • Save data in a customer relationship management (CRM) database.
  • Promote rental and sales listings.
  • Discourage internet users from leaving your site. You put a lot of effort into getting them there in the first place, and a chatbot can help keep them engaged.
  • Qualify leads.
  • Screen out prospects who aren’t a good fit for what you have to offer.
  • Ask users what types of property they’re interested in and present relevant listings.
  • Customer follow-up.
  • Schedule meetings and tours.
  • Save conversation details in an archive to facilitate your follow-up
  • Alert you that it’s an excellent time to join the conversation if you’re available.
  • Ask if the customer is open to receiving information by email or text.
  • Fill out forms. A bot can help a customer by prompting the correct information that answers the form’s questions. They don’t have to fill in any form data by hand, which is especially useful when filling out a multi-page document.
  • Connect with younger customers. Many people prefer online chatting to phone conversations, and they’re becoming a more important segment of real estate buyers every year.

These tasks are essential, but they don’t necessarily require your expertise as a real estate agent. Your chatbot may become your hardest-working assistant for taking care of these details, giving you the freedom you’ve been looking for.

Getting Started with Chatbots

Real estate agents are taking advantage of recent technology trends in their industry to provide a better customer experience.

A chatbot is a computer program that mimics human conversation and uses natural language processing (NLP) to interact with humans. Chatbots can accomplish various tasks, including automatic customer support, marketing products, or entertaining people with funny responses. If you’re as pressed for time as most agents, you’re probably ready to start using chatbots today.

However, before you put the first smiling chatbot on your website, there are a few decisions you have to make. The most common forms of chatbots are Facebook Messenger bots, computer-based customer service agents, and virtual assistants.

What platform should you choose?

The two most common places real estate agents deploy their chatbots are on their websites and Facebook. If you are active on Facebook, you might want to use the platform’s chatbot facilities.

A Website

Website — Real estate agents can deploy their chatbots on their websites.

Creating a quick and easy chatbot for your company’s website is easier than ever, thanks to ManyChat. It only takes minutes to get set up with step-by-step instructions on their website that are so easy that even a newbie can understand them!

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Once you’ve added ManyChat to your site, you can let it do most of the work for you — creating leads, growing your email list, and keeping in touch with customers through real-time messaging!

Social Media

Social Media — Real estate agents can deploy their chatbots on Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and even Instagram.

Facebook Messenger’s API has instructions on how your business can configure a bot to answer specific questions relating to real estate. There’s also the option of dishing out informative content in the form of links or images (e.g., “click through to see another photo” or “click to arrange a private showing”) and even dynamic updates from other users on the page itself.

ManyChat is arguably one of the most advanced chatbot platforms on the web, with a strong focus on easing customers into conversations by “encouraging” them through CTAs to click over for more information.

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​Through rich media messages such as tailored photos and videos, you can quickly draw attention and keep people engaged with content flowing through ManyChat all on its own!

This system is particularly effective when customers are waiting in line at businesses’ outlets — they’re more than likely looking down at their phones, so opting in to receive notifications via social media will undoubtedly get them engaging sooner rather than later!

Although not social media, you can also design a ManyChat chatbot to send automated emails, and SMS text messages — effective ways for connecting with clients and potential clients, as well.

Which software should you choose?

You can put together a simple real estate chatbot with ManyChat or other chatbot software if you want to get up and running with minimum expense. If your website is WordPress, there are plenty of free plug-ins to get you going.

There are plenty of ways you can implement chatbots on your website. However, suppose you want something particularly custom. In that case, it might take a bit more customization to do so and possibly an investment in a special chatbot building software like ManyChat or their integration partners!

However, the more sophisticated chatbot solutions come with a price tag. These have more robust AI and will integrate with customer databases and lead generation sites. The cost is not huge, anywhere from $100 to a few hundred per month. Not a bad deal for a virtual assistant that works 700+ hours a month!

There are products such as Structurely and Brivity built specifically for the real estate industry. However, products such as ManyChat, and MobileMonkey, are more robust. They each support webchats, Facebook Messenger, and text messaging. ManyChat is an excellent option if you have a lot of Instagram followers and want to use the power of Direct Messaging to reach your followers. Even though the ManyChat software is not designed explicitly for the real estate industry.

​You may find that ManyChat‘s flexibility makes it a perfect fit for your real estate business, especially for the busy real estate agent. Another example of a “Specialty Bot” is ReadyChat, which focuses on lead qualification. Curious for more, well, a casual internet search will turn up dozens of chatbot solutions, each with advantages and disadvantages. that might work well for you and your real estate business.

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Tips for Real Estate Agents New To Chatbots

Whatever solution you choose, remember that the chatbot is an assistant that works for you and supports your business. It’s important not to get sucked in by the technology and do flashy things with the bot just because you can. Here are a few pointers.

  • Don’t overload new prospects with questions. Figure out what they’re looking for and answer a few of their questions first.
  • Configure appropriately for the platform. People on your website usually know more about you, and their questions are different from those coming from Facebook.
  • Identify the FAQs and make it a priority to have answers for those.
  • Humanize your bot a little, and maybe even give it a name. But don’t try to hide the fact that it’s a chatbot. That’s a sure way to upset people.
  • Write a catchy opening message.
  • Add some visual components such as images and emojis🎆🎈🎊.
  • Include a call to action. Invite the client to leave contact information, schedule a meeting, or look at property descriptions.
  • From time to time, test it yourself. Put yourself in the customer’s “shoes” and go through the experience to see if it feels like a natural conversation or not.

Wrapping Things Up

There are many ways chatbots can work with your real estate business. Chatbots (Artificial Intelligence) can better navigate the complexities of real estate business operations and improve efficiency all around. As we mentioned earlier, a chatbot can be your 24/7 “Go-To,” “Can’t live without” assistant.

Perhaps most important, be aware of a chatbot’s limitations. Even though people want answers right this minute, many resent non-human interactions. Ensure they have a way to contact you by some other method. However, don’t let that scare you away from a breakthrough. Without a chatbot, it may continue to be a tall task to keep on top of everything.

Chatbots have many uses in the realm of technology. Those who plan to implement these technological tools into their business will most likely find them helpful with increased sales, effective delivery, and an improvement in their customer service experience!

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