Referral-Bot

Announcing Multifamily’s First and Only Referral Bot

Today BetterBot launched its new and improved Referral Bot. Property owners and management companies can now group nearby sister properties on one bot solution. When a prospective renter enters their ideal move-in date, the number of bedrooms, and budget, BetterBot’s Referral bot searches for availability in the primary apartment community and all nearby apartment communities of the management company’s choosing.

“Our commitment is to replicate every property’s best leasing agent,” said Robert Turnbull, BetterBot co-founder. “And every good leasing agent is going to refer a prospective renter to a sister property in the event their community doesn’t have what the prospect is looking for, but their sister property does.”

What Is the Referral Bot? 

The Referral bot can be used in both BetterBot’s Chat skill and Lead Nurture skill because BetterBot’s Chat skill can be deployed anywhere on the Internet. This includes your property website, Yelp, Google My Business, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

3 Ways Referral Bot Helps

Drives Interest Anywhere, Any Time

Referral bot helps drive interest to sister properties even when not used on your property website. BetterBot’s Lead/Nurture skill helps convert one lead for one of your properties into one lead for all your nearby properties. So now your ILS leads are even more valuable.

Manages Property Demand

If your communities are at capacity, the referral bot jumps in and directs that traffic to your communities that have open availability. It manages the demand for your properties so that they can save time and focus on more critical tasks.

User-Friendly Experience

The referral bot offers a user-friendly interface that allows for a seamless experience—no jumping from one place to another for information. Every piece of information is shared right within the bot so that the user is most likely to engage. Take BetterBot’s Referral bot for a spin to see how it can save your team’s time and why BetterBot is…well…better.

BetterBot-Calendar-Notifications-Updates

Better Updates — Calendar Integrations + Team Notification Updates

At BetterBot, we are constantly working to improve our product offerings. We want our clients and users to have the best experience possible. That’s why we are introducing two unique new features. First, BetterBot has an updated integration with Outlook and Google calendars. Second, BetterBot has updated prospect and leasing team notifications. Let’s dive into how each of these new features works. 

Integration with Outlook and Google Calendars

With this new feature, teams can connect one central calendar to BetterBot, and the bot will read and write to that specific calendar. If the onsite team uses Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar, the bot will share information with that calendar. This allows leasing teams to consolidate their information to one calendar instead of toggling between different tools. 

Prospect and Leasing Team Notifications 

With this updated dashboard configuration, BetterBot will notify the leasing teams when a prospect indicates that they would like to be contacted, has made an appointment, requests a brochure, or is notified of unit availability. These notifications can be enabled or disabled for leasing teams and/or prospects. For example, if the team uses an API integration to CRM, they most likely have automation in place to send to prospects. These notifications can happen in a few different ways, including: 

  • Visual Lead Card
  • Visual Lead Card – Availability Notification
  • Visual Appointment Card
  • Visual Appointment Email to Prospect 
  • Visual Cancellation Email
  • Visual Brochure Email

In conclusion, BetterBot is constantly working to ensure that property management teams have a positive user experience. Our goal is to help teams save time while boosting leases. To learn more about BetterBot’s product developments, click here

Solving The Onsite Labor Shortages In Multifamily Through Technology

Unplugged Thoughts of a PropTech CEO With Zlatko Bogoevski

Onsite staff challenges are nothing new in the multifamily industry. You don’t need to look any further than NMHC statistics pegging the onsite staffing turnover rate at over 50%. It can be extremely difficult to operate efficiently while constantly hiring and training new employees. Make no mistake; your renters can feel the difference.

As if this was not bad enough, we now see historically high labor shortages, especially in low-skill positions paying less than $20 per hour. 

Let’s look at the factors that are causing this situation and how to best mitigate it. 
There is a general labor shortage in the US, and while this is a complicated issue, it comes down to a couple of big things happening concurrently. Due to Covid, immigration in the US was virtually stopped for two years. We have a large number of people retiring without a replacement. In 2021 we saw the “big quit” with over 20% of all employees quitting their jobs to presumably find better jobs.

Property management is very competitive in the US, and we are seeing fees generally going down due to this fact. You have probably seen a lot of consolidation in the last 12 months to mitigate this pressure. This also means that with budgets the way they are now, there isn’t a lot of room for increasing salaries for employees.

Leasing jobs are generally difficult and usually exclude people who want to work remotely. This is especially tricky in expensive urban centers that have to hire talent residing within a commuting distance. Therefore many see these jobs as a stepping stone to better positions in other industries and not a stepping stone to a career in property management.

With the current economic and political climate, I don’t see this problem going away any time soon. It’s time for property managers to embrace automation whenever possible or they risk alienating prospective and current renters due to poor service. Luckily there have been huge advances in technology that now allow property managers to easily automate repetitive tasks that were traditionally handed off to humans in the leasing office. This, in turn, elevates the value of the staff and the ability of PMCs to offer more competitive pay and even the option for flex schedules and remote work. Waiting to return “back to normal” is no longer an acceptable option.

BetterBot Greets Over 100 Million Prospective Renters

Engagement with customers has become an essential KPI for the Multifamily industry. So much so that teams are overwhelmed with the number of individuals they converse with daily. 

To help teams save time and continue to engage with their customers, BetterBot was created. BetterBot strives to help on-site teams with menial tasks to have more time for more complex projects and responsibilities. 

Over its lifetime, BetterBot has continued to take on more traffic each year and has greeted over 100 million customers. In addition to assisting customers at such a high volume, they have also saved leasing offices over 2 million hours.

“I still remember when BetterBot greeted its very first renter back in 2018,” said Robert Turnbull, President & Founder of BetterBot. “To hit the 100 million mark is beyond comprehension. To put that in perspective, there are 560 stadiums in the world that seat between 40,000 and 130,000 people totaling 31 million in all. BetterBot has greeted more than 3x that number to date.”

“By incorporating BetterBot into our marketing strategy, we were able to fill the gap between our website and call centers to provide prospects with quick answers and the ability to schedule tours when they want without taking our team members’ time and resources,” says Sierra Berg, Marketing Manager at Pillar Properties.

BetterBot’s goal is to engage with customers and find the most qualified leads. The leads, most likely to convert, will be passed along to the leasing office to connect with those prospective customers that are most serious about moving in. 

Ryan Perez, Vice President of Marketing & Education at LURIN, mentions, “Until now, the lead response has continued to be very challenging. The property staff either spends a lot of time manually responding to every lead, they don’t respond at all, or we send auto-responses back to the prospective renter. None of these ‘solutions’ are good ones. Now we have BetterBot.”

BetterBot’s business has continued to grow over the last year, with new products and services regularly thrown into the mix. They are multifamily’s #1 automation platform by creating technology that makes life easier. 

The core product that BetterBot offers, BetterBot for Web, is a chatbot feature that continues to perfect Guided Conversations to keep tours coming. It also provides leasing teams with real-time visibility and insight into prospects to offer a more personalized experience for each future renter. 

Leads can now be handled seamlessly using BetterBot’s new skill, BetterBot for Leads. The bot engages with leads through whatever channels they are coming from and continues the conversation. It collects answers to prospects’ questions in real-time without taking the time of the leasing staff to handle menial tasks. 

Mike Wolber, Chief Revenue Officer at Rent Dynamics, shares, “We are thrilled to be able to recommend BetterBot as a partner of ours, knowing that it helps our clients accelerate their leasing velocity. In partnership with BetterBot, we offer an effortless user experience for prospects on the front end and seamless integration with our CRM system on the backend, so site teams are able to quickly follow up with those prospects. We look forward to continuing to help even more multifamily businesses in partnership together!” 

BetterBot provides high-value conversations with leasing teams in mind. It is the leasing agent that never sleeps and engages prospects and residents alike to help them find the information they need wherever, and whenever they need it. To learn more about BetterBot, go to BetterBot.com

BetterBot Makes List Of Top Places To Work

Multifamily Leadership recognizes BetterBot as one of the Top 50 Best Places to Work Multifamily®

Atlanta, GA – 12/09/2021 BetterBot has ranked #2 in the nationwide Top 50 Best Places to Work Multifamily®. The annual list of “Best Places to Work Multifamily®” is published by Multifamily Leadership.

The Top 50 companies found out how they ranked at the Multifamily Awards show on December 8, 2021, which was broadcast live and could be viewed for free anywhere in the world.

The Multifamily Industry, serving apartments and their residents, contributes more than $3.4 trillion to the economy annually, supporting more than 17.5 million jobs. Not only do apartment homes drive jobs that strengthen local communities, individuals and families realize the value of renting as a smart choice in today’s economy.

As CEOs and executive teams create culture and innovation around the resident experience, employee engagement is seen as a key driver to meet multiple challenges. The Best Places to Work Multifamily® program recognizes those companies who have established and consistently foster outstanding workplace environments. 

The rigorous assessment process evaluated each company’s employee policies and procedures as well as responses from the company’s employees. The program is part of a long-term initiative to encourage growth and excellence throughout the Multifamily Apartment Industry and to attract new leaders to the industry.

If you want to know if it’s a great place to work, you ask the people who work there. Patrick Antrim, Founder and CEO of Multifamily Leadership says, “Employee engagement is actually a much more powerful indicator of organizational success than the size of the company, as employee engagement is tied to behavior and higher performance.”  

The program also helps companies who want to improve their business. The “Insights Report” is presented to each participating company, even if it did not make the list. The report summarizes employee engagement and satisfaction data, the “Multifamily Leadership Benchmark Report,” and the transcript of employee written comments. The report is used by many organizations to make significant improvements in their workplace culture. 

Antrim further states, “Next generation leaders want to know their company is making a positive impact on the world. They want to know the vision and mission of the organization and that the leaders of the organization are going to drive that mission and vision. This is becoming increasingly more important as society is asking businesses to play a bigger role. The Best Places to Work Multifamily® companies have stepped up to play that role and will have a much bigger voice in the future.”

For more information about, and to register for, the “Best Places to Work Multifamily®” program, go to www.multifamilyleadership.com.

Media Contact: 

Trevor Park

BetterBot, Head of Marketing

trevor@betterbot.com

New Feature Alert – BetterBot Calendar

At BetterBot, we are always looking for ways to improve and save our clients time. We are excited to announce our latest feature that does exactly that! Introducing the BetterBot Calendar. Here are a few things you can do with this new feature:

  • See scheduled appointments
  • Block out time
  • Sort by appointment type
  • Hidden superpower

See Scheduled Appointments 

No need to jump from one platform to another. Now you can do everything right within the BetterBot dashboard. You can take a look at what appointments have been scheduled for the day and even find the contact information for those prospects, allowing for easy follow-up. 

Block Out Time

Working around lunch breaks and team meetings is no longer an issue! Block out time on the calendar and the bot will intuitively schedule appointments around those time blocks. This feature is easy to update so if there is a schedule change it just takes a couple of clicks to change.  

Sort By Appointment Type

BetterBot can set intelligent appointment types meaning, the bot can schedule an array of different types of tours. For example, users have the option to schedule an in-person, phone, self-guided, or live video tour. With the new BetterBot calendar, users can see what types of appointments are set for the day and prepare accordingly.

Hidden Superpower

The calendar function has a hidden superpower. The reason it’s “hidden” is because it’s working in the backend even if you don’t see it. BetterBot’s calendar is ubiquitous meaning, it can not only read other calendars but can also pass along information. The calendar reads and passes info on to other calendars such as Yardi, Entrata, RentDynamics, and many more. It’s the calendar that helps manage everyone else’s calendar.

BetterBot is proud to constantly be expanding and improving. Keep an eye out for more updates and in the meantime, check out what our bot can do HERE

Ways to Maximize Your Time at Optech 2021

Our team is incredibly excited to be attending the Optech conference in beautiful National Harbor, MD. This conference is an amazing opportunity to learn, make connections, and discover new tools. Although it can be such a valuable time, we know how chaotic conferences can be. This is why it’s essential to have a plan. We’ve put together a few ways you can maximize your experience at #Optech2021. 

Schedule Your Sessions Ahead Of Time

Take a look at the Optech agenda beforehand. This will help you identify which sessions are most important for you and your business. There typically are multiple sessions happening at once and there are certain topics you may find more pertinent than others. Highlight the ones you are most interested and if your team is with you, you can divide and conquer the most interesting topics. 

Map Out Your Expo Route

The expo can be one of the most fun parts of any conference. This provides an opportunity to connect with peers and vendors from all over. However, we know it can get overwhelming. Take a look at the event map before you go so you don’t miss anything. Be sure to take a moment to stop by the BetterBot booth (#733) for a chance to win a special prize. There are over 100 vendors planning to be at Optech 2021, so you’ll want to know ahead of time which booths you want to visit. 

Plan Your Event Schedule 

Before a conference like Optech, your inbox may be flooded with event invites. Don’t panic! Plan your event schedule ahead of time and write it down in a place you will refer back to. Many events require planning ahead of time so it is helpful when you can RSVP ahead of time. For example, BetterBot will be hosting a big event at the Capital Wheel and although this event is open to Optech attendees, you will need to RSVP beforehand. If you haven’t already secured your spot, you can do so HERE

Conferences don’t have to be overwhelming. They can be so valuable when they are maximized by attendees. It’s important to implement these tips when attending conferences so that you get the most out of your conference. We hope to see you at Optech 2021! Again, if you haven’t submitted your RSVP to our event, please do so HERE

5 Key Trends in Affordable Housing That Are Shaping the Future of the Industry

It’s an unfortunate fact that the affordable crisis has been an ongoing one, and in many ways, the pandemic has only exaggerated it. As such, we’ve seen increasing calls over the past few years for creativity and innovation when it comes to the future of the industry. And while states continue to struggle to fully meet their affordable housing needs, shifting expectations around what it means to create and rent out safe, quality spaces are encouraging the industry to move forward in exciting ways. Here are just a few emerging trends in affordable housing we think will play an important role in shaping the next few years – and beyond. 

5 trends in affordable housing we’re watching

Emphasis on DEI

The past 18 months have been characterized by an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of life and work, and the housing industry hasn’t been left out of those conversations. Renters are becoming increasingly aware of the diversity – or lack thereof – within their own neighborhoods, and many support initiatives like the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program that bring marginalized groups into better housing situations. 

What’s more, some communities are advocating for more inclusionary zoning practices. Giving lower-income families the opportunity to live in higher-end neighborhoods has been shown to improve health and educational outcomes, along with creating more diverse job networks and contacts. 

Now more than ever, people are recognizing the role safe, adequate housing plays in creating thriving, upwardly mobile communities. New initiatives at both the state and local levels will be important in pushing the industry forward in a meaningful way. 

Rethinking the leasing process

Along with a better understanding of how investing in diversity positively impacts communities, property management groups are now also recognizing the importance of proptech in creating better processes for both workers and renters. The pandemic radically changed the way people look for their next apartment, and many property management teams have had to reassess how they approach things like tours and leasing. Many are leaning more heavily into automated solutions like chatbots to streamline the leasing process and provide things like 3D tours when properties are unable to be visited in person. 

People want digital solutions to things like leasing, especially in a time where many might not be able to actually visit and complete paperwork at a property’s office in person. Rethinking the leasing process through technologies like chatbots gives people an easier way to find a new place, and saves property management teams hours of valuable time each week.   

Smarter amenities

One of the biggest trends in affordable housing today is building spaces with better, more targeted amenities. Affordable housing has traditionally been bereft of many of the amenities other classes of housing have enjoyed, but some new properties are working to challenge convention and provide higher-quality spaces for renters. Larger kitchens, office space, and more natural lighting are just a few things renters are looking for within their private spaces, especially those with remote or hybrid jobs. 

In addition to larger spaces, more people are looking for walkable communities, or apartments with easy access to places like grocery stores, childcare centers, and more. 

Sustainable design

Along with better amenities, prospective renters value sustainable, eco-friendly design more than ever. As more people become aware of the climate crisis, they want to live in more eco-conscious ways, and that includes housing. To provide this, we’re seeing many builders opting to incorporate more sustainable practices into construction and apartment design. Ultimately, many of these more sustainable choices are also more cost-effective, saving money on energy usage and maintenance costs.  

Electronic-first communication and data management

Many property management groups’ forays into proptech like leasing chatbots have unearthed a fact about consumer behavior that until recently, the real estate space was uncomfortable admitting: most people prefer to do things online. If information about your property isn’t easy to find online, or you lock information behind email walls or phone numbers people must call, they’re not going to be as likely to want to pursue a lease. Chatbots and other automation solutions reduce the amount of time leasing teams spend answering repetitive questions. It also helps them in the information gathering phase where the bot asks and collects the income and household info then pre-qualifies the prospective affordable renter.

Giving people a way to get information on things like amenities, floor plans, rent payments, and maintenance 24/7, 365 is critical. And on the flip side, investing in digital solutions for data management and analytics can help enable property management teams to be able to better understand renter needs and anticipate turnover.  

Keep up with the latest in multifamily trends and news by following the BetterBot blog.

3 Things We Learned at AIM 2021

AIM is all about Apartment Internet Marketing and this year was one for the books. After almost two years of not seeing colleagues and industry professionals face to face, people were evidently excited to catch up. In addition to making meaningful connections, it was also an opportunity to learn what’s going on in the industry today. Whether you made it to the event or not, there is something to take away for everyone. Here are three lessons we learned this year at AIM 2021: 

  • Don’t go back to basics; go back to the foundation 
  • Figure out your “then what” 
  • AI doesn’t take away human touch; it improves it 

Don’t go back to basics; go back to the foundation.

During the session titled Ad Board Talks: Investing Time, Energy & Money in PropTech, loads of important information were shared. One of our biggest takeaways from this session came from Marcella Eppsteiner, SVP of Marketing, Training, and Revenue Management at Mission Rock Residential. She mentioned the importance of not just going back to the basics, as many are accustomed to saying. It’s essential to go back to the foundation of why your team is doing what they are doing and leverage technology to accomplish your goals. Of course, it’s important to maintain many of the values that fueled the multifamily industry, such as resident satisfaction. Teams must look at how their tech stack can help them reach goals efficiently and effectively. 

Figure out your “then what”

This year’s keynote speaker was Rachel DeAlto, Relationship Expert, Media Personality, Speaker & Author. She talked about getting the best out of yourself, your relationships, your teams, and your one freaking amazing life. She spoke about the importance of identifying your “then what.” What this means is, it’s essential to think about your goals and consider “then what” you will do once you reach your goals. For example, if your goal is to make more money, then what do you do once you get there and why? This was an important question to consider both personally and professionally to further self-improvement. 

AI doesn’t take away human touch; it improves it. 

During the Autonomous Leasing session in 2022, we learned many different things about AI/chatbots and what they can do for the property management industry. Kitty Callaghan, VP of Marketing at Wasatch Property Management, shared about how bots can help give time back to property management teams. This shows that bots don’t intend to replace humans but to give time back so that they can focus on what’s essential….being human!

As we mentioned earlier, AIM Conference gave our team much to consider moving forward into 2022. We are excited to implement much of what we’ve learned this year and share it with those around us. We are continuing to plan for next year’s conference in April and hope to see you there. For more information on AIM, click here



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