As a Real Estate Agent, Are Chatbots Worth My Time?

As a Real Estate Agent, Are Chatbots Worth My Time?

 

As a Real Estate Agent, Are Chatbots Worth My Time?

Chatbots have been around for decades, but lately, they’ve been the talk of the technology town. Everyone from the CEO of Meta® (Facebook®) to the team at Microsoft® is working on making chatbot technology even better. 

Yes, chatbots dominate the marketing industry, and there’s a good reason. They offer a way to optimize and personalize your marketing efforts and save you time, energy, and money. 

Some might say, “real estate agents have it hard.” They must deal with stiff competition, simultaneously manage multiple clients, and deal with life-changing responsibilities. I believe they need all the help they can get. 

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Can chatbots help them? In this article, I will explain what chatbots are, the benefits they bring to both the agent and the client, and why real estate agents should care about chatbots and their benefits to the industry. 

Chatbots have the potential to make our lives much easier, but are they worth all the hype? Read on to find out!

Understanding Chatbots

First, you must understand that talking to a chatbot will generate a response using natural language processing (NLP), which means that the chatbot can understand your commands and respond in a way that is natural for you. 

Also, you should know that chatbots were created a long time ago, and since their creation, they have been used to help people with various tasks such as ordering a meal, finding movie times, etc. Fast-forward to the advent of personal assistants such as Siri®, Cortana®, and Alexa®, and sub sequentially the “chatbot” increases in popularity.

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What Are Chatbots?

Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation; they are like digital assistants and can be deployed in various ways, including on websites, in apps, or through messaging platforms. They are commonly used in online customer service to answer simple questions or perform basic tasks. Chatbots can also be engaged to perform more complex tasks, such as scheduling a home tour or booking a homeowner counseling session. 

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More and more businesses are using chatbots to improve customer service. In the real estate industry, chatbots are helpful tools that engage potential homebuyers online and provide them with the necessary information. 

Chatbots are becoming increasingly important in many industries, providing a valuable service to businesses and customers. From improving customer service to engaging potential homebuyers online, chatbots play an increasingly important role in the real estate industry.

How do chatbots work?

A well-designed chatbot mimics human conversation using natural language processing (NLP). NLP allows a chatbot to understand human input and respond in a way that is natural for humans. A primary goal of a chatbot is to facilitate more effortless conversations between people communicating with businesses and other organizations by automating specific tasks, such as customer service or sales.

Chatbots extract small pieces of information from a user, such as a user’s name, location, or topic of conversation; they then use this information to generate a response, typically a question or a statement. The chatbot then analyses the user’s response, scans its pre-defined rules database, and decides what to do next. This process continues until the conversation comes to an end.

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Chatbots can be either Rule-based or AI-based.

Rule-based chatbots 

Follow a set of rules that the developer defines. A chatbot often returns a generic reply if it can’t find a matching response. In contrast,

AI-based chatbots 

Use artificial intelligence to learn from past conversations and generate responses. The more and more chatbots are used, the better they get at simulating human conversation.

Chatbots are constantly learning and improving their ability to understand and respond to user input.

What are the benefits of chatbots for real estate agents?

Real estate agents are busy people, with agents often working 12 hours or more a day, and making time to call, text, or email their clients through regular networks can be time-consuming and tedious. Chatbots are always connected to the internet. That means they always have time to talk to you. A chatbot allows real estate agents to converse with their clients while asleep at night, and it’s a great time-saver, allowing agents to focus on personal, high-touch tasks, spending less time answering questions that a chatbot can quickly resolve.

 
Chatbots can be extremely helpful for real estate agents because they give them the ability to have a full-time assistant for a fraction of the price. Chatbots can schedule appointments for an agent, and even help a real estate firm stay top-of-mind with your past, present, and future clients.

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Chatbots are an excellent way for real estate agents to interact with more customers and respond faster to inquiries. While chatbots are designed to be automated, they don’t make the mistake of being impersonal! A chatbot can be programmed to ask for your preferences and details about your needs and provide the exact information you requested.

 
Chatbots have many more benefits, but one of the most important is that they are used to help millions of people who use them daily. Suppose you’re planning to implement chatbots into your marketing strategy today. In that case, you’re just in time – according to a recent Juniper Research study, “…the total number of chatbot messaging apps accessed globally will increase from 3.5 billion in 2022 to 9.5 billion by 2026.”

Chatbots are starting to be used more and more in the real estate industry, and it’s hard not to see why.

Are there any downsides to using chatbots?

Depending on the specific use case, chatbots may have some downsides. However, chatbots and AI technology can be excellent solutions for instant customer support, but they have some downsides that may affect your real estate clientele. 

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That’s why it’s essential to prepare for when a chatbot needs to be corrected, and it’s vital to have a Standard Operating Procedure or Policy in place so that you know how you’re going to proceed in the instances where a human needs to step in. And don’t forget the “Golden Rule” and thoroughness – two great ways to deal with miscommunication issues. 

While there is still much room for improvement and growth, chatbots are becoming more and more accurate at dealing with customer complaints and requests. Many real estate agents have already implemented chatbots on their websites. ​Using a chatbot on your website will give you an advantage compared to your competitors, and chatbots can significantly support your real estate clientele and increase their trust in your brand.

How much time do chatbots save?

Chatbots can save you time by automating express tasks.

Chatbots can automate specific tasks, such as data entry or customer service. They can also help you with research and planning. Chatbots can reduce the amount of time you spend on administrative work.

 
“…64% of agents with AI chatbots can spend most of their time solving complex problems, versus 50% of agents without AI chatbots,” according to Salesforce.

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Additionally, people spend less time waiting on hold or scheduling conflicts, and they get to interact with someone who can work to resolve their particular concerns at the specific moment that fits their schedule.

Overall, they can save you time by manually taking some of the work that a real estate agent would otherwise perform.

How Have Chatbots Been Used?

If we look at the history of chatbots, we will discover that chatbots have been around for a long time. The esteemed MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum developed ELIZA, the first chatbot in the 1960s. In the internet’s early days, chatbots gave people simple responses. 

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Today’s chatbots are focusing more and more on informal communication and “smart” answers, using AI technology to create a more realistic environment.

 
A real estate chatbot can fit into many categories, such as:

Email Chatbots, Social Media Chatbots, Website Chatbots, and Messenger Chatbots. As an example – 

A real estate chatbot could:

  • Show an agent’s Active or featured listings,
  • Show an agent’s Open Houses, or
  • Give access to all available properties,
  • Spotlight special features,
  • Provide a method to reach the listing agent directly, as well as
  • A follow-up sequence for any customer that interacts with the chatbot. 

Are chatbots worth the investment for a real estate agent?

Chatbots are little digital helpers that can make a big difference for real estate agents. They can provide automated responses to routine questions, help with lead capture, and streamline the process of selling a property. Some chatbots may even handle more complex tasks that typically require human involvement, such as arranging appointments for home showings. 

There is still some debate about whether chatbots are worth the investment for real estate agents. Hesitant agents may change their minds after reading a recent report from Juniper Research “…has found that the adoption of chatbots across the retail, banking and healthcare sectors will realize business cost savings of $11 billion annually by 2023, up from an estimated $6 billion in 2018.”

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Chatbots can be a valuable addition to your real estate business. They can help you automate repetitive tasks, freeing your time to focus on more critical responsibilities. They can also help you build relationships with potential clients. Chatbots seem to be gaining popularity and may offer advantages over traditional customer service methods.

If you’re considering investing in a chatbot for your real estate business, it’s essential to research and choose a reputable chatbot provider. We recommend the School of Bots, and the folks over at Codeless Bot provide fantastic tools. You’ll also want to ensure that your chatbot is integrated correctly with your website and whatever CRM system you use.

How much does a chatbot cost?

The cost of chatbots can vary widely, so don’t expect to find a set price tag. Instead, you can expect to see an approximate price range that can give you a good idea of how much you might need to spend. Because…the cost of a chatbot depends on a few different factors. 

The chatbot type, its functionalities, and what software you want it to integrate with can affect the overall cost of a chatbot. Other factors play a role in the price, such as who builds and maintains it.

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For example, are you planning to hire an agency or a freelancer, or are you planning to build it yourself? Each option will come with a different price tag. And the two most significant cost factors are what you want your chatbot to do and who builds and maintains it. The estimated price range for a high-quality chatbot ranges between $2,500 – $150,000.

Of course, this is just a broad overview. Remember that the final cost will depend on the features and functionality you need for your real estate chatbot.

Pro Tip: If you’re considering a DIY solution – Do NOT underestimate the value of your time!

Is There a Need for Better Chatbots?

Yes, there is a need for better chatbots, and chatbots have a lot of room for improvement. However, they have many benefits.  

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML) applications, chatbots, and mobile messaging, up from 15% in 2018. Chatbots are an enormous competitive advantage for real estate companies willing to invest in chatbots to streamline their communication process and take advantage of this convenience!

As we’ve mentioned, chatbots can help us save time by answering questions quickly. They can also help us reduce stress by providing information in a fun and entertaining way. 

Busy Real Estate Agent - Chatbot Blog Post Image

For example, Michael Brannon, a real estate agent serving the Dumfries, Virginia, area, is using his chatbot as a way for new buyers to find houses and view features of available homes. It also has the ability where a potential buyer can quickly request to view a home. 

I’m sure you’ve heard that real estate is about relationships and that building better relationship is critical to successful real estate business. Conversational messaging is about building better conversations with your customers, which is vital to successfully using chatbots. 

One more important thing you need to understand is that chatbot technology is evolving and becoming more sophisticated by the day. And as chatbots become more sophisticated, they also become more expensive.

Conclusion

Chatbots are becoming more and more advanced every day, and it’s exciting to think about all the ways chatbots will be able to help people in the future. With their constant development, it seems like there’s no limit to what they’ll be able to do. Many real estate agents are already reaping the benefits of chatbots, and as a result, they are becoming more efficient and effective.

I understand that using chatbots can be overwhelming, and some real estate agents may resist change. However, creative real estate agents who are looking for a competitive edge are usually the ones who are willing to take a chance, especially solo agents and small teams. 

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With a user-friendly chatbot software like ManyChat, the implementation process is straightforward and customizable, and you’ll be able to give your clients the best possible experience. Their website is easy to use and provides a straightforward solution for your chatbot marketing needs. And don’t forget to follow our blog for more fascinating and valuable articles about chatbots.

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