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Say hello to Realtor Bot, a chatbot for brokers

By August 14, 2017 No Comments
Say hello to Realtor Bot, a chatbot for brokers
REPOSTED DIRECTLY FROM INMAN NEWS. THIS CONTENT HAS NOT BEEN MODERATED BY WFG NATIONAL TITLE.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Botplan’s Chatbot for Realtors is a lead generation chatbot for brokers to deploy and manage.

Platforms: Browser; mobile-optimized
Ideal for: All brokers looking to streamline how agents react to and manage new leads.

Top selling points

  • Roll-out at the broker level
  • Does not disguise itself as a person
  • Backend reports and admin tools

Top concerns

The bot is in its early stages and may offer more value down the road. Still, early adoption may have a lot of benefits.

What you should know

Botplan is new to real estate, prompting me to ask for a customer testimonial.

I was surprised to be delivered Brenda Tushaus, the COO of Re/Max Results — the largest Re/Max franchise in the country.

I wrote a column last month about Tushaus’s role in the launch of Results’ extensive new website. Her kind words about Botplan should resonate with agents giving thought to automating online lead response.

“Botplan’s AI [artificial intelligence] solution is ideal for Re/Max Results because it is customized to reflect our brand. It’s built to engage, guide and keep the consumer within our environment,” she told me via email.

“The analytics provided by Botplan will be extremely valuable for us to help our Realtors get more out of this tool.”

It also helps that Botplan has been in the bot space for some time, helping car salesmen determine serious leads from those just kicking the tires.

It’s safe to say Botplan is vetted, but that doesn’t mean its product is an automatic homerun.

I wasn’t overly impressed with the tone of the discourse, even though the software immediately informs the user that he or she is talking to a machine.

The transparency is a nice touch, but it may turn people away quickly, like a touch-tone phone tree. It could be remedied by a more affable tone and some catchy jargon or a self-deprecating gag or two.

Maybe I’m reaching; I want to see it be more engaging.

Does it work? Yes, it does.

Buyer discussions include inquiries about the number of adults, kids and even pets that may be living in the house.

It asks about type of property, which I find redundant.

If the agent sells condos or multi-family properties, the buyer’s purchase intent should be assumed.

Botplan’s Chatbot for Realtors asks about location and time frame, then gets into setting an appointment.

The conversation concludes with a confirmation of time and a promise that an “agent near you will be in touch soon.”

Things flow about the same for a listing inquiry.

Both scenarios ask the person if they are already working with an agent. I like that. Agents being delivered the lead will then have a better idea of how to approach the interested party.

If you tell the chatbot that you have a general question, it’ll respond asking if it’s about a specific property, then ask you for the address and your contact information. An agent will then follow up.

Alerts of conversations can be sent to the broker-user via email, text or directly to a CRM. (The company is looking to add a number of strategic partnerships.)

You can also schedule showings, and it’s in this feature that I see the chatbot’s potential.

It smartly asks what it is about that property that interests the person.

We all know that buyers are notoriously non-committal. By recording what features interest them, brokers can search other listings and assign the lead accordingly.

I also dig that Botplan’s Chatbot for Realtors is designed to be a broker tool that can plug into the arsenal of other lead generation tools being provided to agents.

The number of appointments set, conversion rates, leads generated and agents using the chatbot can be viewed. All chats are recorded.

Lastly, at no point does the chatbot allow a human to take over the chat.

This is a strategic move by Botplan to ensure its product can continually evolve. The more it talks, the smarter it becomes.

I don’t doubt that will happen.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

The views and opinions of authors expressed in this publication do not necessarily state or reflect those of WFG National Title, its affiliated companies, or their respective management or personnel.

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