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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

5 Ways to Guide Your Multifamily Chatbot Solution

What makes a great chatbot solution? To us, it comes down to the level of engagement your bot can create with your audience. The best bots are conversational, informative, and ultimately, helpful in pointing both prospective and current renters toward the right answers. This is easier said than done and takes knowing exactly what your audience is looking for and why. Your property management team can’t know everything though, which makes having a flexible, wide-reaching chatbot some of the best help your team can get. 

The best way to make sure your chatbot is able to serve a wide variety of people and requests is to optimize the questions it asks. From the beginning of the conversation to the conclusion, the right questions will help naturally guide both your bot and user toward the best solution for their specific query. 

So what questions should guide your bot? Let’s get into some of the most common types of questions your bot should utilize. 

1.Craft a friendly introductory probe

This is one of the first things a user will see and read, so it’s important that this first question is direct and open-ended. Introductory probes are questions that guide users to respond with a query or take a specific action. For example, “how can I help you?” is a super simple but effective way to get your user to engage with your bot. 

People tend to also respond best to bots that ‘speak’ in a friendly, conversational tone, so if you can craft something that evokes this tone, even better! Depending on your brand-specific POV and tone, you could embellish this first question by saying something like, “Well hello there! How can I help you?”. Chatbots provide a great way to showcase what makes your brand unique, so don’t be afraid to get creative! 

2. Get specific

Your multifamily chatbot is in place to help your audience find their next home, sign leases, and more. In order for your users to reach their end goal, your bot needs to be able to quickly determine your users’ needs. To do this, your guiding questions should be specific and targeted. For example, if a person is wanting to look for apartments available to rent, your bot shouldn’t just show every room available. Instead, your bot should ask specific questions that can guide a person to exactly what they’re looking for. Questions like, “how many beds are you looking for?” and, “Which price range looks about right?” are easy ways to narrow the field. 

3. Ask them how they’d like to contact you (and be contacted)

Sometimes, there’s only so much a bot can do before people want to speak with a human customer service representative. In cases like these, you’ll want to be proactive about asking how people want to contact you, and how they’d like to be contacted in the future. With a simple question, you can direct people to get in contact with your property management team via text, phone, email, or some other method. This is a great segue into how to ask for a user’s personal information. 

4. Ask for their information

Gaining personal information like emails and phone numbers from your users is important in tracking who’s using your bot and why. Additionally, if your bot’s interaction leads to an in-person engagement, it’s important to have peoples’ information on file. The thing is, most people won’t want to give out their info willy-nilly. Instead, your request for information should come up naturally within the context of your conversation. 

Instead of asking for their info right off the bat (or worse yet – gatekeeping information and resources until they submit their info), only ask for something once they’ve indicated they want to be contacted. Once they’ve chosen a method of contact, i.e. text, email, etc, then you can prompt them to submit their information with a friendly, “How can we best reach you?”. Don’t forget to ask for their first and last name as well! 

5. Give lots of choices

This last guideline is not so much a specific type of question you should ask, but how your questions should be framed. The best bots give users a lot of choices and flexibility, so don’t be afraid to give people lots of choices. The more choices you’re able to create, the more likely your bot will be able to take care of everything for your user, freeing up valuable time for your property teams to focus on other tasks. 

By building your bot around these guiding questions, you’ll not only help users reach the information and resources they need faster but will help free up valuable time that your leasing team can use to engage with renters and leads directly.

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.

Top 3 Ways To Engage Traffic Before You Have a Website

Leasing up a new community can be a lot of fun and also a lot of work. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together three easy ways to engage traffic before you have a property website. This way, you can be engaging with your prospective renters before you even have a building and getting your property in a great position to fill up. 

1.Get The Word Out 

First things first, you’ll want to get the word out about your property. Create some buzz on social media and get people excited about your community. Share what great features and amenities your property will offer. You can also partner with other social accounts to help spread the word. Get creative and think about how you can engage on social media and build your following. 

2. Answer Questions….FAST! 

It’s vital to acknowledge your prospective residents as early as possible. That’s why it’s essential to answer questions as quickly as possible. Prospects also want to be able to find information with ease. If your property does not already have a website, consider a chatbot solution. BetterBot offers a bot solution that you can use as a landing page while your property site is getting the finishing touches. Once your site is up, it’s easy to embed so that you never miss a prospect. 

3. Claim Listings ASAP

Be sure to claim your listing sites as soon as you can! Sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and others may get created without your permission if you don’t act fast. This is why it’s crucial to have your finger on the pule and gain control of your listings ASAP. 

Working in a lease-up community can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! With these three steps, you can get your property in a great position to fill up in no time. For more information on how BetterBot can jump in and ease your workload, CLICK HERE.