The housing market may be the picture of uncertainty these days, but one thing’s for sure: artificial intelligence (AI) is the newest wave of technology that can help you be a better agent.
That doesn’t mean AI should be used for all of your real estate marketing, but it can serve to help your efficiency with tasks.
Whether you’re an early-adopting technology wunderkind or an unrepentant Luddite, here are nine tips to help you better use AI for appointment scheduling and client questions.
If you have a relatively new smart device, you might already be using a scheduler that can be set to duplicate appointments and send automated emails and reminders. These smart calendars use algorithms and can make life easier when it comes to recurring appointments or meetings.
But what happens when you need a tool that can make decisions, recognize your patterns, and learn from past experiences? An AI scheduler is the better choice. Unlike smart calendars, AI schedulers gradually become personalized to each user. For example, if you take less time on a scheduled task than you anticipate, an AI scheduler automatically adjusts how much time gets blocked out the next time the task comes up. And over time, more relevant adjustments are made as the AI-powered tool becomes more sophisticated.
The same AI tool that sets your schedule can also be utilized to set appointments for document signing, answer client questions, and look ahead to important dates.
9 tips for using Artificial Intelligence
ChatGPT may be the newest and shiniest artificial intelligence on the block, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best solution for you. Many companies are struggling to properly integrate ChatGPT and may be better served with a more established tool.
When it comes to answering questions accurately, your AI tool needs training. Those that use Natural Language Processing (NLP) have a distinct advantage over earlier models that were simply parroting (or poorly paraphrasing) answers to questions from a small set of data. NLP better understands the intention of a question, which means it can provide more relevant (and human-sounding) answers. Training your AI model to understand your business and customer needs will also help it to provide more accurate and relevant answers.
One way to help train AI so it provides better responses is to develop an FAQ section on your website or app. This reduces the burden on your AI tool but also provides data so that it understands your industry. This can improve client satisfaction by providing efficient, relevant, and helpful responses to both commonly asked questions and any questions that arise.
One of the best features of artificial intelligence is that it is a learning robot. This means that as clients interact with it, it gets smarter. Use AI to provide personalized responses to your customers based on their past interactions and preferences. But, be sure to read those responses carefully to ensure they don’t violate Fair Housing Laws or other ethical rules.
AI can also learn how to conduct property research or answer questions about specific features of a house or investment. This reduces the amount of time you spend researching on your own.
Chatbots are everywhere these days. They are often the first interaction a client has with your office. The simplest ones are programmed to provide hours and locations, but they can also route complex questions to a more sophisticated AI tool or a human agent.
Don’t forget to integrate your AI scheduler with your calendar. Some tools come with their own calendars, while others are fully integrated with calendars you already use. This helps your scheduler avoid conflicts and to learn how much time different types of appointments take.
The youngest groups of potential homeowners expect that their real estate agent is going to use technology. From virtual tours to completing paperwork digitally, Millennial and Gen Z buyers and sellers embrace any tool that demystifies the process and makes it easier.
But not every technology is effective. It’s critical to keep track of how the AI tool you choose is working in the real world. Continuously monitor the performance of your AI tool and make improvements based on customer feedback.
It seems a data breach is in the news every day. It’s actually much more grave than that. In 2022, data breaches occurred at nearly five per day, impacting over 422 million people in the U.S. (in other words, pretty much everyone).
Ensure that the data collected by your AI tool is secure and protected by:
- Collecting only data that is necessary
- Removing data when it is no longer needed
- Telling users how their data is used
- Giving users an “opt-out”
For many buyers and sellers, the human touch is the most important one. Sure, clients in every demographic might appreciate being able to perform certain functions on their own at any hour, but nothing replaces the warmth of human interaction, especially when it comes to something as important as buying and selling a home.
There are some high-quality AI options out there, but not all of them will work for every person. Consider the following when choosing the one that’s best for you.
Interface. Is the tool easy to use, or do you need to take specialized classes to understand its functions? Some people like learning a complex piece of technology, but others just want to plug it in and go. Make sure the tool you use is intuitive and makes your life easier.
Easy setup. Again, some people don’t mind taking the weekend to download and program their AI. If that’s not you, look for tools that are easy to set up. Aim for those that connect to your calendar and other popular apps (i.e., Zoom) in five minutes or less.
Tips and tutorials. Tips and tutorials can help you better understand and more effectively use your AI tool for scheduling clients and answering questions. These might be microlearning tools like short videos or tutorials that explain how to get the most out of your AI scheduler.
Nothing replaces a firm handshake and a warm smile, but utilizing AI tools to schedule appointments and answer questions gives you more time to focus on the human side of each client interaction.
Luke Babich is the Co-Founder and COO at Clever Real Estate, a real estate education platform for home buyers, sellers and investors.