While sales are slowing due to the COVID-19 crisis, and new business is as well, users are spending unprecedented amounts of time online taking in content and learning from property management companies that have continued to maintain their web presence. How can you be sure to be in the right place at the right time to capture these leads? Place a helpful chatbot on your property management website.
What Is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an automated response system that provides information to a user based on their input. The word 'bot' is in the name because a chatbot typically isn't staffed. Instead, it helps to free staff time by being an easy resource full of frequently requested information.
Why Use a Bot?
Chatbots make it easy for the user to find information without having to click through your property management website and try to find it. Internet users want information served to them fast and conveniently, and increasingly they don't want to call and ask the questions they have. Instead, they want to find the information for themselves without any hassle. Enter: the chatbot.
Will I Still Get Leads?
Chatbots can be used to generate property management leads as well as serve out information. When using a system such as HubSpot with a built-in chatbot, user inputs are saved to the contact record. We use this on our own site to qualify leads and give us the information we need to be able to serve those leads by asking a series of questions such as the users' name, email, and needs before we dive in any further.
A bot for a property management website can start by asking the user whether they are an investor, renter, current client, or prospect before getting started. This makes tracking who should receive a followup from the bot (or even targeted marketing) easier than ever for your team.
What About Live Options?
HubSpot allows users to either create a fully-functional, automated bot, or a bot that works with a live representative. The best part about it is the chatbot function is included in your HubSpot package—so you don't have to incur additional (and sometimes VERY expensive) costs from yet another technology vendor. You can even staff the chatbot from your mobile phone if you have the HubSpot sales app set up, so you don't have to be at your desk to have a live chatbot.
Are Chatbots Complicated to Set Up?
Not for Rent Bridge! Depending on your level of comfort within HubSpot's workflows, you may even be able to set up your chatbot for yourself. On the back end, a 'chatflow' looks a lot like other workflows following a set of if/then scenarios. On the more complicated side of things, a chatbot can go as far as to create tickets for your team if a user is unable to provide self-support using your knowledge base.
Creating a Chatbot Strategy
Before you begin to try to set up a chatbot, it is wise to take some time and create a plan. A chatbot that doesn't work perfectly is going to frustrate and drive away users more than no chatbot at all. Here are some things to consider when creating your strategy:
- Do you have someone that can answer a bot, or do you need full automation? What about both: live during business hours and automated after?
- What resources do you want your bot to provide to users? Knowledge base, FAQ, portals, work order submission?
- What information do you want your bot to gather? Name and phone number? Full property information for a rental analysis?
Next, you'll want to map out the flow of your bot. Use a whiteboard, pen and paper, or a free online mind-mapping tool—either way, you want to be sure that for every path there is an eventual answer or end. A chatflow that falls off without helping the user isn't helpful at all.
Back to the Drawing Board
Implementation may come with the discovery that what you mapped out won't work. At that point, it might be time to call in the professionals or go back to the drawing board. If this happens, feel free to loop in Rent Bridge, and we'll get you a quote! We've built bots for our clients, and we know what works and what doesn't for property management websites, so you aren't wasting time trying to figure out something that we can easily help you with.
With free chatbot options from HubSpot, anyone can get started building a chat strategy that helps them gather information and qualify leads all while providing a better customer service experience for their property management website users.
If you'd like to discuss how chatbots fit into the bigger marketing picture, schedule some time with the Rent Bridge team to see if this helpful tool could amplify the lead-gathering power of your property management website!