Survey Builder

BetterUpdates — Add Surveys Within Your Bot With Survey Builder

Understanding precisely what your prospective residents are looking for is essential when working on your marketing strategy. With our latest feature, Survey Builder, communities can ask specific questions directly within the bot. Here’s the scoop.

Why use survey builder?

Survey builder allows each community to create a customized experience within the bot. Some typical questions that are asked include:

  • Do you have any pets? 
  • How many people are living in the unit? 
  • Do you require covered parking?
  • What amenities do you desire the most in your community?
  • Are you 55 and older? 

These questions can be in the form of multiple choice, short answer, or Yes/No. Once the user selects their preferences, you can understand better what is essential for the future resident and give the ability to display information that is best suited for their needs. 

How survey builder works

Users can log into their BetterBot dashboard and create surveys using the survey builder tab. They can make the most important questions to them all within a few clicks. Users will also find templates commonly used for inspiration within the survey builder. You can also select where the survey should be placed in the user flow. 

We know it’s crucial to have customizable capabilities depending on the community. Each property has different needs, so we continue to create features that will meet those demands. To find out what other customizations you can find within the bot, check out our BetterUpdates

Bots and humans

Why Bots Will Never Replace Humans

Given AI’s attention lately, it’s not surprising to see elevated levels of anxiety among employees and managers in multifamily. However, it’s essential to recognize that bots will never replace the human element — here’s why.

Bots Don’t Have Human Intelligence

AI bots are not approaching human intelligence. Currently, AI is nothing more than a collection of algorithms fed by large amounts of data and processed by powerful computers. That means that even the smartest AI cannot even come close to a human in natural language understanding. AI machines are incapable of common sense, flexible thinking, or empathy. General AI resembling what you see in movies is still not on the horizon as AI is in its infant stages.

Where Bots Win

AI bots will require a rethink of management practices in multifamily. Now that we concluded that AI is not as smart as humans, let’s also agree that AI is better than humans at certain tasks. Bots never get tired, can efficiently talk to multiple people at once, and crush repetitive tasks. The question becomes how to best structure this human and AI coexistence to allow humans to concentrate on higher-level tasks while the bots handle the mindless repetitive stuff. It can be a powerful combination.

Which Is Preferred?

AI is advancing quickly and will provide a competitive advantage for property management companies. Based on where we are today compared to just a few years ago, the progress in AI tools has been nothing short of staggering. Two parallel processes fuel this aggressive advancement. Improvement in AI technology and adoption by end users who have come to prefer interactions with bots vs. humans.

It’s important to start exploring solutions as soon as possible because finding the perfect human/bot balance can take time. However, when done correctly, AI bots can supercharge your organization and improve your interaction with future and current residents. And yes, humans are safe for now. To learn more about the progress of AI, check out how ChatGPT impacts the multifamily industry.

Multifamily Trends

Multifamily Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2023

As the multifamily industry continues to evolve, some practices are essential to keep top of mind. Looking forward to 2023, you may wonder what’s on the horizon. We’ve got you covered with the multifamily marketing trends to watch in the upcoming year.

Leasing Centralization 

More often, we see this idea of “leasing centralization.” According to Forbes, “Centralized leasing relates to any effort to move away from individual property-based leasing and operational teams and centralize them in one or multiple regional locations to improve efficiencies and cut down costs.” With the way our economy is currently trending, it is clear that companies are taking precautions to save wherever they can, which has made this idea so popular. This can be done successfully, granted the on-site team has the proper tools and support. 

Short-Form Video Marketing Efforts

In the past few years, content creation has become increasingly important. One trend occurring more is an increase in short-form video marketing efforts. 

“Short-form video content is one of the only tools that can positively impact the entire renter experience,” says Kristi Fickert, VP of Enterprise Growth at Realync. “One 60-second video can be used to get and keep the attention of distracted renters, can instantly improve the personalization of the brand, can be repurposed in paid ad and email and text campaigns so your communities are always top of mind, can alleviate staffing issues and instantly improve renter satisfaction. Unlike some marketing strategies, it can easily be measured, so you always know what’s working, what’s not, and what to create more of.”

Automation of the Prospect and Resident Journey

Of course, the switch to automation may seem daunting. However, embracing the shift is essential to take full advantage of it. Utilizing automation such as chatbots, follow-up processes, and lead nurturing are some trends we see more and more of. This trend is not meant to replace humans but to help them. This provides a great user experience for prospects and helps the teams save time, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks. Embracing automation is one thing your communities will want to begin doing in 2023 and moving forward. 

Again, we know that it can feel overwhelming to think about what’s to come in the year ahead, but it doesn’t have to be! You’ve already taken the first step by researching what trends to watch out for. Now it’s time to put these multifamily marketing trends into action. For more ideas on how to take your marketing to the next level, check out our article about 

FAQs-Bot-Performance

3 Reasons Why Utilizing FAQs Improves Bot Performance

FAQs, aka Frequently Asked Questions, are imperative to a successful bot performance. Addressing questions that are commonly asked in the early stages of the renter’s journey can make a significant difference. Furthermore, FAQs are something that can be utilized within your bot experience, at least when you use BetterBot’s automation solution. Here are three reasons why this feature is an important one to take advantage of.

Engagement

Engagement is the top reason why it’s so important to use FAQs. Having FAQs embedded within your bot experience naturally causes prospects to spend more time within the bot. The more time they spend, the more information prospects acquire. The more information they have, the more serious they will be when deciding. Engaging customers in the earliest stages is important because it can lead them through the decision-making process, which causes the most qualified leads to be pushed through to the community — and it all starts with engagement. 

Customer Satisfaction

Customers love information upfront. They don’t want to become a detective to find the necessary information. Most prospects want to find the preliminary information on their own rather than having to talk to someone. Taking advantage of FAQs within the chatbot experience allows customers to easily find answers to what they need, causing them to be more satisfied with the experience. 

Time-Saved

Taking advantage of an FAQ page reduces incoming questions, which saves your time valuable time and increases customer service. No longer is your leasing team answering the same question over and over. Instead, many prospective customers already have the answers before they even walk through the leasing office doors. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, FAQs help unqualified leads eliminate themselves, which means your team is also saving time by only working with the most serious prospects.

Ultimately, taking advantage of your property’s FAQ section can bring some amazing benefits. When FAQ sections are embedded within the bot it creates an even more seamless experience. Find out more about best practices and what other features can be embedded within your bot

ChatGPT

How ChatGPT May Impact The Multifamily Industry

Written By BetterBot CEO & Co-Founder, Zlatko Bogoevski

It’s undeniable that ChatGPT is one of the most exciting products to come out in at least the last decade. I can’t remember the last time technical and non-technical people alike had such enthusiasm for a new tech product. Over the last week, I’ve had numerous emails from friends and colleagues with AI-generated poems, stories, and artwork. The growth numbers are staggering, ChatGPT reached 1 million users in five days. That makes it the fastest growing product in history!

Since most people reaching out know that I’ve been in the AI space for quite some time now, they flooded me with questions, ranging from possible uses to ethical implications of such technology. Understandably, many questions were about the impact on multifamily and whether BetterBot plans to utilize ChatGPT

Intro to ChatGPT

Before I continue, here is a brief background on ChatGPT and how it came into existence. OpenAI created ChatGPT; OpenAI is an organization designed to advance humanity through the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence. OpenAI was founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, among others, who collectively pledged to donate 1 billion dollars to fund the organization. OpenAI has already received an investment of 10 billion dollars from Microsoft. The most successful OpenAI products to date have been DALL-E, GPT-2 and GPT-3, and now ChatGPT. 

ChatGPT is a significant leap forward when compared to other AI language models. It’s not surprising because it does utilize one of the most complex neural networks and it is trained on a very large data set that also includes existing software code. To make it even more effective it was fine tuned by humans in order to always give the best response possible. It mostly avoids shortcomings of previous AI models that quickly descended into R rated responses.

How will ChatGPT impact multifamily?

Be ready to see all sorts of ChatGPT enabled multifamily products in the next 18 months, especially better digital assistants and automatically generated advertising and marketing content. I predict that many  existing multifamily products will be scrambling to implement ChatGPT capabilities. I’m also anticipating new product ideas that don’t exist today and will be made possible with future advancements in AI language models. There will be opportunities for further automation and major cost savings for multifamily owners and managers.

However, as it is always the case with disruptive technologies we should expect some casualties. There will be a lot of pressure on legacy business models dependent on low skilled labor like call centers and non-tech savvy property management operators. 

Potential issues with ChatGPT in multifamily

One of the  primary concerns specific to multifamily is whether ChatGPT will expose property management companies and owners to legal liability. This type of technology will most certainly be tried and legislated in the coming years. How will it fit with the Fair Housing Act? How does it work in regulated segments like affordable, student, and senior housing? Will it fall victim to developing biases despite promised guardrails?  Many questions still need to be answered but I’m confident that there are ways to de-risk deployment for AI technologies. 

Ethical Considerations

We also have to ask ourselves how ethical it is to use a product like ChatGPT because, in essence, you can easily trick people into thinking that they’re communicating with another human. While AI can craft human-like responses, it’s important to remember that it does not possess empathy or human-like problem-solving abilities. We must consider that the legal climate around this question may change, as evident by the recent White House blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights. Similar laws are being crafted in Europe and elsewhere around the globe.

BetterBot and ChatGPT?

Here at BetterBot, we’re no strangers to this technology and GPT based models have been part of our AI engine for quite some time. ChatGPT will undoubtedly find a way into our product. BetterBot has a conversational platform that is architected to benefit from ChatGPT and other advancements in AI. 

As of this writing there is no commercial API available for ChatGPT so we can only assume what the commercial capabilities will be based on the consumer version. Price will certainly be a consideration and we don’t expect it to come cheaply given that the consumer version is currently $20/month. 

Since ChatGPT is not immune to the potential problems inherent in other AI language models we have to carefully consider how we deploy it. As BetterBot currently serves some of the biggest property management companies in multifamily, we have to make sure that the millions of people using our product to find their next home have a great experience. 

I wish I was in a position to share specific information as I’m just as excited as everyone else to see what the future holds. We truly live in exciting times. 

 

BetterBot-2022

An Inside Look at 2022 With BetterBot

It’s an understatement to say that 2022 exceeded our expectations. In the last year, we have worked tirelessly to create a product that serves the multifamily industry in a way no product has before. Here are some of the things we were able to accomplish in 2022 at BetterBot.

Q1

The most exciting part of the new year was that we reached an amazing milestone. We greeted our 100 millionth prospect during this time. This is significant because it shows how people gravitate towards chat and automation. During Q2 of 2021, we greeted our 50 millionth renter, meaning in less than a year, we reached another 50 million prospects. 

In addition to reaching this milestone, we launched our new calendar integration and team notification updates. This allows users to share information seamlessly and easily update their team. 

This season, we launched our first webinar series, Better Year, Better Marketing. This series of courses covered topics with several multifamily experts, including Trends and Best Practices for Self-Guided Tours, Automation Trends In Multifamily, Creating Moments for Virtual Engagement, and more. 

We also connected with some fantastic individuals at Multifamily Social Media Summit, where we partnered with some notable companies to host engaging events such as a wine tour and lobster boil. 

Q2

During Q2, we enhanced our product by launching our referral bot. This feature allows properties to share nearby communities they may also want to promote. It comes in handy when communities may be full, have income restrictions, or have differing floor plans. 

Throughout Q2, we had significant interactions with clients and prospective clients at TAA and NAA conferences. In addition to hosting some fun events with partners, we were able to have meaningful conversations with thought leaders in our industry that inspired us to make improvements throughout our product. 

Q3

We improved our multifamily chatbot user experience during the summer months by introducing invisible NLP into our lead nurturing product. NLP is also known as Natural Language Processing, which we have been intentional with when it comes to integrating it into our product.  Our goal is to ensure the best user experience, so we only use this method when it is guaranteed to work. 

In Q3, we expanded our partnership by working with Engrain to offer embedded site maps within the bot. This allows for a seamless experience for both prospects and site teams. 

Q3 also included our initiative to redefine automation and how it’s used in the multifamily industry. We aim to help educate the industry on how automation can work best for their business and shake up how it is viewed today. 

During this time, we hit another huge milestone. As we mentioned earlier, in Q1 we greeted our 100 millionth prospect, up from 50 million in 2021. Well, in September, we greeted another 50 million prospects…in just one day. That’s right. It practically broke the internet! 

Q4

The final months of the year had us out and about! We took over both Optech conferences and saw many friends, clients, and team members. We are grateful for this time to reconnect and share new industry insights. 

We also announced our latest partnerships. We shared that we are officially certified with RealPage as an AppPartner. We also became a preferred partner with Greystar. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with some fantastic companies. 

Plus, during Q4, we were able to continue enhancements to our products with the introduction of our office closed functionality and embedded reviews. These features allow even more customizations for the end user, enabling them to make it their own. 

Lastly, we sponsored and worked with some fantastic property management teams at their events throughout the year. We are grateful to have quality time with clients like Greystar, ZRS, Asset Living, Bell, and Lincoln. 

If 2022 has taught us anything, we can be open to new ideas and partnerships. We have rolled out exciting updates and products that we never dreamed of in the past. This past year brought us so much to be grateful for and has us excited for what 2022 will bring. If you’re wondering what lies ahead in 2022, check out our article on trends to watch for the year to come.

Reporting-Actionable-Insights

Does Your Reporting Lead To Actionable Insights?

As marketers, reporting is essential to the process — it’s the bread and butter. That’s why it’s critical to consider this question: is your reporting leading you to actionable insights? Looking at each tool’s reporting can help you decide on future budgets and procedures. Here are a few questions to consider when evaluating your reporting. 

How are you saving time? 

Figure out how your marketing tools are saving your team’s time. For instance, BetterBot’s Multifamily automation solution saves an average of 100+ hours (per property, each month), allowing team members to focus on more critical tasks. When your marketing tools help save your teams time, it’s also saving them money. Check out how your property is saving time through your reporting. It’s important to consider if your solution is to set appointments or nurture your traffic.

What is your lead volume? 

Knowing your lead volume can help you assess the next steps for your community. For instance, if your property is getting more leads than it can handle, it might be time to introduce some automation tools. How can you increase your traffic if your property isn’t seeing enough? If you are using bot technology, greetings are one of the first KPIs you will want to look at regarding your web traffic. This number tells you how many people your bot has, you guessed it, greeted! It’s essential to get a good gauge on what is the typical amount of traffic for your community. Then consider how many of those greetings are turning into actual leads for the community.

Conversion rates? 

The last reporting metric you want to hone in on is conversion rate. BetterBot’s NurtureSkill converts nearly 60% of leads into conversations. From those leads, 1 in 5 turns into an appointment. Once prospects have all the info, the serious ones will take the next step to visit the property. This is such a substantial number because it shows how many of those who contacted you are making an effort to visit your community. As marketers, it’s essential to focus on the leads coming in. It’s the property’s job to take it from there and convert those leads. If you notice that the leads setting appointments are not converting to leases, take the time to find out why. Is it that they aren’t qualified? Or does your team need additional sales training? Consider all of these when evaluating conversions.

There are specific KPIs your marketing solutions should be hitting in order to ensure they are successful. Take advantage of the reporting available to you through your providers. Of course, people don’t like to have their reporting all over the place. No one wants yet another dashboard to log into. However, it can prove a great way to double-check your data and access data you may not have been able to on other platforms. Consider if the data available to you through your reporting is leading you to actionable insights. If not, let’s take steps to fix that so that your marketing can be precisely where it needs to be. 

Recession-Proof-Marketing

Recession Proof Marketing

Many experts predict that a recession will be present in our economy over the next year. Marketing in times like these can sound tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. The multifamily industry is strong — people always need somewhere to live. There are some ways property management teams can continue to market throughout a recession while being sensitive to what others are going through. Here are some recession proof marketing tips teams can use to market successfully through a downturn. 

Focus on word-of-mouth marketing

These days, 65% of millennials are willing to pay more for good customer service. That being said, it’s one of the most important focuses your property can have. If your teams focus on making the experience smooth, word-of-mouth marketing comes quickly. Individuals are more likely to share what they experienced with others, and this can help your teams. Plus, you may be driving more traffic to your property with a higher emphasis on online reviews. 

Solve a problem

At first glance, the problem you are trying to solve may seem obvious. Of course, you’re trying to help people find where to live. Consider how you can take this thinking a step further. What are some ways you can work with prospective customers to solve a problem? Are customers struggling to find pet-friendly communities? Make sure this is clear in your advertising. Does your property offer concierge services? Figure out how you can leverage your marketing efforts to promote these features. When you solve a major issue, you have a higher chance of persuading potential residents to choose your community. 

ROI 

What return on investment is your property providing? If you can prove this, choosing your community will be a no-brainer. For instance, can you save your residents money with an on-site workout center? Does your community have a pet washing station? Can you save pet grooming expenses by offering a place to bathe their pets? Consider how their investment in your community will save them time and/or money. 

It’s essential to have empathy and understanding for residents during challenging times like a recession. Remember that word-of-mouth marketing is priceless. Be sure to help solve a problem and find out how you can help your residents save. Most importantly, you’ll want to help ensure your team has time for what’s important…being human

Types-of-Chatbots

4 Different Types of Chatbots Explained

According to IBM, over 265 billion customer service requests are put in each year, costing around a trillion dollars to resolve. And with more and more consumers choosing to do business online, that number is only expected to grow. Fortunately, as much as 80% of these requests can be taken care of without a CS rep – and that’s where chatbots come in. Today we’re going to take a quick look at the most common types of chatbots – and how they can elevate your customer engagement strategy

Why are chatbots effective? 

Before we get into the different types of chatbots, it’s important to understand why companies choose to leverage chatbots in the first place. From reducing the load on customer service-centric teams, to gathering valuable data, chatbots have quickly become a tour-de-force when it comes to improving the prospect journey. 

While you can find a chatbot for just about anything these days, most of the different types of chatbots you’ll find fall into one of four categories. 

4 different types of chatbots you’re likely to encounter

Guided conversation 

The most common types of chatbots are what we call “guided conversation”, or “rules-based”. Used in a variety of contexts, these chatbots lead users through scenario trees, offering them predetermined options to choose to help them complete simple service requests and get information. Think “Choose Your Own Adventure” but for finding an apartment. At BetterBot, this is the type of chatbot we use to help property managers turn prospects into renters!

AI/Natural language processing

Unlike guided conversation bots, “AI” bots utilize natural language processing (NLP) to guide users through human-like conversations. Instead of giving users a predefined set of options to choose from, NLP bots analyze user queries for keywords and phrases and then answer accordingly. The cons with this type of bot are that it’s much more expensive to create, requires a long training period before it can be active must be constantly updated and maintained, and often fails and gets confused.

Hybrid

As the functionality of Natural Language Processing can cause issues in the prospect’s experience due to misunderstood questions or responses, some brands utilize hybrid chatbots, which provide the capabilities of NLP combined with the effectiveness of Guided Conversation. While they mainly operate in a rules-based way, they also have a limited capacity to answer other queries through NLP. By introducing a text field many consumers enter questions the bot is not equipped to answer by introducing a text field many consumers enter questions the bot is not equipped to answer which confuses the bot.  See NLP bot above.

Voice-based

A newer type of chatbot we’re beginning to see emerge is based on voice-recognition technology. In 2020, 24% of American consumers owned a smart speaker, creating the opportunity for advanced companies to create more personalized chatbot experiences. While this is still an emerging category, it’s exciting to imagine the possibilities here. 

Check out which type of bot may be best for your business. In addition to these four main types, many users yield to live chat which can also be something to consider. We’ll break out those pros and cons for you in our resource about chatbots vs. live chat. Want to learn more about how chatbots can improve your customer service strategy? Explore the BetterBot blog for more! 

Embedded-Reviews

BetterBot Just Got Even Better With Embedded Reviews

As we continue to improve our product, we are excited to share a new feature that we’ve developed into the bot — embedded reviews! That’s one less place for prospects to exit the experience, keeping them on your site longer. Here’s how it works. 

When users select “reviews and ratings,” they will be prompted to view whichever review sites are turned on by the community. For instance, if that community turns on all review sites, they will see all the options available. If that property prefers to only have one, or none, of the options available, they can switch that setting in the BetterBot dashboard. 

As we mentioned, this feature allows for a seamless experience. The end user will now be able to find the most information directly within the bot without having to exit. These days, most individuals would consult a rating site before making a significant decision, such as where to live. That’s why it’s so important to divulge the most information possible. Displaying reviews also shows transparency on the property’s side. Now that this feature is embedded within the bot, users will be provided with more opportunities to stay within the bot, on your website, and engaged. Learn more about why online reviews are so important.

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