Bots Solve Problem of ‘Too Many’ Unqualified Leads
For the everyday consumer, the “You Might Also Like” button can certainly be your friend. But for many apartment marketers, it’s become an enemy.
It’s a nuisance because one of the industry’s most nagging problems – receiving “too many leads” – persists because so many of those leads are unqualified.
Karen Kossow, Marketing Director, Paradigm Companies, says her teams were wasting too much time on unqualified leads, a lot of which were generated by “You Might Also Like” links on websites.
“In the past, our team was responding up to three times with a lead and was getting no response,” she said. “Our team started to ignore many of them. When a bot can segregate the leads based on quality – such as prospects who engaged with the bot – it makes us much more efficient and successful.”
Since it rolled out the bots at five communities in March 2020 and nine more in late summer last year, Paradigm Companies has had 777,948 people greeted and 2,604 appointments scheduled through the bot.
Newest Product: Lead Optimization
Kim Boland, Director of Digital Marketing, Morgan Properties, has had 14,672 appointments scheduled through Better Bot (an average of 30,380 conversations per month) while running at 346 of its properties. It enables its customers to schedule appointments, schedule virtual tours or to talk to the onsite staff.
She’s taken the next step with the company’s newest offering – Better Bot for Leads – and is testing it at three communities through listings on an ILS that provides her portfolio with a great deal of leads.
“We all know there are a lot of renters who are looking, but who are not that serious, yet,” Boland says. “They might inquire at four or five properties at a time. Our staff was spending too much time following up with prospects and when they did, it was going nowhere.”
Better Bot for Leads looks to determine when that lead is ready to take the next step and it nurtures the leads through email follow-ups, inquiring only if the person is deemed truly interested or wants to schedule a tour or engage in any way. The bot has summited 22,448 leads to Morgan Properties of people who wanted more information.
At a community in Maryland, for example, Boland received 396 leads from Better Bot for Leads. From that, four appointments were scheduled and three of those wanted more information; 23 open and engaged with the email, 145 opened and at the current time did not engage and 220 remained unopened. “If these were sent to our team, they would have been wasting their time on empty requests,” Boland says.
Websites Can Be Intimidating
She says the bot is reasonably priced, “and for our customers, it creates a positive experience because they get the information that they lead without getting frustrated or impatient. They don’t have to click through a bunch of pages on a website and deal with drop-down menus, etc.”
Kossow also finds the bot to be a worthy alternative to the community’s full-display website. The bot discreetly sits on the home page.
“Websites are great, and we all love our own community websites, but they can sometimes be intimidating to new visitors who don’t always know where to click to do certain tasks or to look for certain things,” Kossow says. “The bot comfortably leads them through the process with the right prompts and links. We were able to include videos and “360” images in the links sent by the bot to the prospects.”
Paradigm also has the bot on its Google My Business accounts, includes it on its prospect e-blasts, and has it linked to its Facebook accounts, using it to communicate through Facebook Messenger.
Boland links Better Bot to its Google My Business (GMB) listings. “We all know that Google is taking over the world, so we want to put as much information about our property on our GMB listings,” Boland says. “A link to our bot makes that happen. So many people who have contacted us have never even visited our website because they found us through Google My Business and the bot gave them the information such as availability, scheduling, etc., that they wanted.
Constantly Looking to Improve
Kossow says Better Bot has been one of the easiest products to install in her property management software. “It has allowed us to operate our marketing 24-7, which has become so important,” says Kossow, who is looking to install it at affordable communities in the near future.
Boland says that Better Bot’s willingness to listen to its customers has led to greater success.
“They listen and make adjustments based on requests,” she says. “They want to hear your point of view and ideas.”
One example was that we helped them craft the initial follow-up emails that were sent to prospects, asking that they include a link to the bot to make it easier for apartment searchers.
“People these days want information and answers immediately, and they are getting that with Better Bot,” Boland says.