As a real estate agent or broker, your business relies on obtaining and qualifying new leads. That’s why we’re diving into the world of real estate chatbots today. If you’re unaware of this new lead-gathering method that’s highly effective yet easy to build, you’ll want to listen up!

We’ve gathered all the information you need to know about how to reduce time wasted with fruitless cold calls, and increase quality leads and conversions with a Facebook Messenger chatbot—no technical knowledge required!

How a chatbot can impact your real estate business

The uses of Facebook Messenger chatbots for real estate agents and brokers are many! A bot can initiate conversations with prospects for you, which can lead to a subscription, an appointment, or any other call-to-action you want. They can engage users and draw them into your sales funnel automatically, bringing you more warm leads, more opportunities to close sales. Besides this central, business-boosting benefit, a bot will also allow you to:

  1. Conserve resources. Bots are well known for their ability to automate certain tasks, saving you time. Basically, you’ll need fewer human agents on staff, because a bot can handle such a large percentage of common inquiries. The human employees you do have, then, will be freed up to handle other matters that only a human can. In other words, bots can save your real estate business time and money.
  2. Attract a younger audience. Offering a chatbot for your prospects to converse with demonstrates that you’re striving to create a simple and convenient experience for them. Providing a chatbot they can use to do things like browse listings and book viewings in just a few taps sets you apart from the competition. You’re offering a quicker, easier way to do things that used to require phone calls, voicemails, and lots of waiting around. Younger, more tech-inclined generations especially will appreciate this move.
  3. Qualify leads and gather prospect data. You can easily design a bot to ask a set of questions that will qualify leads for you, so you can avoid wasting time following up on unqualified prospects. Plus, a bot will gather information about how prospects behave and what they’re looking for. If a user tells your bot that they’re in the market for buying a property versus renting, for example, you can add that data to your CRM system of choice and use it for future outreach. In a conversational and unobtrusive way, bots can gather a wealth of prospect data for you to utilize to improve future marketing efforts.
  4. Integrate with and improve performance of ads. In the highly competitive and saturated real estate market, you should seize any opportunity to make your Facebook ads stand out. When you design ads to take users to your bot instead of to a static landing page, you can exponentially increase ROI and drastically reduce CPL (cost per lead).
  5. Keep prospects engaged. A bot interacts with users in an informal, back-and-forth style, just as if they were conversing with a real person. As a result, a bot offers a far more engaging way to get information and answers to questions than if a prospect were to simply browse your website or FAQs page. Plus, gathering their details is easier too. There’s no longer a need for cumbersome web forms that turn prospects off. Bots can access information from the user’s Facebook profile if granted permission, and can easily collect any additional details from them in that engaging, conversational style.
  6. Provide consistent, 24/7 service. Bots never need a break! Unlike human agents, chatbots can provide service to customers and prospects of your real estate business at any time of day or night. Plus, their performance need not be monitored as with human teams. You can be sure they’ll consistently provide the exact same caliber of service every time.

What a conversation with a real estate bot looks like

So chatbots for real estate agents sound great, don’t they? If you’ve never interacted with a chatbot before, however, it might be hard to imagine what they’d look like in practice. Simply put, they’d follow the same kinds of steps a human agent would with a prospect, and in the same conversational style. They’ll start by presenting your agency details and contact information.

Once they learn from the prospect what they’re searching for, they can show the appropriate information. For example, if the user is in the market for a new home, your bot can show your current listings, including images, in a beautiful and engaging carousel format.

After your bot has given the user the information they’re looking for, it can guide them into your desired final step. It’s easy to equip a bot to allow prospects to schedule a meeting or showing with you, all within the Messenger app.

Finally, you, the human, can nurture and convert prospects your bot has gathered from there. It’s a convenient, seamless experience for your leads and customers, and it brings fantastic results for you. Ready to learn how to build your own? Read on to find out how to get started in three simple steps.

Step 1: Do your homework

Before you begin building a chatbot for your real estate business, you’ll need to do a little research.

First, analyze your current Facebook audience and how they behave. Study your existing Messenger conversations and talk to your sales or support teams to look for patterns and trends. Find out what prospects are inquiring about most often, and what keywords or phrases they’re using. Once you have this data, you’ll be able to design your bot to cover those topics.

Next, you’ll want to spend some time mapping out the experience you want users to have with your bot. Start by choosing your desired end goal for them, like scheduling a viewing. You can then design the steps to get them there. Make sure to streamline the process by equipping your bot with lots of information and a clear, linear way to provide it. That way, you’ll minimize the number of times your bot will get stuck with an inquiry and need you to intervene.

Finally, make sure to segment your audience before you start building, as this will help you create a bot that will be helpful to each type of user. Consider the needs of new prospects, returning page visitors who want information about your expertise or listings, and existing clients who prefer to communicate via Messenger. Once you’ve organized your audience into categories, it’ll be easier to create more personalized, helpful bot experiences that bring each of them to your desired end goal.

Step 2: Begin building your bot

Chatfuel is the platform to use if you want to build the best real estate chatbot. It’s free to get started, and you don’t need any coding knowledge either. If you’re not sure where to begin with how to build a real estate bot, not to worry! We have two pre-built flows  designed specifically for businesses in this industry that you can use to quickly get your bot up and running. As we like to say at Chatfuel, #AnyoneCanBuildABot! Once you’ve loaded the framework of your bot from one of our templates, you’ll need to customize a few basic elements.

  • Offer several options for your welcome message, or the first message a user will see when they arrive at your bot. You can use the work you did segmenting your audience to help you decide which options to offer. A few ideas might be “Get an estimate on my home,” “Browse homes for sale,” “Browse homes for rent,” and “Why choose [your business name]?”
  • You’ll then need to create next steps for each of these options. If the user selects “Browse homes for sale,” for example, you’ll then want to ask about preferred square footage, number of bedrooms, budget range, neighborhood, etc.
  • Once you’ve asked them the appropriate qualifying questions, you’ll want your bot to collect their email address and phone number. You’ll be able to export this data from your bot directly to an organized spreadsheet. From there, you can easily decide which leads are qualified, and reach out to them directly. For those that aren’t qualified, you can set your bot to send them additional listings, the link to your blog, or other helpful information.

Step 3: Optimize your bot

Once your bot is equipped with the basics, you can maximize its efficiency by taking a few tips and best practices into account.

  • Give your bot a personality. The most successful real estate bots are those that provide the most natural conversation experience. To achieve this, give your bot a name and a persona. Let users know this persona is a bot, not a human agent, but do everything to make it as friendly and humanlike as possible.
  • Offer response options. For example, don’t require that prospects who are looking for a new home type in the number of bedrooms they want. Instead, offer them pre-set options to choose from, like 1 bedroom, 2-3 bedrooms, or 4-5 bedrooms. This method will lead to far higher conversion rates than if you expect the prospect to type in their own custom response. You want to make it as easy as possible for the user to continue through the chat, and not give them any opportunities to drop off because they had to do too much work!
  • Connect your Facebook ads to your bot. As we mentioned above, Facebook ads that lead to a well-built bot instead of a standard landing page tend to see far greater success and engagement. Learn how to do this in a few simple steps.
  • Monitor your bot’s success. The work isn’t over once your bot has been built. It’s important to continue monitoring its performance. Regularly check in the conversations your bot is having with prospects. Analyze where potential leads are dropping off, or at which point you’re having to intervene when your bot gets stuck. The best real estate chatbots are those that are regularly monitored and improved.

Begin growing your real estate business with a chatbot

If you don’t have an effective, efficient way to attract and qualify leads, your real estate business will struggle to thrive. With a platform like Chatfuel, you’ve got nothing to lose when it comes to trying out a bot for this purpose! Get started today for free—no credit card or coding knowledge required.

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