Pandemic Tech Trends That Are Here To Stay

The COVID-19 pandemic brought upon plenty of new challenges in the multifamily industry. Most companies had to get creative about how they continued with business during this time. These creative fixes came with new trends that would stick around even once the pandemic slowed and things began to return to normal. We had the pleasure of chatting at AIM Reconnect on the topic of pandemic tech trends that are here to stay and those that aren’t. Some of the crucial issues we covered include: 

  • How chatbots can assist with virtual tours
  • Ways you can reach your customer beyond property websites
  • Ways technology can assist with overwhelm in property offices 

In this discussion BetterBot’s COO & Co-Founder, Robert Turnbull, shares about how virtual tours became imperative during the pandemic and how they will continue to be. He shares how BetterBot realized that this needed to be a feature that was available to the public. He also discusses the method behind BetterBot’s framing of virtual tours on their platform. 

Shane Gilman, Vice President of Marketing at Gates Hudson, shares his experience using bots on platforms other than property websites. He talks about the importance of reaching prospects right where they are and how this shaped his marketing strategy at Gates Hudson. 

Robert Turnbull also shares essential statistics about overwhelm on site. He talks about different ways to alleviate that stress so that site teams can focus on what’s in front of them. It’s increasingly important that employees are just as satisfied as to the residents who live in each community. Therefore, management companies should find ways to ease the burden on their teams to complete lasting leases.

There are a number of pandemic trends that will stick around long after the world returns to normal, especially when it comes to technology. To understand even more of these trends, check out the full discussion below. For more information on how BetterBot can assist, CLICK HERE

7 Things We’ve Learned From Greeting Over 50 Million Renters

At BetterBot, we’ve reached a huge milestone! We’ve greeted over 50 million renters through our platform over the last two years. Our product has evolved into a more effective platform over time, and we’ve learned so much. With that being said, we want to share seven things we’ve learned from greeting over 50 million renters. 

1.After Hours Traffic Is Increasing

We’ve found that on average, 58% of our customer’s traffic is coming after hours. That’s over half of their traffic! We see this as a trend industry-wide. This highlights the importance of having service for prospective customers after the offices are closed. 

2. Onboarding Should Be Easy

No two properties are alike, so why should your onboarding experience be cookie-cutter/copy and paste? We know that bringing on new technology can be overwhelming. Over time we have maximized our onboarding process to ensure that it’s easy and accurate for our customers. It takes a 30-minute conversation to get our users onboarded, and it’s the most straightforward thing you’ll ever add to your processes. 

3. Guided Conversation is Effective

It’s crucial to guide renters so that they want to schedule a tour. However, you can’t force it. Lead gating can disrupt the prospect journey, which is why it’s been important to our team to create a flow that naturally guides the conversation so that prospects are eager to visit your community. 

4. Different Properties Call For Different Experiences

We know that all properties are different, especially when it comes to working with different property types. When engaging with an affordable community or a community built for students, the experience a prospect has when engaging with an affordable community has other parameters, qualifications, and even a different way of leasing. So we created Student & Affordable Bots to handle that and create a custom experience for your prospects.

5. Accuracy Is Important

Prospects expect a seamless, effortless, and easy interaction when engaging with a chatbot, including excellent access to property information while providing accurate and up-to-date answers. With Natural Language Processing (NLP) bots, we’ve seen a 33% error rate on average. That’s an F average if we’re looking at a typical grading scale! With Guided Conversation bots like ours, the conversation is natural and accurate all the time. 

6. Accessibility Is a Non-Negotiable 

It’s important that your prospects can reach you anywhere. Renters want real-time information, and they want to be able to contact you on any channel. That’s why with BetterBot, we’ve found great success using omnichannel marketing. Using our omi-channel marketing, you can reach prospects on any platform, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, Craigslist, Apartments.com, Apartment List, and so much more. You’ll never miss a prospect, and you’ll acquire more qualified leads. 

7. Time Is Valuable

Time is the most valuable thing we have, which is why we understand the importance of spending it wisely. We’ve developed our bot to handle the menial tasks so that leasing teams can focus on what’s essential….being human! 

Greeting over 50 million renters sounds daunting, but for us, it’s been fun. We’ve learned so much about what renters crave, and we are continuing to evolve as we learn more. Stay tuned to find out what enhancements are on the horizon and see how we’ll keep improving!

BetterPractices: How to Test Your 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

Leveraging Marketing Automation to Improve Your Leasing Journey

As technology constantly evolves, customers are increasingly looking for ways they can have a hyper-connected experience. We had the opportunity to host a panel at AIM Reconnect where we talked about leveraging marketing automation to increase your leasing journey with Trevor Park, (Head of Marketing at BetterBot), Stephanie Soderberg (Sr. Director, Growth Marketing at Apartment List), Paul Edgeman (VP of Marketing & Technology at Thrive Communities), and Mike Wolber (Chief Revenue Officer at Rent Dynamics). Some of the important questions that were covered include:

  • How do you continue to drive personalized content to your audience?
  • What is one of the largest obstacles with marketing automation in multifamily and how are those systems adopted?
  • How do you use technology to maximize your team and campaign effectiveness?

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these. 

Stephanie Soderberg, Sr. Director of Growth Marketing at ApartmentList, shares that it’s important to find the right renters. She mentions that it’s important to look at the lead channels and understand the signals you are feeding back to your leads. She also talks about the importance of leveraging machine learning to automate the way we market to renters even more effectively. 

Paul Edgeman, VP of Marketing & Technology at Thrive Communities, talks about making the most of the platforms you have in place. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining your historical data while at the same time, taking advantage of technology. He shares why it’s important to adapt a holistic approach to evaluating tools and finding which ones help your conversion rates. 

Mike Wolber, Chief Revenue Officer at Rent Dynamics, addresses technology and how you can measure what’s working with your technology. It’s important to evaluate where your problems and opportunities lie and how you can tackle them. He shares the importance of participating in A/B testing and evaluating what’s working so that you can make the most of your marketing dollars. 

Trevor Park, Head of Marketing at BetterBot, reiterates the importance of participating in A/B testing. He shares that without solid testing, it will be difficult to effectively figure out which conversion tools are working for you. He talks about how we can take marketing automation to the next level by evaluating what is producing high success rates for your specific product. 

When leveraging marketing automation, it’s important to evaluate what is actually improving your leasing journey vs. what is hindering it. In this discussion, our guests ponder this topic and share in-depth insights on exactly how you can find what’s right for you. Check out the full video here if you’d like to catch all the insights these special guests shared. 

How To Add Your Chatbot To Google, Facebook, Yelp, And More

One of the most exciting things about BetterBot is that your bot can work for you virtually anywhere. We are happy to provide our customers with a bot that is great for Omnichannel Marketing, which is a fancy way of saying that you can market through different channels. It’s super easy to get your bot added to a number of places including Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, Craigslist, and more! All you need to do is simply add your BetterBot link to these sites and we’ll show you how.

Selecting Your User Experience

Log into your BetterBot Dashboard. If you are not currently set up, email support@betterbot.com and they can help you get logged in. Once you are in the dashboard, log into the property you’d like to update. Then, you’ll go to SHARE. From this point, you will see a number of different link options such as Welcome, Specials, Photos, Schedule Appointment, 3D Tour and more. These are the different spots you can start a conversation. Most users select the WELCOME point, as this gives the full user experience however, you are welcome to choose any link you’d like. Once you’ve chosen your link, copy it to your clipboard. 

Social Media

Adding Your Chatbot to Facebook

Step 1: Log into Facebook and go to your profile

Step 2: Select Edit Learn More and then Edit Button

Step 3: Select the Learn More button option. Then enter the desired link and save.

Step 4: You are good to go! Your prospects can now get all your property information right in Facebook. 

Adding Your Chatbot to Instagram

Step 1: Log into your account and go to your profile

Step 2: Select Edit Profile

Step 3: Enter your chosen link as your website and save

Step 4: You are all set and now prospects can get all the info they need from Instagram

Review Sites

Adding Your Chatbot to Google My Business

Step 1: Log into your Google My Business account. 

Step 2: Go to INFO on the side menu

Step 3: Add your chosen link as an APPOINTMENT LINK

Step 4: All done! You are good to go and your prospects can now get more information straight from Google My Business. 

Adding Your Chatbot to Yelp

Step 1: Log into your business owner account and go to the Your Business tab

Step 2: Go to Business Information

Step 3: Paste the link under Services Web Address

Step 4: You’re all done and your prospects can utilize your bot straight from Yelp

ILS Accounts

One of the easiest ways to get your chatbot on all ILS accounts would be to update your ILS feed with the BetterBot link, rather than property website link. This can be done easily if you are using feeds through Yardi, Entrata, etc. However, we are still sharing a couple ways you can update your ILS accounts if you are not using an ILS feed.

Adding Your Chatbot to Apartments.com

To update your website URL on Apartments.com you will need their support team’s help. Contact or representative or email support@apartments.com and let them know what link you would like to have displayed. 

Adding Your Chatbot to Craigslist

Step 1: Log into your Craigslist account and create a post

Step 2: Within the description of your bot, enter your website URL 

Step 3: Once you’ve posted you are good to go! Your prospects can find your bot right from your postings.

Like we mentioned earlier, you can have your bot virtually anywhere you can put a URL. We hope you’ve found these tips and tricks useful. For further information, reach out to support@betterbot.com

BetterBot Greets It’s 50 Millionth Renter

BetterBot continues to be Multifamily’s most adopted digital leasing solution

Atlanta, GA, April 14, 2021 – BetterBot, an industry leader in Multifamily chatbot software, is successfully building the future of renting. Through its proprietary conversational leasing solution, the company is creating new opportunities for property management teams to engage with both prospective and current renters through self-guided VR apartment tours, live-video, phone appointments, and more. In Q1 of 2021, BetterBot achieved a new milestone, greeting its 50 millionth renter through its omnichannel chatbot software.

Underscoring this achievement is the internal growth BetterBot has experienced over the past two years. Starting from a small team of 2, the company has blossomed into a team of over 40 dedicated builders, designers, and customer support enthusiasts. “I mean, I don’t just think it is a better bot; I think it is a better company. And I feel very much like a family now that said, that’s maybe a little kumbaya and touchy-feely, but I mean, come on when you’re having people who are running various departments in your company and people in your company who feel that way, you’re doing something right,” said COO and Co-Founder, Robert Turnbull. “And to me, business is less than half of it is the people you’re working with and what they’re giving away. That really makes the difference. And that’s why I love working with this type of style of company, the size of company, your type of company. I think we share these philosophies.” 

Since its inception in 2018 by co-founders Zlatko Bogoevski and Robert Turnbull, BetterBot continues to go from strength to strength. By focusing on cultivating meaningful interactions between renters and property management teams, BetterBot differentiates itself from other chatbot software. 

Today, BetterBot remains the most adopted conversational leasing solution in the Multifamily space, serving thousands of apartment communities and their respective management teams. In 2020 alone, BetterBot has seen conversion rates above industry standards, with over 10% of all conversations starting with BetterBot converting to a viable prospect or scheduled appointment. Answering over 4 million apartment specific questions and generating over a quarter of a million renter leads, resulting in almost 1 million hours saved for Leasing Teams across the country.

About BetterBot

Today’s renters want control over their leasing process. People want to be able to access information wherever, whenever, and most leasing teams simply can’t keep up. Enter BetterBot, Multifamily’s most adopted omnichannel digital leasing solution. BetterBot helps provide renters the information they want 24/7/365, on the digital platforms they’re already on. Using the most technologically advanced software, BetterBot showcases floor plans, hosts virtual tours, and explains specials and amenities while driving prospective renters to schedule in-person, self-guided, live-video and phone appointments. BetterBot is the round-the-clock leasing assistant of choice, helping to free up valuable time so leasing teams can do what they do best – being human. 

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How To Adjust To Changes In Multifamily

Sometimes it can feel like technology is advancing at a mile minute speed. At BetterBot, we’ve worked really hard to make improvements and pivot our business during the pandemic. We know that trends will continue to evolve as the pandemic conditions change. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how you, too, can adjust to changes in the multifamily industry. Those steps include: 

  1. Watch Trends
  2. Be Receptive
  3. Get Creative
  4. Take Action

Let’s walk through each of these more in-depth so that you can continue to make positive updates as time goes on. 

1.Watch Trends

What’s going on in the industry? Watch what other respected companies are doing in your wheelhouse. Are these things that would be beneficial to your processes? For example, when the pandemic started at the beginning of 2020, we realized that there was a massive need for some type of system that could clearly state COVID-19 protocols. We worked with our development team to create “unique protocols,” which will stick around post-pandemic. With these unique protocols, our customers could add custom questions for their prospects. Many of our users added questions like “Have you been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days” or “Are you currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms”. We made a massive effort to listen to industry needs and make updates appropriately. 

2. Be Receptive 

Be open to changing processes to improve your business. Don’t continue with something just because that’s the way you’ve always done it. Take a look at how you are doing business and break it down. Does it make sense? Or would it be helpful to add or remove steps in your process? One great way to do this is to look at your online reviews and listen to your team members. Take the feedback and compile it so you can evaluate what needs to be improved. 

3. Get Creative

At the beginning of the pandemic, all in-person events were canceled or postponed. At BetterBot, we didn’t let that stop us! We decided to get creative and host a series of virtual events to keep our customers and prospects engaged. We hosted “Better Year, Better You,” a series of free fitness classes we hosted in partnership with Guided Fitness. We also hosted a few “Better Experiences,” including virtual cocktails and cooking classes. Find how you can continue to engage with your audience and find creative ways to do it. 

4. Take Action 

Get going! After you’ve done the brainstorming and thinking about what you want to update, actually do it. Be sure to identify who will take ownership of each project and schedule check-ins to evaluate the progress you are making. 

We hope you find this guide helpful. These are a few of the things we have done at BetterBot to stay successful during the pandemic and beyond. We are constantly working to ensure our customers are happy with their service and will continue to evolve as trends change.

BetterBot Partners With Tour24

Exciting things are happening with BetterBot! We are delighted to announce that we are officially integrated with Tour24. Tour24 is one of the top on-demand platforms for self-guided apartment tours. Their technology works with smart home technology to provide an easy self-guided property tour. They help prospective residents tour on their own schedule resulting in more leases for the communities they work with. BetterBot is the multifamily industry’s most used chatbot platform. They help renters find the information they are looking for 24/7, 365 out of the year. Together, these two companies plan to make apartment leasing one of the easiest processes.

“Like BetterBot, Tour24 is experiencing explosive growth, particularly now, as property managers seek out new ways to compete by delivering a next-generation experience for renters,” said Georgianna W. Oliver, founder and CEO of Tour24. “With our transformative technology that incorporates audio and visual support to BetterBot’s community of engaged users, our integration empowers prospective residents with on-demand insights about a property, and the ability to see a unit when it’s most convenient for them.”

This new partnership means that BetterBot users will be able to take advantage of this self-guided tour technology through our platform, when they subscribe with Tour24. Prospects will find a seamless integration will result in a smooth experience as they explore their potential apartment home. For more information on Tour24 CLICK HERE

apartment chatbot software

How to Get Your Multifamily Team Ready For a Chatbot

So you’ve decided to take the next step forward in your multifamily business – that’s awesome! Integrating bot technology into your property management team’s workflow and processes is an incredible, cost-effective way to save time, convert leads, and meet the needs of today’s digital-first consumers. And the good news is, it’s never been easier to reap the benefits of a great chatbot solution. Ready to dive in? To help you manage the transition quickly and effectively, we’ve created this simple multifamily chatbot checklist to help you stay on track.  

Your multifamily chatbot checklist  

Decide on what kind of chatbot you want 

The first priority on your multifamily chatbot checklist is figuring out which type of bot you want to integrate into your website. We’ve got an excellent blog on understanding the different types of bots, but for time’s sake we’ll focus on guided-conversation bots in this guide. Also known as “rules-based” bots, guided conversation chatbots are like a choose-your-own-adventure game – they guide users through pre-determined scenario trees, helping them complete simple queries and access information. This is the type of bot technology we use at BetterBot! 

The great thing about guided conversation bots is that they’re highly adaptable. It’s easy to tailor your bot specifically to the needs of your property management team and residents. 

Give your bot a memorable personality

Your bot should be an extension of your brand. Is your brand tone of voice quirky and fun, informative and direct, or somewhere in between? Regardless of how you like to position yourself as a multifamily brand, it’s important to ensure your bot reflects that. Treat your bot like another member of the team – how would you want them to talk to residents and potential leads? 

Fortunately, it’s very simple to add a bit of personality to your bot. Using conversational language, integrating emojis, and even cracking a few jokes can go a long way in creating a great user experience. Oh, and don’t forget to give your bot a memorable name! 

Optimize your website

These days, it’s very tempting to stuff your multifamily website full of different widgets and CTAs. And while this might make you feel like your website is more professional and complete, it actually can be a big turn-off for prospective leads. Windows popping up every 5 seconds directing you to view a resource or enter your contact information is overwhelming and distracting. Instead of bombarding perspectives with too many widgets on your homepage, integrate them into your chatbot. 

Multifamily chatbots can handle a variety of functions, from virtual tours, to appointment scheduling and more. And when it comes to collecting contact info, a bot makes it much easier to collect info in an organic, conversational way. 

Integrate your chatbot into Google, Craigslist and social media

This is one of the most important parts of your multifamily chatbot checklist. You want your bot to show up everywhere your brand has a digital presence – not just on your website. For many property management teams, that might mean Google My Business, Yelp, Craigslist, and social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. At BetterBot, we make it easy to integrate your chatbot wherever you have a digital presence. That way, you can interact with customers on the platforms they’re already on!

Alert your current residents

One of the great things about having a chatbot is that they don’t just help prospective residents find the property of their dreams – they can also be a helpful resource to current residents as well. Add phone numbers, maintenance forms, and even calendars for upcoming events to your chatbot to make it an invaluable resource – and don’t forget to tell everyone that it’s available! 

Keep your bot up-to-date

Once your bot has been created, it’s a great idea to keep it updated every few months with new information. A good rule of thumb is to update your bot every time your team has new information, whether that be updated floor plans, leasing specials, or hours of operation. 

Taking advantage of bot technology has never been easier, and with a little effort, you can transform the way you and your team run your property management business for the better. Bookmark this page and share this multifamily chatbot checklist with your team so they can always access it as a reference. 

Explore the latest trends in multifamily and chabot technology on the BetterBot blog! 

real estate chatbot

Digible Podcast – Discussing Chatbots in the Multifamily Space

Our founder and COO, Robert Turnbull, had the fantastic opportunity to be featured on the Digible Dudes Podcast. In this episode, Robert shares valuable insights about chatbots in the multifamily space. He also weighs in on the user experience with multifamily chatbots. Here are a few of the highlights from this episode. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can find it HERE or anywhere you listen to podcasts. 

Discussing Omnichannel Marketing – 32:59-34:17

“The bot, our bot can be put on a property website, but it was the only one that’s designed to actually be distributed to Google my business, which is an Instagram and Facebook, Facebook marketplace, Yelp, and the list goes on and on. So wherever a consumer, prospective renter find that property, the bot could actually live there and answer your questions.

24/7, 365. Now you talk about stickiness, if the bots on your property website and on GMB and yelp and, and, and, and now it’s a little hard to replace us because we’re so baked in, and it’s actually working really well. Google my business, and so for some of our properties represents 40% of the conversations happening.

And so GMB is just killing it. Um, and when you see the bot working at 3:00 AM, midnight, 5:00 AM having conversations on Google my business. Now you’re, now you’re starting to get some stickiness. We are getting into what we call WIP: web lead intercept protocol, where we can actually start intercepting leads coming through from various ILSs and responding and converting those into synchronous bot conversations and send just leads going into a CRM. Now we’re starting to create additional value where we’re baking ourselves into the processes. And suddenly, we’re not just a bot on your property website. We’re an integral part of your marketing solution.”

Why Bots Fit For Today’s Consumer – 48:40-48:59

“Again, people just want information. They want it now. 24/7, 365, and they want what they want. What they don’t want to do is fill out a lead form. They don’t want to wait until tomorrow. So these are things that are not changing anytime soon. And this is why bots just kind of fit today’s consumer.”

BetterBot’s Company Culture –  1:03:58-1:04:31

“I mean, I don’t just think it is a better bot; I think it is a better company. And I feel very much like a family now that said, that’s maybe a little kumbaya and touchy-feely, but I mean, come on when you’re having people who are running various departments in your company and people in your company who feel that way, you’re doing something right.

And to me, business is less than half of it is the people you’re working with and what they’re giving away. That really makes the difference. And that’s why I love working with this type of style of company, the size of company, your type of company. I think we share these philosophies.”

We are so honored to have Robert Turnbull as a guest on the Digible Dudes Podcast. For further information on bot technology, CLICK HERE