Proptech and the rise of real estate bots

In 2016, when the tech giants launched their own chatbots and bot platforms, not many have truly anticipated the widespread adoption of bots or their extent of implementation in business verticals. Kenyt’s core team is made of some of the individuals who grasped the potential of chatbots.

By 2020, 80% of businesses want to implement chatbots. Today, bots are being deployed in most of the major industries, healthcare, e-commerce, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, IT and even real estate too. At first glance, one might wonder how chatbots fit into the real estate industry, but bots are transforming the real estate landscape and the transition has been natural too. We say that because we are one of the major players providing chatbots to the real estate domain.

Here’s what we learned in our journey with 150+ clients in the real estate industry.

Indian real estate and proptech

  • Real estate is one of the major sectors globally due to its industry size and revenue generated.
  • In India, the trend is no different, real estate is expected to contribute 13% of the country’s GDP by 2025.
  • The industry valued at $120 billion (USD) in 2017 is predicted to reach a market size of $1 trillion (USD) by 2030.

Shifting trends:

The Indian real estate is shifting gears and picking up its pace. Between the informed consumer base and globalization, the real estate industry is moving towards centralized processes and organized structure. The most significant change is the marked shift of the sector from family-owned businesses to professionally managed ones. Developers are managing multiple projects across cities, organizing manpower and hiring professionals for project management from engineering, architecture, accounting and finance streams.

Proptech:

Proptech is the union of property and technology, the evolution of the rigid and traditional property sector enabled by technology and innovation. The term is not new or just theoretical. The real estate industry is on the onset of another proptech revolution- the first one came in the form of online listing and brokerages digitizing the real estate sector. The second was less technology oriented but just as game-changing when coworking and co-living spaces became the rage.

Chatbots are now powering the third wave of proptech, making the existing online set up more approachable and user-friendly.

Where Kenyt steps in

Kenyt is one of the leading chatbot service providers in India. While we cater to all industry verticals and sectors, we have a distinct advantage in real estate. Chatbots and virtual assistants are cross-domain applications which have their roots in artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing. But the realization and success of a bot depends on its implementation.

Our unparalleled experience in real estate bots added to the strong technical base makes the go-to-guy in the field. We can gaurantee you:

  • 3X more leads from existing marketing budget at one third of the cost per lead.
  • Lead filtering through email & phone number verification to skip processing junk leads.
  • Ranking leads to address and go through them on a priority basis.
  • Client detailed profiling such as their preferences in budget, location, interest areas to help the sales team.
  • Mobile apps for instant notification of leads to sales team for easy processing.

Benefits of using a chatbot in real estate:

While they have several benefits for businesses, they value addition to real estate is especially significant. While property listings have eased the buyers’ struggle, the solution is far from complete.

Filtering properties

One major benefit that chatbots give your website user, is in helping them find the properties they seek. Almost all the sites offer filters for the location, price range and other similar requirements or amenities. But a real estate provider has more information about the property than the generic filters show, information that can make the decision making easier and faster for the buyer. A chatbot can help filter the property listings on several different parameters.

Informing about the properties

Interacting with a real estate agent gives the potential buyer a lot of insights and knowledge about the the property, locality, price ranges and trends, etc. Property listings cannot provide that kind of information to the customer. This is one of the reasons individual brokers are still preferred by some. A chatbot, however, can step up to the role of an agent and can answer all the questions a buyer has.

Scheduling viewings

Once the prospect is deeper into the sales funnel, the bot can schedule a home tour and in a way, take care of introducing the client and the real estate agent. At this point, the agents or sales team can take over the reins. Automation clubbed with human interaction plays a key role here.

Conducting virtual tours

With prospects being too busy to see the property in person, chatbots in real estate can give interested prospects a quick virtual tour through the bot itself. Recently the industry has developed the concept of 360-degree tours too. This gives them a fair idea of what the property would look like before even scheduling a property visit.

Challenges of the real estate industry:

The real estate industry faces several challenges because of its very structure and the increasing expectations of the consumers is only adding to it. The following are some of the simple challenges that can be readily addressed without needing change in the industry or legal structure or government policies. We will walk you through each challenge and how it can be resolved by deploying chatbots.

High volume of demand:

Real estate is an evergreen industry, it faces its ups and downs as the demand and supply vary, or during policy changes, but the demand itself is continuous and never ending. People need houses to live in, the manufacturing and processing industry need warehouses and storage for their raw and finished goods, businesses need commercial spaces for work and retail, hospitality and travel industry needs affordable spaces.

The sheer volume of consumers a real estate developer has to handle is high and requires resources and manpower to support the sales.

Need for consumer oriented practices:

Most businesses are now providing live support available for the user 24×7. While live support enriches the user experience in general, extended support is a requirement in the real estate industry.

Take the case of an average buyer interested in buying a property. A jobholder usually looks into properties after they finish their office work, maybe even just before going to sleep. Most of the sales process is carried out beyond the working hours making constant support is essential for this sector. Failing to engage potential customers when they seek your site is a huge opportunity lost.

Long presales process

Finding the right property can happen in a week or can take six months. The potential buyer goes through different channels, registers in different property listings, shortlists several properties based on their requirements, visits some of them and finally narrows down on a few options. This process happens simultaneously with different developers and property managers too. The presales process is long for real estate.

At each step, there are interactions between the buyer and the agents, follow ups, conversations and negotiations. Yet, only one in a hundred (if not thousand) interactions actually becomes a sale and only one of them pays off. The presales costs in terms of time or resources cannot be cut because the quality could be affected. Chatbots are an elegant solution as they automate most of the redundancies saving both time and money.

Large number of players in the market

The real estate sector in India is getting more organized by the day, but by no means is it small or uniform. There are a plethora of players in the market, big and small, agents, developers, resellers, etc.

The success of a real estate company comes down to ease of buying and selling and giving extensive and quality choices to the customers. While the latter depends on several factors external to your business, the latter can be easily remedied through internal structuring and decisions. Implementing chatbots is one such decision that gives your business an unfair advantage in the field.

The road ahead:

Not only is the real estate industry size massive, but this is also set to scale up due to the distinct advantages on its side making it high time to invest in a chatbot.

  1. Strong demand: Real estate has become the preferred asset class for investment, increasing incomes, urbanization and growth all point to a healthy demand for real estate.
  2. Growing opportunities: Warehousing, hospitality, affordable spaces, coworking and co-living spaces are opening up new avenues attracting investors.
  3. Policy support: Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA, 2016) and the government’s aim of ‘Housing for All by 2022’ are promoting this sector too.
  4. Increasing investments: Growing transparency and returns are bringing private investments and cross border capital to the property market.

Do you want to scale or pace your operations? Reach out to us today for a consultation!

Salesbot: Advancing sales using chatbots

Why is sales evolving?

With ever-evolving technology, communicating between two ends has become one of the fastest jobs one can do. Communication remains the key factor that helps in the growth of businesses.

Today, customers wish to contact the businesses directly with a response expected within 24 hours. The observed trend is that lower the response time, higher are the chances that the products get sold. 55% of the world’s businesses fall behind because of minimum five-day response time (on an average) to the customers. The correlation between response time and sales and the fact that sales directly contributes to a business’s profit or loss, making response rate a metric to focus on.

The performance of the employees working in the sales team partially depends on the data available to them, and, this data that they have, is not always measurable to be taken care of. This calls for the complete exploitation of the available technologies to increase sales through better data interpretation.  

How do chatbots come into sales?

Today’s customers are not satisfied unless every query of theirs is answered immediately and when feedbacks are not taken or addressed as soon as possible. It has compelled businesses to provide customers with constant access to the sales team. This lowers the performance of the sales team as the time devoted to core tasks decreases or the business has to invest more in human resources.

Here is where chatbots come in. They do the human administered jobs as instructed by humans and communicate with the customers. Ever since businesses have started adopting chatbots as a part of their businesses, they have contributed a lot in the growth of their profits. These join the dots between the customers and the sales teams to facilitate better communication.

How can bots boost sales?

Today, more than 48% of the businesses use bots to communicate with their customers, and the sole reason behind this is because of their contribution to increasing the sales. The wide adaptation of technology among the majority of the society has made the customer-provider interaction easier through chatbots. This has resulted in quite impressive results in elevating sales. Bots do not just enhance the relationships in businesses, but also maintain data and provide personalized marketing strategies.

Bots help in reaching a wider community with low cost online marketing strategies, and also play a key role in streamlining business operations to not just increasing the number of customers, but also not losing old customers. The responses generated by the chatbots are based on the customer input. Not to forget, bots do the tedious job of the employees, leaving them the time to recreate things and come up with better ideas to improvise the sales revenue.

The sales process:

A sales process is the journey where the salesperson accomplishes his task from making a prospective buyer aware of the service/product to finally selling it.

This entire procedure can be broken down into seven stages:

  • Product knowledge
  • Prospecting
  • Approach
  • Needs assessment
  • Presentation
  • Close
  • Follow up

Where a bot steps in

The job of the sales person revolves around the steps of the sales process. More than 50% of the functioning in these stages can be done through bots, which give the employees scope to expand the business. Understanding the sales process gives a better understanding on how the bots help in the process.

  1. Product knowledge: This is the first stage of the sales process where the sales person describes the functioning and features of the product and letting the customers know how they benefit by purchasing it. One most important aspect is to distinguish the features and advantages of the products, while the consequences of purchasing the product are also clearly explained.
  2. Prospecting: It involves narrowing down who the potential customers are, searching for new customers and figuring out where to find the customers. The art of prospecting customers lies in the salesperson having a clear idea of how to distinguish between a lead, prospect and a qualified prospect. Prospecting is not only about finding new customers though, but it also involves creating profiles for existing customers and finding ways to serve them better.
  3. Approach: This is the stage where the salespersons get in contact with the customers. It could be a face-to-face meeting or online. There are three common approach methods:
    1. Premium approach: This is often associated with gifting the clients in the beginning approaches.
    2. Question approach: This involves questioning the prospects to make the approach interesting.
    3. Product approach: This approach involves giving the clients a few samples or a free trial in order to evaluate the product/service being sold.
  4. Needs assessment: This is the most important phase of the sales process. It majorly affects the rate at which the salespeople sell the services or products. As a part of this, the salesperson evaluates the prospect’s needs and wants through enquiring him his interests and requirements. Most of the intelligence gathering is done in this step.
  5. Presentation: The presentation stage reflects the functionality of the previous stages. According to the evaluated results from the previous stage along with keeping in thought the benefits of the products rather than the features, the salesperson demonstrates the working and other information about the product.
  6. Close: this phase is all about discovering the obstacles that restrict the prospects from purchasing the products and try to ultimately sell it. There are three different types of closing choices based on the type of businesses involved:
    • Alternative choice close
    • Extra inducement close
    • Standing room only close

In all of the above phases, bots can be used to make the jobs of the employees easier and productive.

What can a sales bot do?

sales bots have numerous functions in the functionality of the businesses. The sales pipeline explains us better on what a sales bot can do:   

  • User acquisition
  • Lead generation
  • Lead qualification and closing
  • Sell to qualified leads
  • Achieve a sale or deal
  • Contact or client support post sale

Advantages of a sales bot

Until this point, we’ve always mentioned that sales bots “help” a lot in the growth of businesses, but have never explicitly stated the reasons behind it. The edge of a chatbot is what makes it a success in sales:

  • Allow separate conversation inboxes for different domains: Bots can take care of the information transfer from one end to the other. They directly forward information or text through unqualified leads and send them to the right destinations.
  • Virtual sales assistant: The sales bot can send periodic alerts to the teams regarding the revenue, product performance and market movement.
  • Handling administrative tasks: A sales bot not just serves as virtual assistants but also perform administrative tasks like the record preparation and keeping of existing and old customers.
  • Providing information when needed: Sales bot can retrieve information from the company’s database whenever and wherever.
  • Round the clock availability: Irrespective of the presence of humans, bots are capable of providing services 24/7, 365 days.
  • Reduced maintenance cost: When updated regularly, sales bots help businesses reduce a lot of maintenance costs.
  • Save time: Sales bots effortlessly answer the redundant queries and predefined frequently answered questions (FAQs) to the clients and employees.