It’s all anyone can talk about in multifamily these days. There are few different artificial intelligence (AI) solutions available in multifamily, but many promise things that are too good to be true. As we come into budget season, multifamily property management companies (PMCs) are likely starting to look at which technology solutions they want to invest in for the upcoming year to make their business more efficient. Let’s dive into how an AI Leasing Assistant can help and the criteria you should keep in mind when deciding what technology to invest in.
NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING vs. RULE-BASED
Let’s define what an AI leasing assistant is. The term means different things to different people. This is important to understand because it means that not all AI leasing assistants do the same thing. In multifamily, the term AI leasing assistant has become synonymous with chatbot, but many AI assistants have other capabilities. The different chatbot technologies don’t always work the same, even though they will often refer to themselves as AI leasing assistants. Specifically, some multifamily technology companies have natural language processing chatbots while others have rule-based chatbots.
The big difference is that Natural Language Processing (NLP) chatbots are more conversational and can answer the prospect’s questions. NLP chatbots understand natural language and can determine the intent of the renter’s question and answer properly even when the question isn’t posed perfectly. Rule-based chatbots are workflow based and make the prospect follow prompts that hopefully answer their questions. Since these chatbots operate on rules, they are unable to address specific questions, so the process of following the workflow can be frustrating for the renter, especially if their question isn’t answered by the workflow.
While people are accustomed to talking to robots on sites, natural language processing chatbots have the ability to answer more questions and are less frustrating for prospects as they can have their questions answered 24/7 in a conversational way. They don’t have to wait for the leasing office to be open to get a response. This saves leasing specialists’ time as they won’t be stuck answering every question a prospect has and can focus on closing leases.
AUTOMATION AND LEAD MANAGEMENT
AI Leasing Assistants have begun to add capabilities for following up on leads. The capabilities vary greatly by technology. Many will simply send static messages a few times to try to get a prospect to tour.
But prospect’s shopping behavior has changed in recent years. Data shows that renters are beginning to look early at properties. They gather information and research many months in advance and then shortlist the properties they’re interested in. When it’s closer to their actual move-in date, they begin touring the properties that they are most interested in.
An AI Leasing Assistant helps these prospects with their research, especially one with a Natural Language Processing chatbot. But the leasing agents that are best serving today’s rental prospects, have gone beyond the capabilities of an AI Leasing Assistant to become a complete lead management platform that also helps with automating the leasing journey during the period that the renter is shopping. New technologies have NLP chatbots that can answer prospects’ questions 24/7 and some leasing AI is actually able to automate lead nurturing and take it off the onsite team’s plate entirely!
PERQ goes beyond a traditional AI Leasing Assistant by incorporating elements for engagement and nurturing. PERQ’s platform also sets up your property websites to be more engaging with interactive experiences. It’s NLP chatbot can converse with prospects on the website, SMS and email as part of PERQ’s complete AI Leasing Automation platform. PERQ’s complete multifamily lead management approach handles prospects that are browsing months ahead and engages them with the experiences and chatbots and its automated leasing platform with nurture messages until they become agent ready leads.
One-Time Conversation vs. Ongoing Nurture Journey
Using prospect data, PERQ automates emails and SMS messages as part of the lead nurture journey for the prospect on a cadence based on the time frame of moving the prospect has given. The AI decisioning engine behind PERQ knows when to pull back on sending messages as well so that prospects are given the right amount of attention without pestering their inboxes. It also makes sure to send the right message for that prospect in the right channel, so the prospect gets a personalized set of nurture outreach that is perfect for them.
AI lead management solutions like PERQ have great benefits for leasing specialists. A leasing AI automation platform can help them manage their pipeline and only hands off agent-ready leads when the rental prospect is ready to talk to a person. Because AI lead management solutions keep records on the AI assistant’s interactions with prospects, the leasing team will also have access to all of the data the AI Assistant has kept track of in the prospect’s guest card so they know exactly what the prospect is looking for and when.
A full AI lead automation platform that includes an AI Leasing Assistant with a best-in-class NLP chatbot makes your leasing team stronger by giving them the time to focus on qualified, agent ready leads, knowing that they aren’t letting leads slip through the cracks because the Assistant has it covered.
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