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You want to break down all barriers between prospective customers and your real estate business.
Not only that, but you need to quickly engage those leads. Their attention span is measured in seconds.
If you don’t give them what they want immediately, they will find someone who will.
That is where chat software and chatbots come into play.
You’ve seen them on websites. They are far more appealing to website visitors than navigating to the contact page or picking up the phone.
It’s not just chatbots for your website. Facebook business pages can use third-party chatbots with their Messenger on their page to engage buyer and seller leads there.
In the instant gratification culture of the future, a real estate chatbot or live agent chat feature will likely be necessary to keep up with the tech future of real estate.
Fortunately, with the rise of artificial intelligence, you don’t even need to be glued to your computer waiting for customers to chat with you. Individual real estate agents and small teams now have the tools to take advantage of offering chat features on their websites.
Read my thoughts and reviews of the best real estate chatbots and chat software for real estate agents!
FREE. Facebook is in beta on a website chatbot based on Messenger. In fact, it is Messenger. Folks can chat with your business on your website just like they can on your Facebook business page. Messenger has its own ecosystem of support and software, companies like Chatfuel and Manychat that help you create sophisticated marketing bots to help put your lead gen on auto-pilot.
FREE+. Formilla is a very customizable chat service that includes a mobile app. When customers contact you, it is almost like getting a text in real time. There are smart messages, but it does not lean heavily on AI, allowing you to control the message and authenticity. Consider Formilla if you do not want an AI speaking for you, but rather would like a more personal, easy-to-use, and hands-on customer chat experience.
$19+/mo. You’ve no doubt seen some of LiveChat’s chat boxes on sites, as it is one of the most popular chatting software choices. LiveChat has numerous backend tools and reporting for small and large businesses alike. Consider LiveChat if website chat is an important lead source for your business and you need an enterprise tool to provide your team of agents or ISAs.
$199+/mo plus $299 setup fee. ReadyChat is like an ISA service for your chat boxes. Their 24/7 concierge has live chat agents who answer chats on your site for you, and works to nurture those into leads. Consider ReadyChat if you get significant website traffic and want to save time outsourcing your chat duties to a human instead of a robot.
$19+/mo. Zendesk offers a large suite of customer engagement tools to include a website chat and messaging system. Their chat app allows for real-time live chat with website visitors as well as sophisticated tracking and routing features.
Other real estate or general business chat software include:
Some live chat services are more oriented toward customer service roles, which doesn’t generally apply to the needs of most real estate brokers. I’ve generally omitted those.
Many inside sales agent (ISA) tools include chatbot features you can integrate into your real estate website while connecting visitors with live chat agents in real-time. These services are ideal for busy agents and will connect or sometimes even nurture qualified leads for you. They’ll then give you a warm handoff.
Some example ISA services with chat features designed for the real estate professional include:
Other software may also have chat tools.
For example, LionDesk has Live Assist courtesy of Structurely for an AI chat option.
A tough decision when integrating chat into your website is choosing between AI chatbots and live chat software.
It can be tough to surrender control of your potential clients’ first contact with your brand. There is a risk of losing authenticity when integrating AI, while a live person has a better shot at connecting with that buyer or seller but can be more expensive.
And if using a live person, do you route inquiries to yourself or outsource it? When using a company with live ISAs like ReadyChat, their focus is asking qualifying questions and setting the appointment. If routed directly to you, you risk not being present and losing the trust of the consumer.
It ultimately comes down to expectation management. Don’t let the consumer think they are getting a human when it’s an AI. As long as they know it’s an AI and it is serving them what they want, they should stay happy!
The real estate chatbot and live chat is still a small but growing part of the real estate industry.
Especially if your website is an important pillar of your business, you need to ensure you are maximizing your conversion. Real estate sites won’t get nearly the volume of website visitors as Zillow, and a solid chat is one of the best, least disruptive ways to convert and better serve buyers and sellers. The leads generated via chat are often hot leads, people engaging with you and your brand, and I can say personally some of the best leads I earn on my own site.