Chatbot Vs. Live Chat: Which is Winning in Renter Conversion?

Over the past decade or so, the property management world has undergone quite the digital transformation. From things like VR tours to e-signing, new technologies are continually pushing the envelope of what’s possible in multifamily. Yet, one of the most important innovations driving change in the industry isn’t one of the flashiest or most expensive. In fact, chatbots are one of the simplest and most affordable technologies a property management team can adopt. But can a bot hold its own against more traditional live chat-based customer service? Today we’ll break down the chatbot vs. live chat debate to get to the bottom of which one is really better for converting users into new renters. 

Chatbot vs. live chat: the breakdown

Who will win? While both chatbots and live chat ultimately share the same purpose, there are a variety of important ways that they differ in functionality and overall helpfulness. Let’s see how each holds up to scrutiny. Time for the chatbot vs. live chat showdown. 

Where chatbots go the extra mile

24/7, 365 service

Today’s prospective renters want to be able to get info on properties and have their questions answered anytime, anywhere. The beauty of chatbots is that they allow hands-off customer service whenever it’s needed, even when it’s after business hours or on holidays. Most people tend to do research when they’re off the clock, so having a chatbot available to handle requests can be a big plus for your team. 

Instantaneous responses 

We all live busy lives, and the shorter amount of time we can spend waiting on info or assistance, the better. Chatbots are automated, which means they can provide information almost instantaneously. 

Let’s your team focus on other tasks

One of the biggest pros of having a chatbot is that it allows you to give more time back to your property management teams. Instead of employees filling their days responding to an endless amount of customer service queries, they can redirect their focus and energy into other, higher-value tasks like marketing and outreach. 

Challenges chatbots can face

No human touch?

Chatbots can answer questions quickly and effectively, but when not programmed well, they can come across as cold, artificial, and unpleasant to converse with. That’s why it’s super important to customize and build personality into your bot. That way each conversation users have will be friendly, pleasant, and helpful. In fact, 33% of consumers user conversational marketing tools for scheduling and average satisfaction of a bot-only chat is 87.58% which is higher than the average rate for when prospects engage with a human.

Harder to take care of complex queries

Bots can handle simple requests like no one’s business. But they’re only programmed to understand and offer solutions to a certain set of scenarios. When it comes to more complex customer service issues, they may have trouble providing answers. They can also be tripped up by any spelling errors that occur. If a user submits a query with typos, natural language processing chatbots will have a hard time parsing through and understanding the text, whereas guided conversation can offer suggestions so that the bot never breaks. Guided Conversation bots can actually fix issues that Natural Language Processing bots encounter. Guided Conversation is a clear solution to handling prospect interaction by attending to 100% of the questions 100% of the time. Natural Language processing bots only succeed on average 66% of the time. This is why it’s important to create a seamless chatbot to human handoff when these situations arise.

Why live chat ultimately loses

Low volume capacity

Popular properties may have dozens (or even hundreds) of queries sent in each day. If you only have 1 or 2 people taking care of these requests, you’re severely limited in how many requests you’re actually able to complete. And that means people will take their interest elsewhere. 

Longer wait times

Chatbots can answer a request in under a second. If you’re talking with a live agent, you have to sit and wait for each new message to roll in, a process that can take upwards of 30 minutes if you have a lot of questions or a particularly tricky issue that needs resolving. 

Teams have to hire additional help

Like we mentioned earlier, popular properties can have hundreds of queries each day. But many teams don’t have the funds or resources necessary to hire a whole fleet of live agents. 

Chatbot vs. live chat: the ultimate verdict

While each method has its advantages and disadvantages, it’s clear that chatbots are winning when it comes to customer service and renter conversion. Today, 70% of consumers prefer chat over other forms of communication, and bots can provide quick answers with no need to wait for an available live agent. What’s more, we’ve found that if a bot has a successful conversation, it has upwards of a 95% consumer satisfaction score. With properties that use BetterBot specifically, we’ve seen that 10% of all conversations starting on our chatbot convert to a viable prospect or scheduled appointment. Along with converting more prospects into renters, these automated conversations have saved over 1 million hours for leasing teams across the country, allowing them to spend more time on the tasks that matter most.

If you found this guide helpful, we’ve got more where that came from. Explore the latest multifamily news and trends on the BetterBot blog

Why BetterBot ditched NLP and moved to Guided Conversation

From the beginning, BetterBot has adapted to changes as we’ve learned. Early on, we built the largest proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) database in the multifamily industry, and we scrapped it for several reasons. To understand why it’s essential to know the difference between NLP & Guided Conversation. NLP bots guide users through human-like conversations instead of giving users a predefined set of questions to choose from, like Guided Conversation. NLP bots analyze user queries for keywords and phrases and then answer accordingly. Here’s why we opted to move towards Guided Conversation for our bot: 

  • Guided Conversation doesn’t break
  • Less is more
  • Guided Conversation is fast and effective 

Guided Conversation doesn’t break.

Unlike Guided Conversation, NLP is highly inconsistent. It may be further developed in instances such as Alexa or Siri; however, in the multifamily industry, we found that using NLP meant the bot would break more times than not. One of the reasons being is that the bot must be trained for hundreds of question phrasing variations. We compiled over 80,000 notes from our bot and found we could only train 2,000 of those questions. It would become nearly impossible to train the bot for those different variants. We found that we could focus on answering those questions more simply by using Guided Conversation, and our bot would never break in the process. 

Less is more 

When prospects are looking for information, they want to be able to find it easily. When prospects arrive at an NLP bot, they may not know what to ask for. Additionally, most users have experience with bots breaking, so they may not know how to ask the question they want answers for. Guided Conversation allows for an easy way to answer questions most renters are looking for. BetterBot has done extensive research on what information prospects want to see, and we have adjusted our bot to meet these needs. 

Guided Conversation is fast and effective. 

When NLP bots break, they often will hand off the conversation to a live agent. What happens when that live agent takes more than 10 seconds to answer? The prospect is most often lost. With Guided Conversation, responses are immediate, which results in an effective conversation. BetterBot uses Guided Conversation to provide a seamless experience for prospective renters and share information quickly so that user’s attention is never lost. In addition, you can see exactly what conversations are happening and how effective they are through our reporting dashboard. 

AI can be a great tool in many cases; however, we have found Guided Conversation to be a superior product after testing different technologies in the multifamily space. Some of the biggest reasons Guided Conversation is so successful is because it never breaks; it’s simple, quick, and effective. 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

Features that make the apartment search journey easier

When I searched for my apartment, I had an excel spreadsheet, notebooks, and random sticky notes everywhere to keep track of all my findings. 

Do you know what would have made this all better? A magic lamp where a genie would fly out and make apartment shopping easier!

Because apartment shopping is everything, but easy…

However, there are a few features that prospecting renters should look out for that will make their apartment journey easier. 

3D Tours

Let’s start with my favorite… 3D tours! 

3D tours have saved me a lot of time when it comes to looking at an apartment’s layout and seeing if it works for me.

Gone are the days where you have to schedule an appointment to see a unit. 

Now, I can view an apartment’s layout in the comfort of my home as TV is playing in the background… This is the life I have always aimed for. 

For some communities, 3D tours are also available to see amenities such as the clubhouse, gym, pool and so much more. 

I’ve always loved when there are 3D tours of the entire community because it gave me the opportunity to see if the complex fit all my needs.

Sometimes a complex had amenities I wasn’t even aware I needed such as study rooms and an indoor bowling room! 

Having the ability to “walk” through the 3D tour allowed me to see the entire facility as if I were standing in the room!

This is one of the many cutting-edge features that BetterBot offers. 

Chatbots

Remember a few seconds ago when I said that a magic genie would make apartment hunting easier?

BetterBot’s chat offers what I call an apartment hunter’s magic genie. 

BetterBot has developed chatbots to help prospective renters find their home by asking them a range of questions that get them thinking about their wants and needs

The intuitive apartment chatbot takes the stress out of apartment searching by finding the perfect apartment matches based on how the prospecting renter answers to the questions.

Neighborhood Insights

But why stop there? 

This chatbot goes the extra mile in providing them with neighborhood insight! 

Is nightlife important to your prospecting renter? Well, tell them to dust off their dancing shoes.

BetterBot will highlight all the nightlife hotspots near their future apartment so they can see if what’s around the apartment complex will suit their everyday life. 

Talk about easy! 

Local Entertainment Suggestions

Okay, okay… For the renters who like more of a slower-paced lifestyle, BetterBot has great categories for them too! They can explore entertainment, fine dining, cafes, shopping, parks, and more!

No longer will they have to “drive around” to get a better idea of the surrounding areas and what it has to offer, it is now available at the touch of their fingertips. 

The chatbot also eliminates the standard information form. 

No longer will renters have to wait for leasing offices to call them back to provide them information the renter can get all the information they need in real-time.

Renters can find out the price, size, amenities, and availability all in a few minutes. 

This doesn’t only improve the user experience but makes decision-making quick and easy. 

I know, I know… the BetterBot chatbot is not exactly a giant blue magic genie trapped in a lamp, but it puts some amazing tools at the prospecting renter’s disposal that will make their apartment search easier! 

An Honest Review of the Most Popular Apartment Listing Websites

We are so glad you are joining us for our special guest blog series. In this article, long term renter Destiny will share her review of some of the most popular websites that apartment homes can be found. To learn more about Destiny, keep scrolling through. Now let’s hear Destiny’s thoughts as she searches for her next apartment home.


So , you’re looking for your first apartment, but don’t know where to start! 

When I got my first apartment neither did I.

But have no fear!  I am here to breakdown apartment search platform tools and how each one can help you find your next home.

Google

I know it seems simple, but you can always just type “apartments near me “into the Google search bar to find tons of apartments in your local area.

This method might seem simple enough on the surface, but you’ll soon realize that Google is pulling up EVERY SINGLE AVAILABLE apartment in your area. This includes the ones that are within your budget along with the ones that exceed your budget.

 The downside to this wealth of information is that it can seem a little overwhelming and make you feel like you won’t be able to move out of your parents’ house.

Nevertheless, Google is a great starting point.

Googling places in your area will give you a good idea on how many apartment complexes are near you and allow you to see if you want to live in the area you are searching.

One thing to make note of during your search is that certain cities are more residential.

If you are looking to live in one of these areas, it may be more difficult to find an apartment because that city has a high amount of real estate for sale and little availability for rent. 

One big perk that Googling “apartments near me” can give you is the Google reviews. Which I believe is the most important part of anyone’s apartment journey.

TRUST THE REVIEWS.

I used to believe that people only left a review when they had something bad to say, but I’ve come to find that’s not always the case.

I have seen apartment complexes that have had 5 stars and 230 reviews saying overwhelmingly good things.

Remember one thing… people will NOT hold back from giving their opinion good or bad.

Another perk to searching on Google is you can see pictures of the property from multiple perspectives instead of the professionally shot, edited, and filtered photographs posted by the owner of the property/complex.

This means that if someone has taken pictures of the complex without their “Instagram filter” you will be able to see that.

I remember seeing photos of beautiful apartment complexes only to click the “see photos” button and think to myself “This can’t be the same place?!” because the complex was completely trashed!

Just like I said, trust the reviews, trust the pictures.

Another helpful feature is the Directions button.

If you allow Google to access your location on your phone or computer, it can let you know how far the apartment is from you from your current location.

If you want to change your starting point to another location all you will need to do is change the From Address line and it will give you an updated time and proximity.

You also could click the Website and review all the property details.

One of the coolest features to me (if your computer supports it) is Google’s Call option.

I loved having the ability to search for apartments on my MacBook and if I wanted more information, Google’s call feature was a great convenience.

Lastly, if you are casually browsing and you have a Google account you can always Save your apartment search and revisit for a later time.

Facebook Marketplace

I love Facebook Marketplace…when looking for cheap furniture… when looking for apartments… eh, not so much.

Here’s the thing, anyone can list apartments on Facebook Marketplace.

You will be able to find tons of rental options when looking on Facebook Marketplace; sub-leases, rooms to rent, apartments, houses, and townhomes to rent.

The possibilities are endless.

Just watch out for the scammers, the ghosters and most importantly the inaccurate description and pictures.

If you steer clear of all of these, you will find on the other side a useful tool for your apartment search.

On a positive note, Facebook Marketplace’s abundance features paired with a familiar interface make it essential to first time apartment hunters 

You can select how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and even rental types!

Which to me is the thing I love the most because you can think you want an apartment but if you can rent a house for the same cost… wouldn’t you prefer the house?

After you have found a rental that peaks your interest you can find more details about the unit such as how long the lease is for, what it includes and if you have kiddos you can see nearby schools.

One thing I hope that Facebook will improve overtime is being able to create a profile solely to be on Facebook Marketplace, because once you’ve messaged someone about the property, they are able to see YOUR ENTIRE FACEBOOK PROFILE…

I don’t know if you have ever gone through a 90s pop phase…but…my hair, my clothes and literally everything from the late 90s and early 2000 is… ugh… neverminded…

If you are fine with people seeing your personal profile (if you have your public settings on) then I think you should give Facebook Marketplace a try!

Craigslist

YES… People still use this platform.

Surprisingly enough I know a few people that have rented houses and townhomes from Craigslist.

I called them the “hidden gems” because most of the time you can find really nice rental properties for an affordable price.

Now… Please be warned that Craigslist is a scammer’s hunting ground.

When it comes to scams on Craigslist, the most common offender is what I like to call the “too good to be true”. Look at this 3-bedroom 2-bathroom house listed for $1,000 a month.

Which sounds awesome right!? Incredible even?! Almost too good to be true?

Well, that’s because it is. Most of the time when you see listings like this it’s because it is a scam.

How do they get you? They ask for a deposit as a money order.

And then… you never hear from them again and the listing is taken down…

The sad truth is that Craigslist knows about the scammers, and they have written a long list on what not to do on the website click here to learn more.

When it comes to your apartment search, I would only use Craigslist at your most desperate times…

Honestly, I would trust a “for rent” sign on the street before I trust Craigslist.

ApartmentList

I have one word for ApartmentList… WOW!

This website is amazing… which is why it doesn’t surprise me that over 175,000 people found their next home by searching on Apartmentlist.com

They also have something for everyone! Budget friendly, pet lover’s paradise and city views. With approximately 5.5 million properties on their website, I am confident that you can find your next home here.

Now let’s dive into it!

ApartmentList starts your journey by asking you a list of simple questions such as size of the apartment you are looking for, do you have pets, budget, what amenities are you looking for etc.

Once you have answered all these questions, they give you what looks like a Pinterest board of apartment choices, and I LOVE IT!

Everything about this makes an apartment search so much easier!

It makes you start to think if some of your wants are really your wants, or can you live without them to save a buck?

The user experience just gets better when you can select nope, love it or maybe.

Once you have made a selection only the ones that you selected Love it or Maybe will go on to the “Short List”

This list will separate the ones that made you say, “OMG YES” and “eh” to.

Another helpful feature of apartmentlist.com is the amenities section.

It’s particularly helpful when searching for appliances that are a massive pain to travel with but an even bigger pain to live without.

Just select the amenities you’re looking for and apartmentlist.com will show you the properties that offer it. My only advice while browsing the amenities section, is to verify the details with the owner before you make any final decisions. This will help you avoid any possible surprises before signing a lease.

I highly suggest using this platform in your apartment search!

If you’re “click happy” like me and find your email inbox filling up with all of your “love its”, I’d recommend creating a folder in your inbox specifically for apartment hunting to keep track of your favorite properties.

Conclusion

Searching for your first apartment is such an amazing adventure!

Yes, you will need to decide between carpet or hardwood or being on the first floor or third, but all these are exciting decisions to be making.

Nevertheless, have fun, take your time, and tour every apartment your heart desires!

Happy apartment hunting!

6 Things To Consider When Looking For A Chatbot

Finding the right chatbot for your business can be a tedious process. There are so many different options, and each one claims to be the best. So how do you know which is indeed the right option? We’ve put together a couple of questions to ask yourself when you are beginning your search, and we’ll dive a bit deeper into why these are important: 

  • What type of bot is it? 
  • Will it answer the questions most renters are asking? 
  • Is it customizable?
  • Does it offer robust reporting?
  • Can it save me time? 

Let’s dive into why each of these is important to consider. 

1. Will it answer the questions most renters are asking?

You want to make sure your chatbot hits all the major categories that renters are searching for. The most common points of traffic include basic info like floorplans, pricing, availability, and photos. However, there are some more unique things renters look for including virtual tours and online scheduling. You’ll also want to consider any broken points in the conversation. For example, many natural language processing bots use keyword recognition to answer questions. This can be a great feature! However, frequently if the question is not asked in a specific way, the bot may have a higher chance of breaking. That’s why it’s so important to find out the key questions renters are asking and make sure your bot can address them with ease. 

2. Does it reach your renters?

You will want to think about where your renters are being reached. For example, BetterBot offers omnichannel marketing, meaning you can get renters not only on your property website, but your bot can be added to several sites, including social media, ILS accounts, and listing sites such as Craigslist. That way, you never miss a prospect, and the experience is customized to the renter wherever they want, on their time. Find out all the places your bot can be seen and how effective it will be on each platform. 

3. What type of bot is it? 

Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Guided Conversation, Voice-Activated…..there are many different types of bots. It’s essential to understand what type of bot you are looking at to understand the full functionality of what it can do. There are lots of different reasons why you may prefer one type of bot over another. For instance, you may want a bot that guides your renter so that it is easier for them to find what they need without any misunderstanding or “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that.” This is known as a guided conversation-based bot. If you want to have a more in-depth understanding of various bot types, check out our past article HERE that breaks down each one. 

4. Is it customizable?

Does your bot have the ability to be customized to your property or company branding? You’ll want to see what customizations are available and how you can access them. It’s essential to constantly be looking for ways to improve your bot, and making it your own is just one of the ways you can do that. For example, BetterBot allows its customers to update branding colors, information within the bot, and even the avatar that pops up. You can create a cohesive expectation for renters and prospects alike with this type of bot. 

5. Does it offer robust reporting?

Analytics are crucial to the success of your bot because it allows you to see what’s working. You also want to make sure that the bot is doing its job and helping your prospects instead of hindering them. Some standard analytics to look at when it comes to chatbots include the number of greetings, conversations, and hand-offs your bot has had. If you notice something isn’t working, you should work with your chatbot provider team on a solution. It’s essential to understand the ins and outs of your bot so it can perform at the highest level. This can only be done if you are evaluating your reporting regularly. 

6. Can it save me time? 

This is probably one of the most important things to ask yourself. The purpose of your bot should be to save you time while addressing important prospect/renter questions. Consider all the ways your bot can save you time. These questions will clarify which options you should seriously consider and help you narrow down your decision. For instance, a bot powered by BetterBot provides a single property that can see an average of 56 hours saved per month and that doesn’t even account for the time saved in the three days it takes to build the bot (none of which requires your team to devote to training it). Consider what it would look like to onboard your bot. Will you have to train and program the bot yourself for each property? Will this take hours? How much of the setup and maintenance is manual? For example, consider if you will need to update pricing within the bot manually or if it can be connected to a feed. We have put together three things every chatbot onboarding experience should include helping make this process easier. The most important thing to consider is if your bot will handle menial, everyday tasks for your team and yourself. If it’s going to save time and be effective simultaneously, then it is a viable option. 

We understand that searching for a chatbot can be time-consuming. That’s why these six questions can help you weed through which options are top contenders. These should make it easy to decide and help you find the right bot for you and your team. Once you’re ready to make the leap, make sure you check out some of the common mistakes when adding a chatbot to your site. That way, you can make sure everything is set up correctly, and your prospects will have a seamless experience. 

What Problems Your Bot Should Solve

In the past decade, no tech has advanced customer service more than chatbots. From changing when and how audiences connect with brands, to transforming the way brands personify themselves, bots have had an incredible impact on the industries they’ve been adopted into. And if you’re in customer service, chances are you’ve seen firsthand just how bot technology can make you and your team’s lives easier. If you’re new to chatbots though, it can feel overwhelming trying to integrate them into your processes. In today’s BetterBot blog, we’re going to hopefully create a little more clarity by zooming into several common ‘problems’ customer service teams face – and why the right chatbot will solve them. 

5 problems your chatbot should solve

Giving back precious time to your teams

In the multifamily real estate space, around half of all prospective leads go unanswered. Why? Simply because property management teams don’t have enough time. This is a common problem across many industries and is one that’s easily remedied with a bot. A chatbot is like a customer service rep that’s always available, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. And with less time spent answering hundreds of inquiries each day, you and your team can spend more time on high-level tasks – like improving your social media presence. In fact, bots can save on average 57.1 hours a month per property. That’s a huge chunk of time your team could be saving.

Handling endless queries with ease

We’ve all experienced that one type of customer that can’t stop with just one question (or five). It can be frustrating and time-consuming to go back and forth with someone when you’re trying to juggle the rest of your day’s tasks. Enter a chatbot, which allows customers to ask as many questions as they’d like and always receive service with a smile. Never again will you have to deal with these extra-inquisitive prospects.

One of the great things about chatbots is that, with the right programming, they can not only share information but crunch numbers and handle tasks like resetting passwords as well. All of the dull and repetitive tasks your customer service team used to have to handle can be taken off your plate!

Personifying your brand

Many brands struggle to create an engaging presence and persona online. It can be tough to create a tone of voice that people want to engage with on your website alone, which is where a chatbot comes in. Guided conversation chatbots like BetterBot are programmable with a variety of different conversational styles and “personalities”. Want your brand to come off as fun and humorous, or direct with no-frills? It’s easy to give your chatbot whatever personality you think your customers will engage the most with. And when you strike the right tone, your audience will keep coming back to engage with your bot (and your brand). 

Less stress on your audience

Most people today don’t want to have to call or email a customer service rep to get an answer on something. It’s time-consuming and anxiety-inducing – especially for those of us who dread phone calls. Having a one-stop customer service bot can greatly reduce the stress on your customers and make it easier for them to engage with you in positive ways. And, if they have a question or complaint that can’t be answered by your bot, they can let you know how best to contact them with a human representative. 

Making it easier to get customer info

Traditionally, if you wanted to get information from a customer, you had to direct them to an oftentimes tedious form. Unless people really want to do business with you, they’re unlikely to spend 5 minutes on a form and freely offer up their info like that. With chatbots, you don’t necessarily need to shove forms in your customer’s face. Chatbots can actually get all the information that traditional forms can, like email address, phone number, etc. And, they can do this through a naturally-flowing conversation. If you’ve had a hard time following up on leads because you didn’t have any contact info, a bot can help you get the info you need to be able to reach out and convert that lead. 

While chatbots can’t solve all our problems (we wish!), they’re definitely a powerhouse when it comes to creating easy solutions for everyday customer services issues. Learn more about chatbots and what they can do for both your teams and your audience in our guide here

Ways To Make Your Bot Even Better

Having a bot on your website is one of the first ways you can help your office staff. By easing the qualification process, you allow your team to focus on what’s in front of them. But how can you take your bot to the next level? We have put together a comprehensive list of ways that you can make your bot even better, which include: 

  1. Customized Avatar
  2. Brand Colors
  3. Specific Call To Action 
  4. Accurate Information
  5. Virtual Tours

1. Customized Avatar

By customizing your avatar, you can promote brand awareness and consistency. You will want your prospective residents to recognize your brand and be aware that you are there to help. Of course, they will know they are using a bot that users appreciate because you are transparent. However, they will also see that your company is associated with the bot and that the two are working together to help them. If you are using BetterBot, it is easy to customize your avatar in your user dashboard.

2. Brand Colors

Again, it is vital to utilize a bot that partners well with your branding, and colors are a huge part of that. Colors are one of the main things that people identify with your brand. You want to make sure your colors are consistent on all public-facing materials. This means you should always use the same colors, not mix-matching different shades trying to find the correct colors. One way to do this is to identify your brand’s HEX colors. If your company utilizes BetterBot, it is also effortless to update your brand colors in the dashboard so that your bot creates a cohesive look and feel on your site. 

3. Specific Call To Action (CTA)

Your bot must capture the attention of your prospective residents and current residents, so they know where to find it. Having a specific call to action on your bot will allow you the opportunity to capture your audience. For example, BetterBot has three text bubbles above any avatar, which default to Schedule An Appointment, Check Availability, and Pricing/Specials. However, this can be easily changed to whatever makes sense for your specific community—having that customized CTA will take your bot to the next level and allow for even more interaction. 

4. Accurate Information

Having accurate information on your site is vital to your brand’s credibility. If you have misinformation displayed, your customers may start to doubt the quality of your brand. Therefore, it’s important to periodically check and make sure you are showing the most accurate information. It is best practice to review your information once a quarter, but if you can once a month, it would be ideal. In an industry that is constantly changing and improving, it’s essential to make sure you share the best your communities have to offer. 

5. Virtual Tours

Pre-pandemic, virtual tours were becoming increasingly popular. Post-pandemic, they are non-negotiable. Users are looking for information at their fingertips, and virtual tours are primary ways they can find what they are looking for. You can take advantage of virtual tours on many platforms, but you can also easily create your own with an iPhone and a login to YouTube. If you are using BetterBot, you can upload your virtual tours in just about any format, and your users will be able to view virtual tours right there in your bot. They never have to leave your property website, and they can quickly move on to the next step of scheduling a visit. 

If you have a bot on your website, that is a significant first step! We want to remind you of how you can continue to improve your bot, including a customized avatar, brand colors, specific call to action, accurate information, and virtual tours. By sprucing up your bot in these core areas, you will find that your bot is in a perfect position to handle the volumes of traffic hitting your property website. For more information on BetterBot’s platform, CLICK HERE.

Better Practices: 7 Common Misconceptions About Chatbots

In terms of helpful technologies for your business, chatbots are one of the best tools out there. Especially in the multifamily space, chatbots can help connect your team with people and drive leasing conversions like nothing else. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the real estate world absolutely become enamored with chatbots and their potential to drive better business outcomes. More property management teams than ever are leveraging the power of bot technology, and many more have questions about what a chatbot could do for their team. Today, we’re going to tackle some of the most common chatbot misconceptions to make sure we’re all on the same page about what chatbots can – and can’t do. 

Common chatbot misconceptions

1. All chatbots are powered by AI

Bots come in a variety of flavors, and not all of them use artificial intelligence. In fact, most chatbots you’re likely to come across today don’t use AI at all, but are what we like to call, guided conversation bots. Take BetterBot for example; instead of using natural language processing (NLP) to interpret and respond to inquiries, our bot guides users through a scripted path, allowing people to get immediate responses to commonly asked questions and access resources like virtual apartment tours.

While there are some bots out there that are built within an AI framework, they’re often very complex and expensive to create and maintain (and oftentimes don’t work as they’re intended).

2. Bots take away human jobs

This common chatbot misconception gets it half right. Bots definitely affect human jobs, but instead of replacing them, they make those jobs easier to do. If you’re a part of a property management team, you know how difficult it can be to respond in a timely manner to the dozens of questions and requests you get each day. Instead of having to manually answer each of them, bots can take care of the vast majority of them, leaving you more time to focus on higher-value tasks like marketing your properties. 

Instead of looking at chatbots as a threat, smart businesses see them as an opportunity

3. Small businesses can’t take advantage of bot tech

If your team is on the smaller side, you may think that you don’t have the time or funds to tap into bot tech. The good news is, the ability to create a great chatbot has become much more democratized in the past few years. Now more than ever, it’s easy to utilize an affordable bot solution that’s uniquely tailored to your business’s needs. 

4. Chatbots lack personality

No longer are bots dry, humorless software that lacks a personality. Nowadays, companies understand the importance of infusing their brand’s unique personality and communication style into their bot solution. That’s why you’ll see chatbots cracking jokes, offering helpful advice, and engaging with users in a friendly, conversational way. 

The great thing about bots is, is that you can customize their ‘personality’ however you’d like. Think of your bot as an extension of your customer service team. You can program them to take and answer requests in whatever way you think will best reflect your brand.

5. Bots are too technically complicated for the average team

While your team may have a lot of initial questions when it comes to implementing a chatbot solution for the first time, there are a variety of easy-to-follow resources to help you understand what your bot does and how it should be integrated into your customer experience strategy. 

Any property team can benefit from a great chatbot. At BetterBot, 97% of property management teams that use our bot keep our bot! 

6. All bots do is customer service

A great bot is like a blank slate. You can use it for a variety of functions – not just for resolving customer service requests. For example, if you want to level up your digital marketing strategy, bots can be a great conversational marketing tool. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment! 

7. People don’t like talking to bots

Here it is – one of the biggest chatbot misconceptions ever. Consumer’s wants and needs are changing, and not many people want to spend time calling and emailing customer service reps. People crave simplicity, and chatbots provide that. Instead of having to go back and forth with a real person, bots can get people the resources and answers they need at a fraction of the time, whenever they want. A chatbot is the 24/7, 365 customer service team member you never knew you needed.   

3 Things Every Chatbot Onboarding Experience Should Include

Bringing a new process to your team can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve worked extremely hard to ensure that our onboarding process is different. When onboarding a new bot to your team, there are three things you should always look out for, including: 

  1. Quick Process
  2. Painless Set-Up 
  3. Straightforward & Simple Training

Let’s dive deeper into why these elements are essential to successful onboarding. 

1.Quick Process

If your onboarding is estimated to take more than a few days, run away! Bringing on a chatbot solution should be pretty seamless. A quick onboarding process will ensure that you are getting the most out of your solution. Residents must be greeted by your chatbot as soon as possible so they can get the information they’re looking for. So why wait? At BetterBot our onboarding process takes on average five days. Our team works tirelessly to ensure your bots are delivered promptly so that you can get started reaping the rewards of your new chatbot. 

2. Painless Set-Up

You should not be building your bot yourself. That’s a lot of work! Setting up your bots should be painless. Your chatbot solution should be able to provide insight on what renters are most receptive to. They should know what information is the most sought out and what prospects want to know. You should be able to rely on experts to help maximize your bot’s responses. It shouldn’t take countless hours of deciding what trail your prospects should go down. At BetterBot, it only takes 30 minutes to get started. We will sit down and have a conversation to determine your needs and branding elements. Then, we are off to the races, and our development team gets started building your bots. It’s painless and straightforward for all parties involved. 

3. Straightforward & Simple Training

Your team doesn’t need to spend countless hours training. It’s vital that your new chatbot eases the burden on your team. Why should having a new tool increase your team’s workload? It’s there to make life easier. BetterBot has an intuitive platform for your team to utilize. Your on-site staff should understand what your bot does for them, and they should know it’s there helping prospects. Beyond that, selected members of your team will want access to your BetterBot dashboard to make sure information stays up to date and to pull reports. This training is straightforward and simple, allowing you more time to focus on leasing apartments.

Bonus Tip: New technology should be exciting

Adding a new solution to your already existing tech stack can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. New technology should be exciting! It’s here to help. Onboarding your chatbot should be fun and exciting, not dull and time-consuming. It’s essential to keep these principles in mind when looking to bring on a chatbot solution. Remember, BetterBot checks all three boxes, so you’re at a great starting point. CLICK HERE to learn more! 

BetterPractices: How to Test Your Apartment Chatbot

So you’ve finally decided to create a chatbot – amazing! We’re so excited for you. Now you’re one step closer to transforming your property’s leasing process for the better. The thing is, it’s not quite enough to simply build a bot and call it a day. Every chatbot solution you create needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure it’s helping your property management team meet its goals. Additionally, if you’ve recently updated or upgraded an existing solution, it’s also important to run everything through QA. Ultimately, the better you understand your bot, the better you can make it work for your team’s unique needs. So how should you go about testing your bot? Keep reading for our tried-and-true best practices on how to test your chatbot.

How to test your chatbot

When it comes to effectively testing your multifamily chatbot, you’ll want to keep this flexible framework in mind. Every bot is different, but all bots need to meet these guidelines.

Hone in on your ‘why’

What do you want your bot to be used for? Answering questions about properties? Booking tours? Streamlining the leasing process? All of the above? Before you let your bot run free, it’s important to establish the ‘whys’ behind your bot. Write down every use-case you want your bot to cover, along with potential responses. Rank them by priority. 

The more potential scenarios you can plan for, the better! At the end of the day, a successful bot will be able to accommodate each and every one of these scenarios, creating a more streamlined user experience. Having trouble coming up with use cases? Ask your renters directly what features they would most like to see!

Establish KPIs

Once you know what queries you want your bot to cover, you’ll want to establish clear KPIs. These will help you gauge your bot’s performance. Classic bot KPIs include number of users served, number of steps needed to complete a request, and self-service rate (how well your chatbot can resolve a request without human intervention). Other great KPIs to keep an eye on are customer satisfaction rate, which can be measured through surveys, and sales conversion rate. The better your bot is able to meet these indicators, the more functional it is. 

Make sure it’s conversational 

Your customers may be talking with a bot, but that doesn’t mean their interaction doesn’t have to be anything less than conversational. The best bots are one that create an engaging experience with users, so you’ll want to make sure yours doesn’t sound too robotic. When you’re drafting up possible responses, keep answers straightforward and friendly. People don’t want to spend minutes reading through long answers that could’ve been said in a sentence or two. 

At this point, it may be helpful to bring in some test users to see how well the bot does. Additionally, this is a great point to implement A/B testing to see which types of responses prompt better conversion rates. 

Run performance tests

Now that you have a comprehensive set of use cases and responses, it’s time to optimize your bot’s performance. Along with improving response speed, you’ll also want to focus performance tests on security as well. Conversations between users and your bot need to be encrypted and adhere to consumer privacy compliance. 

Never stop testing!

Once you’ve got a chatbot you’re happy with, the work isn’t done yet! One of the great things about chatbots today is that so many of them can learn from user experiences and update themselves to improve. If your bot is designed to learn, it’s important to check in with it every month or so to ensure its responses are still up to par. Even if you manually update your bot, it’s still a good idea to check-in every so often and run speed and other performance tests. Continuous testing will help ensure both you and your customers are getting the most out of your bot!

At the end of the day, your chatbot solution is only as good as the quality of answers it can give. That’s why it’s so critical to run your bot through rigorous testing to ensure each user can get exactly the information they’re looking for. 

Now that you know how to test your chatbot, it’s time to optimize your bot’s presence on your website. Learn what to do (and what to avoid) here



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