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.

Office-Closed-Feature

Feature Alert — Office Closed Functionality

We are constantly working on enhancing our product. The way Walt Disney said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world,” is precisely how we feel about our products at BetterBot. One thing that inspires us every day is our clients. They continuously show us what they need the most, and we do our best to bridge that gap. For example, the feature we are sharing was inspired by one of our amazing clients, Karen Kossow, at Paradigm.

As many companies are dealing with, Paradigm is also facing labor shortages. These staffing concerns caused them to close most of their offices on Sundays, meaning the staff is only in the office six days a week rather than the seven they’d always been open. 

“We wanted the capability to share with our prospects that our office is closed and to specify when they should expect a response,” says Karen Kossow. “Knowing that BetterBot’s team tends to be nimble, I reached out and asked if this was something we could do. We use BetterBot’s NurtureSkill, so not only can we use it on our website, but this functionality can also be used across all the advertising platforms.” Paradigm has since rolled out this feature across all their communities and has helped create consistency across all communication channels.

How it works

By updating your office hours in the back end, BetterBot can now intuitively share that information with incoming prospects. For example, if a property is closed on Sundays, all you need to do is indicate that in the dashboard, and a message will pop up in the call-outs, like the one below. 

Another way the prospect will be notified is by making the user aware of when the office will reopen. For example, the message below reads: “Please note that our leasing offices are closed today. If you reach out, expect to hear back from our leasing office as soon as Tuesday 09/06”. The bot will read the office hours and share the next day your office will open. That way, the end-user has realistic expectations for when they will hear back. If they do decide to schedule an appointment, they will also be notified, so it is crystal clear. 

Again, we truly value the feedback and insight from our valued customers. We will continue to enhance our product to optimize the user experience while providing for the community’s needs. For more information on BetterBot’s updates, check out our blog, which houses all our feature announcements.

Stop-Scaring-Prospects

Stop Scaring Your Prospects 

Ways to make apartment hunting less spooky for renters

Spooky season has arrived! While many of us love the fun Halloween and fall vibes, it’s essential that apartment hunting remain one of those sacred things that do not become spooky. So how can we make it easier on them? Here are a few things you can do to make apartment hunting easier. Plus, when you make it easy for renters, you also make it easier on your team. It’s a double win! 

Don’t make them go on a witch hunt for answers.

Renters want information wherever and whenever they are looking for it. That’s why it’s so crucial that, as marketers, we make it easy on them. They shouldn’t have to go on a hunt to find the information they’re looking for. Utilizing tools, such as chatbots, can often remedy this issue. For instance, using BetterBot’s platform, all the information is embedded in one spot. It is delivered conversationally, allowing the prospect to find what they’re looking for in one plus. Plus, it can be deployed anywhere prospects are looking for you, allowing consistency in shared information. You won’t have to worry about updating information in multiple places because it’s all in one. Less work for you and less work for your prospects. 

Neighborhood insights 

(For the best trick or treating info, duh)

Okay, maybe don’t add anything about trick-or-treating spots because they will eventually go out of season (unless you live in Halloweentown, then go for it!). Renters want to know about the surrounding neighborhood. Be sure to share information such as surrounding shops, restaurants, schools, etc. Another thing that is also helpful is referral info. If one of your properties doesn’t have availability, but another one does, you should be referring to that community. Or, if someone wants to move to an affordable community but they don’t qualify, you can refer them to a sister community that might be a good fit for them. 

Don’t ghost your prospects.

It’s important that each prospective resident feels seen and heard. However, teams can often be inundated with leads, making it difficult to follow up with each person. Lead nurturing tools can help by following up with prospects and taking their interest temperature. Once that lead has been followed up, they should be put into different categories: hot, warm, and cold. Having these sorted allows the team to focus on the leads most likely to convert, which results in more leases.  

Hunting for apartments shouldn’t be scary. Moving is already stressful; finding a new space shouldn’t add to that. Features like chat technology, neighborhood info, and lead nurturing can help consolidate things for the end user. These tools make it easier to help potential renters while also making it easier on your teams. It saves them time and allows them to focus on what matters most — connecting with others. Plus, they’ll have more time to decorate for Halloween, which is what most of us really want anyways. Happy spooky season and happy leasing! 

Half-A-Million-Conversations

BetterBot Greets Half A Million Prospects In Just One Day

Multifamily’s most-adopted conversational leasing solution hits new usage high

“Back in the early days of BetterBot we were excited to have our little digital agent greet and converse with a few thousand renters in a day,” recalls Robert Turnbull, President and co-founder of BetterBot. “The fact that our digital agents are now greeting and or conversing with more than half a million prospective renters in a single day is truly remarkable.”

On Thursday, August 4 of 2022, BetterBot facilitated more than 500K greetings and/or conversations with renters in three countries. Multiple factors play into the high volume, but the three primary drivers are: renter traffic is high in the Summer, consumers are happy to converse with a bot, and BetterBot’s user interface is converting one in 5 conversations to appointments. 

BetterBot’s ability to distribute these digital agents across numerous channels and be deployed with multiple skills impacts these numbers. In addition to a property’s website, BetterBot’s ChatSkill can be deployed anywhere a prospective renter can find a property such as Facebook, Instagram, Google Business Profile, YouTube, Yelp, various ILSs, etc.  BetterBot’s NurtureSkill can intercept, nurture, and convert leads into conversations and appointments from any source.

“People in our Industry can debate the need or value of chatbots and conversational solutions,” said Zlatko Bogoevski, CEO and co-founder of BetterBot. “But these kinds of numbers tell the story. Consumers, specifically renters and prospective renters, are using conversational tools like BetterBot to provide information quickly and offload repetitive tasks for leasing teams.”

Today BetterBot operates in three countries and can deploy multiple skills across various Multifamily segments such as conventional, affordable, student, senior, lease-up, and mixed-income property types. To learn more about how BetterBot’s automation platform works, check out the Automation Basics — here you’ll find all the ways automation should work for your community and how to get started.

BetterBot x Engrain Partnership

BetterBot Adds Community Maps To The Conversation

Multifamily’s most adopted conversational leasing solution just got better with an interactive community map feature.

Prospective renters today want all the information they can get, wherever and whenever.  They want real-time responses to their questions, actual pricing and availability, real photography, video and virtual tours at both the amenity and individual apartment level. And, they want to know the exact location of their potential new home. 

Technology coupled with these new renter needs have led to more advanced integrations and collaboration between our industry’s PropTech providers. We’re excited to announce that BetterBot, the multifamily industry’s most adopted conversational leasing technology, recently added Engrain’s interactive maps to the leasing experience.

“We’re focused on transforming the way people find, lease and manage properties, providing transparency to renters and allowing them to narrow their search using criteria that matters to them and then choose the specific apartment they want to live in,” said Melissa Pasquale, Vice President, Unit Map Platform at Engrain. “Our interactive Unit Maps integrate seamlessly with other software applications, enhancing the property techstack and creating a consistent user experience for prospects.”

By using Unit Map as a feature, the BetterBot digital leasing agent can now show a prospect where the specific units are in relation to amenities, entrances, parking and other landmarks by giving them a visual of the community.   

“BetterBot’s thousands of digital leasing agents have completed millions of conversations with prospective renters on behalf of apartment communities all across the US, Canada and Mexico,” explained Robert Turnbull, President and Founder of BetterBot. “Nearly 60% of these conversations are happening after hours and on various channels such as Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and so on. Engrain provides exactly the kind of rich content these prospects want to see – wherever and whenever.”

Existing Engrain clients can get their maps added to BetterBot by filling out this request form. If a BetterBot client doesn’t have an Engrain Unit Map yet, simply visit Engrain’s content upload form, provide the required information and Engrain will make it happen. Once Engrain creates the map, it  will appear on the BetterBot-powered digital leasing agent within days. These maps created for use in the BetterBot chatbot are available to property managers at no cost. 

BetterBot - Automation Redefined

BetterBot is Redefining Automation — Here’s How

Automation has been seen as a “nice to have” feature in the past. It was a nifty add-on that could enhance your leasing process. Automation seemed innovative but was never seen as imperative to most property management companies. However, these days automation is essential to a successful business. That’s why we are redefining what it means to automate your marketing.

What is automation? 

Let’s start by talking about what automation is. Automation is a practice that typically uses technology to limit human input for a particular process. This can be set up for several areas in the leasing process, including lead nurturing, leasing-centric tasks, resident-focused activities, and so much more. 

Why is automation so important? 

There are certain areas where it may be beneficial to automate a process and others that will never make sense to automate. It’s essential to find the right balance between optimizing technology and utilizing the human connection.  Automation helps streamline processes so that humans can do what automation will never be able to do — connect meaningfully with others. This means implementing new conversational technology into old automation methods to improve consumer engagement. While automation engages prospects and residents in new ways, it allows for those meaningful connections to be made by the site team at impactful points in the renter’s journey. 

Brenee Brown said it best in her book, Dare to Lead

“The hopeful news is that there are some tasks that humans will always be able to do better than machines if we are willing to take off our armor and leverage our greatest and most unique asset — the human heart.” 

So what can automation do for humans so that teams can focus on connecting with others? A few of those things include: 

  • Lead response tools 
  • Chatbots
  • Online leasing assistants 
  • Self-guided tours
  • Referrals
  • Prequalification process
  • Lease management software
  • Move-in automation
  • Smart homes 
  • Resident reminders
  • Rent automation

How is BetterBot Redefining Automation? 

As we mentioned, these days, automation is essential for the leasing process. Redefining your automation means implementing conversational technology into old automation methods to improve consumer engagement. At BetterBot, we built our automation technology to give renters and property managers their time back. We believe that technology should make life easier for humans. An omnichannel automation solution should handle time-consuming, mundane, and repetitive tasks so humans can have the time to engage in meaningful conversations with fellow humans. 

Invisible-NLP

BetterBot introduces iNLP. It’s, well, better.

NLP gets it’s superpower: invisibility!

NLP (also known as Natural Language Processing) is used in several ways in the multifamily industry. When BetterBot began, we built the largest NLP engine in the multifamily sector. However, after much research, we found this ultimately wasn’t always the best user experience regarding automation technology. 

However, NLP can come in handy in different circumstances. There are certainly best practices when it comes to utilizing NLP within the prospect’s experience. Contrary to popular belief, BetterBot uses a form of natural language processing called iNLP (invisible natural language processing). 

Understanding NLP

Unlike guided conversation, “AI” utilizes natural language processing (NLP) to guide users through human-like conversations. Instead of giving users a predefined set of options, NLP analyzes user queries for keywords and phrases and then answers accordingly. This type of automation requires a long training period before it can be active and must be constantly updated and maintained. According to Forbes, this method succeeds 50% of the time…which also means it fails 50% of the time. They can often be masked as a live human, which may upset the end-user and leave them feeling bamboozled by bots

What is iNLP? 

iNLP stands for invisible natural language processing. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s invisible to the user; however, constantly working in the background to parse out traffic and leads appropriately. It helps present users with choices based on their inquiries but does so in a way that is most likely to keep users engaged.

How does BetterBot use iNLP and Guided Conversation Together? 

BetterBot uses guided conversation when working with prospects directly. Guided Conversation leads users through scenarios, offering them predetermined options to choose to help them complete simple service requests and get information. It is a fast and effective way to communicate with prospects. With Guided Conversation, responses are immediate, which results in a productive conversation. BetterBot uses Guided Conversation to provide a seamless experience for prospective renters and share information quickly so that users’ attention is never lost. In addition, you can see exactly what conversations are happening and how effective they are through our reporting dashboard. 

BetterBot pairs guided conversation with iNLP to provide a seamless experience. iNLP is used in the backend to nurture leads via email. Email isn’t always the best user experience for many reasons: spam filters, overloaded inboxes, interest decay, and more. We break it down in our article about why teams must stop depending on emails. However, we also know that many individuals still use this as a method of communication, and we use email to redirect them in a way that will foster the most engagement. 

When someone responds to an email from BetterBot, they are greeted with a response that uses iNLP to determine what the user is looking for. For example, if someone responds by saying, “I’d like to schedule a tour to look at your two bedrooms,” the automation will figure out the best way to respond so that the options presented to support their inquiry. They will get a response with options to “Schedule a Tour” and “View Floorplans” that take the user out of the email response and into a real-time conversation with BetterBot. We don’t use NLP just for the sake of it. We want to provide the best user experience, which is why we use iNLP to accomplish this. Our founder, Robert Turnbull, speaks about the entire digital leasing experience on the Multifamily Podcast. You can catch the full episode here.

AI can be a great tool in many cases; which is why we’ve paired it with Guided Conversation to formulate a superior product after testing different technologies in the multifamily space. We are constantly looking at technology to see where it has advanced and what pieces we can bring to our bot. For more information on the differences in bot types, CLICK HERE

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.



Want to learn more?

Get inspired with
our latest case study

Want to learn more?

Get inspired with
our latest case study

Want to learn more?

Get inspired with
our latest case study

Want to learn more?

Get inspired with
our latest case study

Want to learn more?

Get inspired with
our latest case study

BetterBot_2020-favicon.png

Well hello there.

BetterBot_2020-favicon.png

Well hello there.

Better Bot Fav Icon

Well hello there.