Drone pic above neighborhood

Property Management Teams Need to Stop Depending on Emails – Here’s Why

Email is a powerful tool. Thanks to email, we’ve been able to virtually connect the world, giving people a way to communicate almost instantaneously. What’s more, it quickly became an incredible tool for marketers, who could reach millions with information about their products and services with the click of a button. But over time, that tendency for marketing teams to heavily rely on email has actually throttled its ability to make an impact. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably handed over your email to dozens of websites over the years and now have an inbox full of spammy messages trying to entice you to engage with brands you probably don’t even care about. As of 2021, over 300 billion emails are sent each day. That’s billion with a ‘b.’ And with the average person receiving dozens of those a day, it’s not hard to see how email might not be the best tool for companies looking to connect with consumers in a meaningful way. 

When it comes to multifamily property management teams, connecting with and providing information to prospective leads is vital. But as we’ll show in this resource, email is not the most effective way to do this. If you want you and your teams to break your email dependency, keep reading. We’ll show you the main reasons why email fails in marketing and property management and demonstrate how moving to synchronous communication solutions can improve the quality of your outreach efforts significantly. 

Why email fails

Like we mentioned earlier, the popularity of email as a means of marketing has led to an oversaturation of brands trying to vie for peoples’ attention. What’s more, the format of email communication itself isn’t the best suited for maintaining engagement. Below we’ll go over why email, in general, can fail as a medium.

Spam: One of the most common reasons people don’t receive promotional or branded emails is because they end up getting picked up by a spam filter. Certain platforms are more particular about detecting spam than others, which means that even if you spend time painstakingly making your email sound not spammy, it could still wind up in the spam folder. And once it’s there, it’s doubtful it will be opened and read. 

Overloaded inboxes: Another reason emails can fail is that they arrive in an already crowded inbox. Most of us receive various marketing emails every day, and people tend to simply delete them without taking the time and energy to engage with them. According to research from Campaign Monitor, only 18% of emails are opened. If you want to be noticed, email is not the way to go. 

Interest decay: This is a phenomenon in which the more time that goes on between email correspondence, the less interested your target will be in the topic. If you don’t immediately get someone engaged, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to in the few hours or few days after sending your email. 

Why email doesn’t work for property management groups

We’ve seen just how ineffective email can be in regular marketing efforts, but did you know it’s an even worse medium for property management companies? Along with not being able to stand out in a sea of crowded inboxes, property management teams encounter their own unique hurdles when it comes to email. 

Ultimately, property management teams need to stop relying on email because:

Properties are overwhelmed: Today’s multifamily teams can receive hundreds of leads each day. It’s nearly impossible to organize, keep up with, and nurture those leads through email. Things can get lost in inboxes, and asynchronous communication often leads to that pesky interest decay we discussed earlier. 

Authenticity is key: One of the keys to converting leads into renters is authentic, informative communication. People want to have their questions answered quickly and easily, without having to jump through hurdles or sit and wait on an email to get back to them. And while it may seem counterintuitive, leaning into a property management chatbot can be one of the best ways to infuse that authenticity into your customer interactions. In fact, 83% of consumers said they would be more loyal to a brand that offers a chatbot for tasks like making an appointment or handling customer service inquiries.

Synchronous conversations matter: Your office hours shouldn’t dictate when people can access information about your property. That’s why being able to offer synchronous communication at any time is so important. People don’t want to wait around for an email that could take several business days to reach their overflowing inbox. They’d much rather be able to get the information they need 24/7, 365 from a chatbot. 

How property management chatbots can help 

At BetterBot, we work day in and day out with property management teams across the country to learn where their pain points are and how simple technology solutions can help. And what we’ve found is that property management chatbots have been able to radically transform the way teams interact with prospects for the better. 

To change the way multifamily teams interact with prospects, we’ve created two property management chatbot solutions. 

BetterBot for Web 

Our proprietary omnichannel chatbot, BetterBot for Web, works by helping prospects learn about property information and schedule tours on their time – without being restricted by office hours or limited staffing. Over 56% of website traffic happens after business hours, which is why 24/7 prospect engagement is key to sparking those high-value conversations with would-be renters. Fully customizable with countless integrations, BetterBot for Web makes it easier than ever to insert yourself in the conversations that matter most. 

BetterBot for Leads

Leasing teams don’t have a lot of time on their hands – we know this. That’s why we’ve created BetterBot for Leads to help save these teams countless hours responding to and nurturing leads. Your own virtual leasing agent, BetterBot, never sleeps, allowing prospective and existing renters to have their questions answered in real-time while your staff focuses on other high-value tasks. Plus, BetterBot works directly with your existing property management software to contact new leads immediately as they come in. And since not every lead is going to respond quickly, BetterBot for Leads continues 

to provide tailored lead follow-up to nurture that lead into a scheduled tour.

Explore our free demo or contact the BetterBot team today to learn more about the multifamily industry’s #1 chatbot solution. 

3 Ways to Master Omnichannel Marketing in the Multifamily Space

What is omnichannel marketing? 

Omnichannel marketing is a way to reach your customers through multiple sources. Your prospects are finding you in a myriad of ways. You can reach them no matter where they are to find the information they are looking for quickly and turn it into a lease through omnichannel marketing. 

Here are 3 ways to master omnichannel marketing: 

  1. Knowing what platforms your customers use the most
  2. Consider the customer experience
  3. Measure results

Knowing what platforms your customers use the most

Take some time to research where your traffic is coming from. Find out which platforms are most used by your customers so you know where to focus your energy. Then you can market heavily on these platforms to reach your prospective residents using omnichannel marketing. Some that have been most popular sources in the multifamily industry include: 

  • Google
  • Apartments.com
  • ApartmentList.com
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook

BetterBot is one chatbot solution that integrates with just about everyone, so you never miss a prospect. This product is easy to use on any platform, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Apartments.com, ApartmentList.com, and more. Help create a seamless experience for your customers, so they remember your product and are more likely to lease at your community. There are some great resources that can walk you through the setup process, such as THIS ONE

Consider the customer experience.

It’s important to consider how your customers are finding the information they need. Are they sending your property a DM on Facebook? Are they filling out the contact form on Apartments.com? Consider where it would be best to reach them on their journey. You’ll also want to consider what point in the conversation they should enter. 

It’s also important to consider your online reputation. Think about what your reviews are saying about your communities. Are there processes that can be improved? Is there an easy way you can win over a disgruntled resident? A vast majority of prospective renters read online reviews before deciding, so your online presence must tell a story you can be proud of. 

Using BetterBot, you’re able to customize your user experience so they can join at any point in the conversation you choose, including scheduling an appointment, virtual tours, or give them the whole experience. Cater to your customer by meeting their needs and providing them precisely what they’re looking for.  

Measure results 

Take time to measure what’s working. This way, you know what is resonating with your customer and what to focus your attention on. There are several ways you can gauge your property’s performance. Some of the top vital metrics worth considering include: 

  • Guests Greeted
  • Conversations Shared 
  • Appointments Set

BetterBot has a robust reporting dashboard that will help you navigate how you can best serve your prospective renters. Evaluate what’s working on an ongoing basis so that you stay up to date on the latest trends for your user’s journey. 

Adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy is going to help you reach more prospects than before. You can be sure that your prospects are always catered to, and BetterBot can help. For more information on how BetterBot can help boost your omnichannel marketing efforts, CLICK HERE

Girl at laptop biting pencil

Bamboozled by Bots

Tricked, Deceived, Bamboozled – Pretending to be human or disguising your bot can reduce your lead conversion and affect resident retention. Now more than ever, renters are hyper-aware of when they are being misled. Many believe that prospects don’t like to talk to bots at all, which is not valid. In fact, ____% of renters would prefer to speak with a bot than a live human. However, renters would like to know when they are talking to a bot vs. a person, rather than being duped into believing it’s a natural person. Here are some of the reasons why pretending to be human can affect your business:

  • Reduces trust in your brand
  • Expectations are misaligned 
  • Questions are not accurately addressed
  • Authenticity is everything

Reduces trust in your brand 

Trust is a must when it comes to your current and prospective customers. If your customers can’t trust you to communicate with them transparently, their confidence in your company will waiver. Prospects and residents want to know they will be taken care of by their community, but they will begin to question your company’s competency if they feel they are being misled. It’s essential to be transparent with your processes so you can increase assurance in your organization. 

Expectations are misaligned 

If customers believe they are speaking with an actual human rather than a bot, they may have their expectations misaligned with your bot’s functionality. They may assume that who they are talking to is personable and can remember crucial customer information. However, if your bot has never spoken with the individual or can’t look user information up, they may not meet their expectations. Letting the user know they are talking to a bot is critical so that your customers know how to interact with the bot and what will be a natural response.

Questions are not accurately addressed.

If your bot is disguised as a human, users may ask questions in a way that bots don’t understand or have the answers to. If prospects cannot find the answers they need quickly, they may drop off and move on to the next option. Customers may grow frustrated and feel they are not being heard or acknowledged. When you are upfront and disclose that your communication is a bot, the user will have expectations and know that they can continue through another route if the answers to their questions are not clear. However, if they believe they are already talking to a human, they may infer that your staff does not understand how to assist them, which will drop their confidence in your team.

Authenticity is everything

In a world where technology is constantly advancing, users want to know what they are dealing with. When you are authentic with your customers, you value them enough to be upfront with them. You are not attempting to pull the wool over their eyes; you are showing them that your brand can be trusted. Authenticity is everything, now more than ever. Show your customers how much you value them by being clear that your tool is a bot. You can do this by changing the avatar icon to a bot and disclosing that your product is a bot in the verbiage. 

Again, it’s essential to avoid bamboozling your prospects and residents by making them think they are talking to a human when in reality, they are conversing with a bot. If you don’t disclose this upfront, you may find that your lead conversion and resident retention may be affected because you’ve reduced trust in your brand, users’ expectations may be misaligned, questions are not accurately addressed, and authenticity is neglected. Build trust in your company by being clear that you use a bot; your prospects and residents will appreciate it. 

Ways To Know A New Tool Is Worth Using

Your tech should be working for you, not against you. When bringing on any new tool, there are a few things you want to look out for. There are so many amazing tools designed to make life easier for you and your teams; however, it’s important to be selective with which tools you bring on so that you and your teams are not overwhelmed. We’ve put together a few ways that you can know your tools are worth bringing on, including: 

  • Purpose & Functionality
  • Integrations & Partnerships
  • Information & Reporting
  • Value & Pricing

Purpose & Functionality

Consider the purpose of the tool you are looking at. Think about why you need this specific tool. Then keep in mind how this particular tool functions. Ask yourself if the functionality fits the purpose you are trying to fulfill. Complete a demo or a trial of the product to find out how it works and make sure it has all the features you are looking for. If possible, read reviews or chat with someone who has used the product before to see how it works in the real world. Will this tool solve the problem you are trying to resolve? Ask yourself these critical questions before making any decisions.

Integrations & Partnerships

Next, consider how the tool integrates and partners with other platforms. You shouldn’t need to limit the functionality of other tools for a new one to fit in. If a new partner asks you to limit the functionality of one tool to bring on theirs, that can be a red flag. Make sure the tools you are considering integrate with the products you are already using to bring you the most useful functionality. 

Information & Reporting

You will want to ensure that your new tools have great analytics tools. Find out if the reporting that is offered will show you metrics relevant to your business practices. Your reporting should help you make decisions about how you do business, but that can only happen if you see the correct information to form those processes. Confirm that the tool you are using is transparent about information and openly sharing that with you. If you’re able to pull or schedule reporting from a dashboard, that is a great sign. 

Value & Pricing

Find out what the pricing is going to be to bring on this new tool. Is this realistic for your budget? You’ll also want to consider the value you are receiving for the price. Can you find similar features for a better price or even for free? Many tools will offer a free trial period or a testing feature that can help you figure out if this tool is worth bringing on. 

We know that sometimes adding new tools can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! We recommend considering 3-5 different options and comparing what they have to offer against the price. Often it can be helpful to create a spreadsheet that includes all the features you are looking for and marking off which ones are available on the platforms you are looking at. It may sound like a lot of effort; however, it’s better to put in the time upfront choosing the right product rather than rolling out a new tool that doesn’t perform. That way, you do not have to roll out a different product in a short time. Remember, your tools are there to help you and not make things harder. So be sure to select the best tools that are right for you and your team.

Man at table on computer

3 KPIs Your Bot Should Be Hitting

Making sure that your bot is performing at optimum levels is imperative. You want to make sure you are getting the most from your chatbot solution and that everything is working efficiently. When you are first working with a chatbot, it can be hard to evaluate if you are unsure what to look for. That’s why we’ve put together a simple list of KPIs your bot should be hitting. These points include: 

  • Greetings
  • Appointments
  • Handoffs

Greetings

Greetings are one of the very first KPIs you will want to look at. This number tells you how many people your bot has, you guessed it, greeted! It’s essential to get a good gauge on what is a typical amount of traffic for your community. One of the ways you can measure this is by setting a test period. Give your communities about 90 days to get into a consistent rhythm with the bot. Then you will have enough data and time to see what average numbers could be for the number of people using your bots. If you notice that your bot greetings are declining, it may be time to make some updates to your bot. You can change specific items such as bot placement, avatar, colors, and call-outs, which may be more likely to get users’ attention. 

Appointments

This is such a substantial number because it shows how many of those who contacted you through the bot is making an effort to visit your community. This will give you a better idea of how your bot is working. There are minor tweaks you may be able to make to convert at higher rates. If you notice that no or minimal appointments are being set, it may be time to evaluate your appointment settings. Take a look at how much time is being allotted between each appointment. If it’s more than 30 min, it may be time to make some adjustments. 

Handoffs

The amount of handoffs your bot distributes equates to the number of serious leads your property is seeing through your bot. This is when the bot hands the conversation off to a human, and the process of leasing begins. This is important because it shows the user journey process and how your leads are being taken care of from this point forward. One of the ways you can improve your handoffs would include evaluating your communication methods when it comes to the handoff process. You’ll want to make sure that your teams are highly engaged with prospects from this point forward. 

For your bot to be effective, you’ll want to check your KPIs consistently. Be sure you are looking at your metrics monthly and comparing your greetings, appointments, and handoffs every month. Keep a record of these numbers so that you can refer back to them and see how your communities are progressing. For more information on how you can make your bot more effective, check out our article on Ways To Make Your Bot Even Better

Chatbot Vs. Live Chat: Which is Winning in Renter Conversion?

Over the past decade or so, the property management world has undergone quite the digital transformation. From things like VR tours to e-signing, new technologies are continually pushing the envelope of what’s possible in multifamily. Yet, one of the most important innovations driving change in the industry isn’t one of the flashiest or most expensive. In fact, chatbots are one of the simplest and most affordable technologies a property management team can adopt. But can a bot hold its own against more traditional live chat-based customer service? Today we’ll break down the chatbot vs. live chat debate to get to the bottom of which one is really better for converting users into new renters. 

Chatbot vs. live chat: the breakdown

Who will win? While both chatbots and live chat ultimately share the same purpose, there are a variety of important ways that they differ in functionality and overall helpfulness. Let’s see how each holds up to scrutiny. Time for the chatbot vs. live chat showdown. 

Where chatbots go the extra mile

24/7, 365 service

Today’s prospective renters want to be able to get info on properties and have their questions answered anytime, anywhere. The beauty of chatbots is that they allow hands-off customer service whenever it’s needed, even when it’s after business hours or on holidays. Most people tend to do research when they’re off the clock, so having a chatbot available to handle requests can be a big plus for your team. 

Instantaneous responses 

We all live busy lives, and the shorter amount of time we can spend waiting on info or assistance, the better. Chatbots are automated, which means they can provide information almost instantaneously. 

Let’s your team focus on other tasks

One of the biggest pros of having a chatbot is that it allows you to give more time back to your property management teams. Instead of employees filling their days responding to an endless amount of customer service queries, they can redirect their focus and energy into other, higher-value tasks like marketing and outreach. 

Challenges chatbots can face

No human touch?

Chatbots can answer questions quickly and effectively, but when not programmed well, they can come across as cold, artificial, and unpleasant to converse with. That’s why it’s super important to customize and build personality into your bot. That way each conversation users have will be friendly, pleasant, and helpful. In fact, 33% of consumers user conversational marketing tools for scheduling and average satisfaction of a bot-only chat is 87.58% which is higher than the average rate for when prospects engage with a human.

Harder to take care of complex queries

Bots can handle simple requests like no one’s business. But they’re only programmed to understand and offer solutions to a certain set of scenarios. When it comes to more complex customer service issues, they may have trouble providing answers. They can also be tripped up by any spelling errors that occur. If a user submits a query with typos, natural language processing chatbots will have a hard time parsing through and understanding the text, whereas guided conversation can offer suggestions so that the bot never breaks. Guided Conversation bots can actually fix issues that Natural Language Processing bots encounter. Guided Conversation is a clear solution to handling prospect interaction by attending to 100% of the questions 100% of the time. Natural Language processing bots only succeed on average 66% of the time. This is why it’s important to create a seamless chatbot to human handoff when these situations arise.

Why live chat ultimately loses

Low volume capacity

Popular properties may have dozens (or even hundreds) of queries sent in each day. If you only have 1 or 2 people taking care of these requests, you’re severely limited in how many requests you’re actually able to complete. And that means people will take their interest elsewhere. 

Longer wait times

Chatbots can answer a request in under a second. If you’re talking with a live agent, you have to sit and wait for each new message to roll in, a process that can take upwards of 30 minutes if you have a lot of questions or a particularly tricky issue that needs resolving. 

Teams have to hire additional help

Like we mentioned earlier, popular properties can have hundreds of queries each day. But many teams don’t have the funds or resources necessary to hire a whole fleet of live agents. 

Chatbot vs. live chat: the ultimate verdict

While each method has its advantages and disadvantages, it’s clear that chatbots are winning when it comes to customer service and renter conversion. Today, 70% of consumers prefer chat over other forms of communication, and bots can provide quick answers with no need to wait for an available live agent. What’s more, we’ve found that if a bot has a successful conversation, it has upwards of a 95% consumer satisfaction score. With properties that use BetterBot specifically, we’ve seen that 10% of all conversations starting on our chatbot convert to a viable prospect or scheduled appointment. Along with converting more prospects into renters, these automated conversations have saved over 1 million hours for leasing teams across the country, allowing them to spend more time on the tasks that matter most.

If you found this guide helpful, we’ve got more where that came from. Explore the latest multifamily news and trends on the BetterBot blog

Why BetterBot ditched NLP and moved to Guided Conversation

From the beginning, BetterBot has adapted to changes as we’ve learned. Early on, we built the largest proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) database in the multifamily industry, and we scrapped it for several reasons. To understand why it’s essential to know the difference between NLP & Guided Conversation. NLP bots guide users through human-like conversations instead of giving users a predefined set of questions to choose from, like Guided Conversation. NLP bots analyze user queries for keywords and phrases and then answer accordingly. Here’s why we opted to move towards Guided Conversation for our bot: 

  • Guided Conversation doesn’t break
  • Less is more
  • Guided Conversation is fast and effective 

Guided Conversation doesn’t break.

Unlike Guided Conversation, NLP is highly inconsistent. It may be further developed in instances such as Alexa or Siri; however, in the multifamily industry, we found that using NLP meant the bot would break more times than not. One of the reasons being is that the bot must be trained for hundreds of question phrasing variations. We compiled over 80,000 notes from our bot and found we could only train 2,000 of those questions. It would become nearly impossible to train the bot for those different variants. We found that we could focus on answering those questions more simply by using Guided Conversation, and our bot would never break in the process. 

Less is more 

When prospects are looking for information, they want to be able to find it easily. When prospects arrive at an NLP bot, they may not know what to ask for. Additionally, most users have experience with bots breaking, so they may not know how to ask the question they want answers for. Guided Conversation allows for an easy way to answer questions most renters are looking for. BetterBot has done extensive research on what information prospects want to see, and we have adjusted our bot to meet these needs. 

Guided Conversation is fast and effective. 

When NLP bots break, they often will hand off the conversation to a live agent. What happens when that live agent takes more than 10 seconds to answer? The prospect is most often lost. With Guided Conversation, responses are immediate, which results in an effective conversation. BetterBot uses Guided Conversation to provide a seamless experience for prospective renters and share information quickly so that user’s attention is never lost. In addition, you can see exactly what conversations are happening and how effective they are through our reporting dashboard. 

AI can be a great tool in many cases; however, we have found Guided Conversation to be a superior product after testing different technologies in the multifamily space. Some of the biggest reasons Guided Conversation is so successful is because it never breaks; it’s simple, quick, and effective. We are constantly looking at technology to see where it has advanced and what pieces we can bring to our bot. For more information on the differences in bot types, CLICK HERE

Features that make the apartment search journey easier

When I searched for my apartment, I had an excel spreadsheet, notebooks, and random sticky notes everywhere to keep track of all my findings. 

Do you know what would have made this all better? A magic lamp where a genie would fly out and make apartment shopping easier!

Because apartment shopping is everything, but easy…

However, there are a few features that prospecting renters should look out for that will make their apartment journey easier. 

3D Tours

Let’s start with my favorite… 3D tours! 

3D tours have saved me a lot of time when it comes to looking at an apartment’s layout and seeing if it works for me.

Gone are the days where you have to schedule an appointment to see a unit. 

Now, I can view an apartment’s layout in the comfort of my home as TV is playing in the background… This is the life I have always aimed for. 

For some communities, 3D tours are also available to see amenities such as the clubhouse, gym, pool and so much more. 

I’ve always loved when there are 3D tours of the entire community because it gave me the opportunity to see if the complex fit all my needs.

Sometimes a complex had amenities I wasn’t even aware I needed such as study rooms and an indoor bowling room! 

Having the ability to “walk” through the 3D tour allowed me to see the entire facility as if I were standing in the room!

This is one of the many cutting-edge features that BetterBot offers. 

Chatbots

Remember a few seconds ago when I said that a magic genie would make apartment hunting easier?

BetterBot’s chat offers what I call an apartment hunter’s magic genie. 

BetterBot has developed chatbots to help prospective renters find their home by asking them a range of questions that get them thinking about their wants and needs

The intuitive apartment chatbot takes the stress out of apartment searching by finding the perfect apartment matches based on how the prospecting renter answers to the questions.

Neighborhood Insights

But why stop there? 

This chatbot goes the extra mile in providing them with neighborhood insight! 

Is nightlife important to your prospecting renter? Well, tell them to dust off their dancing shoes.

BetterBot will highlight all the nightlife hotspots near their future apartment so they can see if what’s around the apartment complex will suit their everyday life. 

Talk about easy! 

Local Entertainment Suggestions

Okay, okay… For the renters who like more of a slower-paced lifestyle, BetterBot has great categories for them too! They can explore entertainment, fine dining, cafes, shopping, parks, and more!

No longer will they have to “drive around” to get a better idea of the surrounding areas and what it has to offer, it is now available at the touch of their fingertips. 

The chatbot also eliminates the standard information form. 

No longer will renters have to wait for leasing offices to call them back to provide them information the renter can get all the information they need in real-time.

Renters can find out the price, size, amenities, and availability all in a few minutes. 

This doesn’t only improve the user experience but makes decision-making quick and easy. 

I know, I know… the BetterBot chatbot is not exactly a giant blue magic genie trapped in a lamp, but it puts some amazing tools at the prospecting renter’s disposal that will make their apartment search easier! 

An Honest Review of the Most Popular Apartment Listing Websites

We are so glad you are joining us for our special guest blog series. In this article, long term renter Destiny will share her review of some of the most popular websites that apartment homes can be found. To learn more about Destiny, keep scrolling through. Now let’s hear Destiny’s thoughts as she searches for her next apartment home.


So , you’re looking for your first apartment, but don’t know where to start! 

When I got my first apartment neither did I.

But have no fear!  I am here to breakdown apartment search platform tools and how each one can help you find your next home.

Google

I know it seems simple, but you can always just type “apartments near me “into the Google search bar to find tons of apartments in your local area.

This method might seem simple enough on the surface, but you’ll soon realize that Google is pulling up EVERY SINGLE AVAILABLE apartment in your area. This includes the ones that are within your budget along with the ones that exceed your budget.

 The downside to this wealth of information is that it can seem a little overwhelming and make you feel like you won’t be able to move out of your parents’ house.

Nevertheless, Google is a great starting point.

Googling places in your area will give you a good idea on how many apartment complexes are near you and allow you to see if you want to live in the area you are searching.

One thing to make note of during your search is that certain cities are more residential.

If you are looking to live in one of these areas, it may be more difficult to find an apartment because that city has a high amount of real estate for sale and little availability for rent. 

One big perk that Googling “apartments near me” can give you is the Google reviews. Which I believe is the most important part of anyone’s apartment journey.

TRUST THE REVIEWS.

I used to believe that people only left a review when they had something bad to say, but I’ve come to find that’s not always the case.

I have seen apartment complexes that have had 5 stars and 230 reviews saying overwhelmingly good things.

Remember one thing… people will NOT hold back from giving their opinion good or bad.

Another perk to searching on Google is you can see pictures of the property from multiple perspectives instead of the professionally shot, edited, and filtered photographs posted by the owner of the property/complex.

This means that if someone has taken pictures of the complex without their “Instagram filter” you will be able to see that.

I remember seeing photos of beautiful apartment complexes only to click the “see photos” button and think to myself “This can’t be the same place?!” because the complex was completely trashed!

Just like I said, trust the reviews, trust the pictures.

Another helpful feature is the Directions button.

If you allow Google to access your location on your phone or computer, it can let you know how far the apartment is from you from your current location.

If you want to change your starting point to another location all you will need to do is change the From Address line and it will give you an updated time and proximity.

You also could click the Website and review all the property details.

One of the coolest features to me (if your computer supports it) is Google’s Call option.

I loved having the ability to search for apartments on my MacBook and if I wanted more information, Google’s call feature was a great convenience.

Lastly, if you are casually browsing and you have a Google account you can always Save your apartment search and revisit for a later time.

Facebook Marketplace

I love Facebook Marketplace…when looking for cheap furniture… when looking for apartments… eh, not so much.

Here’s the thing, anyone can list apartments on Facebook Marketplace.

You will be able to find tons of rental options when looking on Facebook Marketplace; sub-leases, rooms to rent, apartments, houses, and townhomes to rent.

The possibilities are endless.

Just watch out for the scammers, the ghosters and most importantly the inaccurate description and pictures.

If you steer clear of all of these, you will find on the other side a useful tool for your apartment search.

On a positive note, Facebook Marketplace’s abundance features paired with a familiar interface make it essential to first time apartment hunters 

You can select how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and even rental types!

Which to me is the thing I love the most because you can think you want an apartment but if you can rent a house for the same cost… wouldn’t you prefer the house?

After you have found a rental that peaks your interest you can find more details about the unit such as how long the lease is for, what it includes and if you have kiddos you can see nearby schools.

One thing I hope that Facebook will improve overtime is being able to create a profile solely to be on Facebook Marketplace, because once you’ve messaged someone about the property, they are able to see YOUR ENTIRE FACEBOOK PROFILE…

I don’t know if you have ever gone through a 90s pop phase…but…my hair, my clothes and literally everything from the late 90s and early 2000 is… ugh… neverminded…

If you are fine with people seeing your personal profile (if you have your public settings on) then I think you should give Facebook Marketplace a try!

Craigslist

YES… People still use this platform.

Surprisingly enough I know a few people that have rented houses and townhomes from Craigslist.

I called them the “hidden gems” because most of the time you can find really nice rental properties for an affordable price.

Now… Please be warned that Craigslist is a scammer’s hunting ground.

When it comes to scams on Craigslist, the most common offender is what I like to call the “too good to be true”. Look at this 3-bedroom 2-bathroom house listed for $1,000 a month.

Which sounds awesome right!? Incredible even?! Almost too good to be true?

Well, that’s because it is. Most of the time when you see listings like this it’s because it is a scam.

How do they get you? They ask for a deposit as a money order.

And then… you never hear from them again and the listing is taken down…

The sad truth is that Craigslist knows about the scammers, and they have written a long list on what not to do on the website click here to learn more.

When it comes to your apartment search, I would only use Craigslist at your most desperate times…

Honestly, I would trust a “for rent” sign on the street before I trust Craigslist.

ApartmentList

I have one word for ApartmentList… WOW!

This website is amazing… which is why it doesn’t surprise me that over 175,000 people found their next home by searching on Apartmentlist.com

They also have something for everyone! Budget friendly, pet lover’s paradise and city views. With approximately 5.5 million properties on their website, I am confident that you can find your next home here.

Now let’s dive into it!

ApartmentList starts your journey by asking you a list of simple questions such as size of the apartment you are looking for, do you have pets, budget, what amenities are you looking for etc.

Once you have answered all these questions, they give you what looks like a Pinterest board of apartment choices, and I LOVE IT!

Everything about this makes an apartment search so much easier!

It makes you start to think if some of your wants are really your wants, or can you live without them to save a buck?

The user experience just gets better when you can select nope, love it or maybe.

Once you have made a selection only the ones that you selected Love it or Maybe will go on to the “Short List”

This list will separate the ones that made you say, “OMG YES” and “eh” to.

Another helpful feature of apartmentlist.com is the amenities section.

It’s particularly helpful when searching for appliances that are a massive pain to travel with but an even bigger pain to live without.

Just select the amenities you’re looking for and apartmentlist.com will show you the properties that offer it. My only advice while browsing the amenities section, is to verify the details with the owner before you make any final decisions. This will help you avoid any possible surprises before signing a lease.

I highly suggest using this platform in your apartment search!

If you’re “click happy” like me and find your email inbox filling up with all of your “love its”, I’d recommend creating a folder in your inbox specifically for apartment hunting to keep track of your favorite properties.

Conclusion

Searching for your first apartment is such an amazing adventure!

Yes, you will need to decide between carpet or hardwood or being on the first floor or third, but all these are exciting decisions to be making.

Nevertheless, have fun, take your time, and tour every apartment your heart desires!

Happy apartment hunting!

6 Things To Consider When Looking For A Chatbot

Finding the right chatbot for your business can be a tedious process. There are so many different options, and each one claims to be the best. So how do you know which is indeed the right option? We’ve put together a couple of questions to ask yourself when you are beginning your search, and we’ll dive a bit deeper into why these are important: 

  • What type of bot is it? 
  • Will it answer the questions most renters are asking? 
  • Is it customizable?
  • Does it offer robust reporting?
  • Can it save me time? 

Let’s dive into why each of these is important to consider. 

1. Will it answer the questions most renters are asking?

You want to make sure your chatbot hits all the major categories that renters are searching for. The most common points of traffic include basic info like floorplans, pricing, availability, and photos. However, there are some more unique things renters look for including virtual tours and online scheduling. You’ll also want to consider any broken points in the conversation. For example, many natural language processing bots use keyword recognition to answer questions. This can be a great feature! However, frequently if the question is not asked in a specific way, the bot may have a higher chance of breaking. That’s why it’s so important to find out the key questions renters are asking and make sure your bot can address them with ease. 

2. Does it reach your renters?

You will want to think about where your renters are being reached. For example, BetterBot offers omnichannel marketing, meaning you can get renters not only on your property website, but your bot can be added to several sites, including social media, ILS accounts, and listing sites such as Craigslist. That way, you never miss a prospect, and the experience is customized to the renter wherever they want, on their time. Find out all the places your bot can be seen and how effective it will be on each platform. 

3. What type of bot is it? 

Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Guided Conversation, Voice-Activated…..there are many different types of bots. It’s essential to understand what type of bot you are looking at to understand the full functionality of what it can do. There are lots of different reasons why you may prefer one type of bot over another. For instance, you may want a bot that guides your renter so that it is easier for them to find what they need without any misunderstanding or “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that.” This is known as a guided conversation-based bot. If you want to have a more in-depth understanding of various bot types, check out our past article HERE that breaks down each one. 

4. Is it customizable?

Does your bot have the ability to be customized to your property or company branding? You’ll want to see what customizations are available and how you can access them. It’s essential to constantly be looking for ways to improve your bot, and making it your own is just one of the ways you can do that. For example, BetterBot allows its customers to update branding colors, information within the bot, and even the avatar that pops up. You can create a cohesive expectation for renters and prospects alike with this type of bot. 

5. Does it offer robust reporting?

Analytics are crucial to the success of your bot because it allows you to see what’s working. You also want to make sure that the bot is doing its job and helping your prospects instead of hindering them. Some standard analytics to look at when it comes to chatbots include the number of greetings, conversations, and hand-offs your bot has had. If you notice something isn’t working, you should work with your chatbot provider team on a solution. It’s essential to understand the ins and outs of your bot so it can perform at the highest level. This can only be done if you are evaluating your reporting regularly. 

6. Can it save me time? 

This is probably one of the most important things to ask yourself. The purpose of your bot should be to save you time while addressing important prospect/renter questions. Consider all the ways your bot can save you time. These questions will clarify which options you should seriously consider and help you narrow down your decision. For instance, a bot powered by BetterBot provides a single property that can see an average of 56 hours saved per month and that doesn’t even account for the time saved in the three days it takes to build the bot (none of which requires your team to devote to training it). Consider what it would look like to onboard your bot. Will you have to train and program the bot yourself for each property? Will this take hours? How much of the setup and maintenance is manual? For example, consider if you will need to update pricing within the bot manually or if it can be connected to a feed. We have put together three things every chatbot onboarding experience should include helping make this process easier. The most important thing to consider is if your bot will handle menial, everyday tasks for your team and yourself. If it’s going to save time and be effective simultaneously, then it is a viable option. 

We understand that searching for a chatbot can be time-consuming. That’s why these six questions can help you weed through which options are top contenders. These should make it easy to decide and help you find the right bot for you and your team. Once you’re ready to make the leap, make sure you check out some of the common mistakes when adding a chatbot to your site. That way, you can make sure everything is set up correctly, and your prospects will have a seamless experience. 


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