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From Keller Williams’ Kelle app and Amazon’s Alexa to Google’s way-advanced Duplex, voice-activated software interfaces are not far from being commonplace in the business world.
For most real estate agents, the idea of an actual personal assistant is rather far-fetched, which is why an app called Fin might find some traction in the industry.
How it works
The iPhone app (and web app) allows users to email, text or voice message requests to “Fin” using natural, conversational language. The software connects with users’ email accounts, calendars and payment systems to help do everything from book a table to finding the nearest place that rents bicycles.
Fin combines a sharp communication interface with actual humans to help carry out its duties. In essence, the company hires its own bank of executive assistants that are assisted by the software.
With humans in the background, Fin can take on more complicated, detail-oriented requests than most digital assistants, such as booking air travel, ordering gifts to be delivered to specific addresses or sharing the latest four-bedroom listings to hit the market.
The system will learn (as it goes) to more efficiently execute common tasks, which could include daily online coffee orders, emailing a listing to a specific leads list or sending a market update to a prospective client.
Making a living in real estate requires a person to be very, very busy; and any time dedicated to non-revenue-generating activities is usually brief and harried.
Transaction coordinators and junior buyer agents are often saddled with superfluous administrative tasks, simply because no one else is around to do them. And paying for a full-time employee who doesn’t directly create revenue is rather unheard of in the real estate industry. This is where a tool like Fin can help because users only pay for the minutes each Fin request takes to execute.
The most common way users interact with Fin is via email, but texting may appeal more to real estate agents given the highly-mobile nature of the business.
There’s a “recurring requests list” available on a user dashboard that houses tasks that need to be done every week or month. This could be a very effective solution for agents who often forget to send their newsletter or post their YouTube video.
Fin can also handle in-bound phone calls.
Agent teams may be interested in Fin for Teams, a way to “hire” a single assistant for multiple people.
Members can be limited to certain requests or minutes spent, and administrative roles can track how each account is being used. Best of all, users can ask Fin to set up the permissions, stop certain users from making certain requests and send current usage metrics.
The truth about artificial intelligence (AI) and automation is that it’s not quite as advanced as the growth of term “AI” suggests.
The majority of software products using it in business productivity scenarios are in many ways human-backed or still require frequent human intervention. It’s refreshing to see a company say that upfront and eschew the bleeding-edge marketing messages that are far too common today.
Fin has multiple payment levels, starting with a pay as you request level, $270/month for part-time help and $2,500/month for full-time help. So no, it’s not super affordable yet.
To get an idea of what Fin can do, check out the live feed of actual requests.
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.