Get To Know BetterBot

Core tenants of the BetterBot product philosophy

With all the growth we’ve experienced over the last few years, we now find ourselves as one of the companies leading the AI automation charge in multifamily. While our company has changed in many ways, our primary product philosophy has remained unchanged, and we still use it as a guiding principle to decide what types of products we build. Furthermore, this guiding philosophy is a true differentiator between our competitors and us. To know BetterBot, you must first understand our core philosophy. 

Chatbots are here to stay

Approximately every decade, a new user interface revolutionizes how people interact with technology. This was the case with graphical user interfaces (GUIs), touch UI (iPhone), and voice (Alexa, Siri, etc.) Conversational AI chatbots held that promise when we first started, and now they are everywhere. Bank apps, airlines, insurance companies, and most other businesses we deal with now use chatbots as a primary tool for support. Why are chatbots so popular?

  • Human habits have changed, and people now demand meaningful answers immediately. Old-school solutions like call centers and live chat simply cannot deliver this level of service. 
  • Interactions have moved to mobile devices, and websites on mobile devices need help to deliver a good experience.
  • People prefer impersonal communication and don’t want to talk to people to get answers to transactional questions.

We build tools that serve their intended purpose

We are never satisfied with a product that works 85% of the time. We always strive to build a tool that works reliably on any given device 100% of the time. This has come at a cost because we have had products that wowed during scripted demos, and our customers would havebeen happy to try us. But we never compromised because deep down, we don’t want to build anything that has a degree of failure built in. This was the main reason why we moved to guided conversation technology. Even though we first had a full NLP bot with speech-to-text capabilities, we decided to scrap it and start from scratch. We were not satisfied knowing that some users would have a poor experience.

B2B vs. B2B2C

We are 100% a B2B2C company. Even though we directly sell to property management companies, the actual users of our product are the renters that use BetterBot to find their next home. That is why we are so obsessive about the experience that our end users will have when using our product. We always want to delight our end users, so we design everything pixel-perfect, use beautiful graphics and media and only let partners integrate with us if there are no compromises with the interface. We have iterated more times than I can count to minimize friction for our users to a point where they can use our product without typing on a mobile phone. Compared to other technology like websites and live chat, we were able to cut the time needed to get information by 50-75%.

Many other companies see themselves as B2B and mostly build features for the PMCs while completely ignoring the end users of the technology. The numbers don’t lie, which is why we significantly outperform head-to-head comparisons. Of course, we still take care of the PMCs, but we don’t compromise when it comes to the end users.

Automation is our core value proposition

Whatever we do has to have a measurable impact on the time saved for our PMC clients. We have seen firsthand that forcing leasing agents to spend time on menial, repetitive, mind-numbing tasks does not work well. Humans are waking up and demanding stimulating jobs that allow them to utilize skills that technology can’t replicate.

Saving time is the core of our value proposition, and everything we build must, in some way, savetime and, therefore, money. We will always look at activities to automate that allow the PMCs to operate 24/7. That is why we don’t primarily optimize for marketing KPIs like the number of leads and appointments with low show rates. We want to ensure we automate the work important to any given property. In a lease-up, we want to schedule as many appointments that show up, and in a fully leased property, we want to gracefully say there is no availability and put people on a waiting list. Many other solutions focus on increasing leads, phone calls, and the volume of work increases for leasing operations with little results. 

The role of AI

We don’t believe in using AI to mimic human conversation. Even though the technology we use lends itself to doing this, there are practical, ethical, and even legal considerations that we care about. We always want to be honest and let people know they are talking to a bot that is there to serve them. On the other hand, we believe that AI can perform a function as long as it’s not in contrast with our philosophy. We are very proud that we developed a unique approach to making AI invisible to the user while simultaneously improving our product’s performance.

When a chatbot mimics a human, it sets the wrong expectations for the user. The user thinks there is a human on the other end, which sets the conversation’s tone. People tend to share responses in multiple paragraphs long filled with personal information. This, in turn, overwhelms even the best AI and sets up the interaction for failure. Recent advances in AI notwithstanding, we are still talking about mathematical algorithms that use language models to   provide answers based on the quality of training data. If anything, all we have learned is how complex human conversation is. Conversation between humans relies heavily on nonverbal communication and, most importantly, empathy. Machines cannot replicate this. People don’t like to be duped unless they go to a magic show. How do you think someone feelswhen they find out they talked to a bot after sharing their most intimate details about their finances, health, and family? We see the notes that people leave and can say with 100% certainty people would not be sharing certain things if they knew there was nothing more than amathematical algorithm on the other side. Specific conversations have to remain between humans.

What does this say about us? 

Knowing our core philosophy shows what’s most important to us — people. We want leasing teams to be able to do their jobs efficiently, which is why we’ve created a product that helps save time. We want to serve prospects and residents in a way that’s convenient for them. Our purpose is to serve the multifamily industry in an invaluable way, and we will continue to enhance our product to do just that. 

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.

How Coastal Ridge’s Properties Saw An Extra 6 Leases Per Month

Almost 6 Leases/Property/Month!

Coastal Ridge dives into lease data around automation

Many in the Multifamily Industry are facing the same challenge right now: The labor shortage. More leasing professionals are leaving their properties than are coming in and replacing them is getting even more expensive…if you can find them.

One such company, Coastal Ridge, has been testing and deploying automation solutions to help during this labor shortage. The goal?  To give their leasing agents a better-quality work environment by reducing the volume of mundane, repetitive tasks they have to do on a daily basis and give them their time back.  But at what cost?  And is automation really working for them?

So Coastal Ridge did a deep dive into the data, and this is what they found using 36 of their properties over a period three months using just BetterBot’s web chat skill:

The following are averages per property per month…

2,260 – Number of renters greeted

174 – Unique renter conversations

340 – Total renter conversations

124 – Specific questions answered

14 – Virtual tours provided

29 – Conversational handoffs to the leasing team

19 – Appointments scheduled

5.8 – Leases that BetterBot helped facilitate

67 – Hours BetterBot’s web chat skill saved each property

$1200 – Money saved by deploying BetterBot’s web chat automation skill

And just for fun, when you add up all 36 properties for 3 months, Coastal Ridge saved 7,236 leasing team hours which equals $130,248 in cost savings. Was it worth it? “Absolutely,” says Megan Womick, Marketing Manager at Coastal Ridge. “We really do care about providing immediate service to our renters and reducing the workload for our leasing teams. Deploying this automation accomplished both.”

BetterBot Search

Cost of Onboarding a New Employee Vs. BetterBot

Property management businesses have a lot on their mind in 2022. From developing more innovative customer experiences to navigating changing regulations, there’s a lot for property managers and their teams to consider. Of course, an ever-present challenge continues to be cost of onboarding. If you can’t manage it, there’s no way you’ll be able to keep up with the pace of change. But with the right technology supporting you, it’s much easier to save in the long term. 

Exactly how much can the right tech investment save you? Today we’ll be taking a look at the cost of onboarding a new employee versus onboarding BetterBot. You’d be surprised to find that utilizing a digital leasing agent can help save you thousands of dollars. 

How BetterBot can help lower your operating costs

We all know that retaining your current employees is much more cost-effective than onboarding new ones. But if someone retires or resigns, you might think you have no choice but to add a new member to your team. The good news is, there’s another option. 

Before we get into the other option property management teams have, it’s helpful to break down just how much onboarding a new employee can cost. 

How much does it cost to onboard a new property manager?

Let’s start with salary: While property management salaries can vary wildly between different areas, the average leasing agent in the US makes around $18 an hour, which comes out to roughly 34k per year. But employees don’t just walk in the door with all the skills they need. Training costs can add up to a significant amount as well. The National Association for Talent Development found that the average cost of training a new employee will set a company back $1252. But suppose you’re a property management company paying both a trainer and that $18 average hourly wage to get your new employee up to speed. In that case, that cost will likely be significantly higher. 

And if you’re already facing rising costs, making that decision to onboard someone new can put a strain on your finances. This is where investing in the right technology can help keep those costs down. 

The cost of onboarding BetterBot

Onboarding with BetterBot is one-time, $150 fee. That’s it. Our team will even handle set-up for you. Plus, we’ll walk you through how to integrate our chatbot into your workflow and explain our extensive integrations. For about 3 hours’ worth of pay for one employee, you’ll have an intuitive property management chatbot that will leave no source untouched. 

At the end of the day, though, true cost-effectiveness isn’t just about saving money on onboarding expenses. 

Don’t forget time = money

It may be an old cliché, but every business knows there’s truth behind it. Time is money, and the more time you can save your teams, the more opportunities they’ll have to generate new business. In fact, on average, BetterBot saves properties 66.8 hours per property each month. At a minimum, that’s just over $1,200 that your team could be saving using BetterBot. Instead, properties could be spending a fraction of that cost by investing in automation.  

As we like to say, business hours are a thing of the past. Today, people expect excellent, informative customer service 24/7, 365. However, this excellent customer service doesn’t have to come from live human agents. Leasing automation can jump in and help. Most people are more than happy to speak with chatbots – granted, you’re not trying to masquerade your chatbot as a real person. 

If you can save your team, say, 10 hours a week of reaching out to and responding to leads, they can put those 10 hours into more valuable tasks – like following up with the most qualified leads. In turn, utilizing a digital leasing agent can help boost your closing ratio. And your team will be more than grateful to have all of those hours back. 

Maximizing value is all about making intelligent decisions. Don’t keep wasting funds that you don’t have. Invest in an automation solution that will have your team’s back and integrate into your tech stack. Learn more about how BetterBot can take your customer experience to the next level here

Boosted Their Leases Using BetterBot

How Morgan Properties Boosted Leases

Morgan Properties boosted leases by leveraging its Google My Business listings with links to Better Bot For Leads.

How does BetterBot for Leads boost leases?

BetterBot for Leads is the next iteration of BetterBot, helping apartment operators and their marketing teams improve performance by qualifying lead traffic.

Here, the bot immediately follows up with leads from marketing sources and can convert them effortlessly to tours. 

When someone finds a community on an ILS and decides they want to contact a community, they will be led to BetterBot, which utilizes Guided Conversation to guide the prospect through a text-based conversation process of setting an appointment and learning more about the community.

Results-driven platform

Kim Boland, Director of Digital Marketing, Morgan Properties, is using BetterBot for Leads at five pilot programs after rolling out BetterBot’s flagship solution, BetterBot for Web, to a majority of their properties. 

Boland posts BetterBot For Leads links on Morgan Properties’ Google My Business pages as well as ILS sites such as Zillow, RentPath, and Apartment List, and then has BetterBot nurture the email leads. She said Morgan Properties soon will use Better Bot on her Apartments.com listings as well.

Boland said with BetterBot’s Yardi integration, she has been able to track the originating source for the prospects that reach out to her properties much easier than with other solutions they have tested.

“BetterBot for Leads is definitely generating more appointment leads for us than any other avenue,” Boland said.

“We’re getting these better-qualified leads, but our leasing teams still need to close the deal. But just getting our online visitors to schedule an appointment is a huge step.

“If we can get the APIs that allow BetterBot to push our appointments directly to our CRM – third party to third party – eliminating the middle man, then that would be a huge game-changer for us.”

BetterBot For Leads works to determine which leads are most viable for the property and then funnels those leads to the community’s CRM for further action. 

Leads that are not qualified will funnel to a different channel to be handled as the leasing team sees fit. BetterBot For Leads means no more sifting through leads to find out which are going to take action. It does the hard work so onsite teams can focus on converting those qualified leads.

Why use BetterBot for Leads?

Renters want information 24/7/365. BetterBot for Leads works around the clock to ensure that no prospects are ignored.  

BetterBot manages leads from any marketing source and converts 3x faster than the standard ILS. It has demonstrated that nearly 37% of prospects become leads. 

Working onsite has become overwhelming lately. It’s understandable that team members would rather be working to establish relationships with prospects and residents alike, not spending all their time qualifying leads. That’s why BetterBot for Leads does all the heavy lifting by identifying which leads are most likely to turn into leases.

To learn more about BetterBot for Leads, click here!

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