Chatbots are a great way to ensure leads (and existing customers) get instant, quick service, even when you’re away from the desk or closed for business.

They can also help streamline your lead intake and marketing processes, while also increasing your internal efficiency and cutting costs simultaneously. Best of all? They’re affordable, easy to set up, and even easier to manage.

Could a chatbot work in your real estate company’s favor? Considering implementing one? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Real Estate Chatbot and How Does it Work?

A chatbot is just what it sounds like — a robot that chats on your company’s behalf. You can install them on your real estate website, use them to handle Facebook Messenger conversations, or implement them in your customer service portal or interface. Just about anywhere you interact with customers, a chatbot can step in a be your proxy.

Their main goal is to fill in for a service rep when a real-life one isn’t available. They can be programmed to answer common questions, share hours or operating information, or even process information and user requests. In the real estate world, they’re often used to respond to listing inquiries or provide quick valuations for homeowners looking to sell their properties.

Benefits of Using a Real Estate Chatbot

The benefits of chatbots are numerous. From simply entertaining your customers to speeding up your processes and better closing deals, they can help with a whole slew of goals and efforts. Since they can be so easily customized, you can also program them to handle menial tasks and free up your team for more productive work.

Here are just a few of the benefits that chatbots offer:

  • 24/7 availability
  • Immediate response times
  • Can respond in any language
  • Efficiency and increased productivity
  • Lower costs than live staff members
  • Fewer errors and missed leads

Overall, chatbots can also help increase customer satisfaction. Whether it’s answering a question in the dead of the night, getting the client pertinent information within seconds, or just helping them stay better in touch with you and your team, chatbots can do a lot for both retaining customers and building their loyalty.

How to Use Your Chatbot 

If you’re considering a chatbot for your real estate firm, there are dozens of ways you can use and implement them — both on your website and the outside portals and messenger services your brand might use.

 Need inspiration? Agents and real estate pros are currently using chatbots to:

  • Respond to listing inquiries — especially outside of business hours
  • Capture online lead information
  • Answer questions about fees or services
  • Hand off leads to a human agent or representative
  • Qualify buyers and sellers
  • Schedule property viewings and appointments
  • Help buyers search MLS listings
  • Give virtual tours

They can also be used to automate your follow-up process by putting them into an email funnel, texting campaign, or other pre-set marketing process. This takes a lot of the hassle out of your lead generation and nurturing process and makes keeping them in the funnel easier and more effective.

Common Chatbot Providers

Chatbot solutions run the gamut. You can choose from pre-made, off-the-shelf ones for specific platforms and messaging services, or you can customize and create your own from scratch. The best choice depends on the tasks you’re wanting your chatbot to handle, as well as the internal resources (and tech know-how) your team has at its disposal.

Here are some of the more popular chatbot providers you might want to consider:

  • Landbot, for landing pages, websites, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger
  • Flow XO, for Twitter and Salesforce
  • MobileMonkey, for Facebook Messenger
  • Xenioo, for social media, Slack, Amazon, and WhatsApp
  • Tars, for landing pages (it even has real estate-specific templates you can use)
  • Aivo, for Zendesk, Salesforce, Zapier, and texting
  • Chatfuel, for Facebook Messenger
  • Pandorabots, for Twitter, KiK, Slack, as well as mobile applications

Check out Inc.com and WordStream for a full list of bot options and solutions, or talk to your IT department about building or customizing a bot exactly for your needs.

Other Chat Options for Real Estate Agents

You can also go the live chat route, but that requires a real-life person to handle the keys. That means 1) you’re likely limited to business hours only (and not everyone is looking for a home on a strict 9 to 5 schedule and 2) you’ll have to pay someone to manage the chat. Whether that means hiring a new employee or shifting an existing employee to your chat efforts, either way, it will cost added money.

More Ways to Improve Customer Service

Chatbots aren’t the only way to improve customer service for your clients. Refer them to vendors you know will take care of their needs and guide them through the home buying process. Need a great lender to send them to? Reach out to Embrace Home Loans and learn how we can help your clients today.