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Real Estate Technology

5 chatbots that could dramatically change real estate marketing

(TECH NEWS) A new chatbot system is headed towards the real estate sector and it is sure to change the game.

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X and Y

Real estate and A.I. may seem like two different worlds, but some would say they’re just on different timelines.

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Grant Gould, co-founder of Automabots, is looking to bring artificial intelligence to the real estate world in a big way, through chatbots developed for real estate-specific purposes.

Real estate’s venture into A.I.

Gould is by no means new to the A.I. world, or to entrepreneurship.

In 2002, he started paying close attention to automated technologies, and began to focus on “building automated agents.”

Driven by the potential A.I. holds to make life more efficient, he read endlessly on the topic, digging into the hardcore science of MIT papers.

And now he’s come out with Automabots: real estate bots that claim to triple a website’s lead conversion rates, and engage more buyer and seller prospects through an A.I. technology developed specifically for real estate, not just a technology absorbed by the industry by default.

Shoes, flowers and now, houses

A 300 percent increase in lead conversion is a big claim, but Gould Gould notes that artificial intelligence is already fueling chatbots that are helping people to buy shoes, flowers, and a number of other things.

Why shouldn’t Realtors and Brokers take advantage of chatbots to nurture home leads on their websites?

Automabots is currently fundraising, which means they’re expecting rapid growth and want to be ahead of the game so they can keep up with demand – a highly positive sign. The company currently has 100 clients, and they plan to roll out to 48 different markets in batches this spring.

Quintuple the fun with Automabots

And here’s the coolest part of their story: Automabots has an ‘s’ on the end for a reason – they’re building five chatbots.

A lead capture bot -When a person undertakes to convert a site visitor into a real lead, it can take a bunch of time and money that could be well-spent elsewhere. Why not let a bot take care of it? Gould cites lead capture as the biggest challenge, saying that there’s currently no attention paid to lead conversion, so there’s tons of room for improvement. This is the bot featured on the Automabots website, so you can check it out for yourself right now!

A lead manager bot -If you’ve ever wished you could have a quick, productive convo with your CRM data instead of staring at it aimlessly, look no further. Gould compares this bot to a personal assistant that you chat with, instead of logging into anything. It’s elegant, time-saving, and friendly!

A scheduler bot -A simple bot for organizing showings and keeping sellers informed. Gould says this will be fully automatable, for minimal effort on your part.

A digital marketing bot -Oh, another one? But this one might be worth paying attention to – here’s why. Gould says this bot could automate listings uniquely, meaning that instead of the bot blasting a listing link across all social media platforms (and the link being ignored, because what works on Facebook is useless on Pinterest), the Automabots digital marketing bot could create 100 distinct property listing descriptions on one listing for content. It could be a gold mine for SEO and SEM, and it sounds to us like it might just be the first social media bot actually made for real estate. Consider us impressed.

A transactional bot -According to Gould, this isn’t a transaction coordinator – but those do exist. Instead, this is a bot designed to communicate with all parties intelligently and keep things running smoothly.

Don’t freak out, yet.

For those of you wary of robot job-stealers, your fears are somewhat justified.

Gould concedes that A.I. “does take jobs, just like in manufacturing with robots, but I don’t see it taking away Realtor jobs.”Click To Tweet

At least not yet – “Maybe eventually it will have an impact as Millennials are of an independent mindset of doing things themselves, but I embrace A.I. I see it for what it is – an opportunity to become more profitable, more efficient, and serve people better.”

In other words, it’s a paradigm shift, and it’s happening now.

#BuyYourHouseWithABot

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films – preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

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Real Estate Technology

National accelerator for brands seeking to tap into real estate

(REAL ESTATE TECH) Whether your company is real estate tech or looking to spin into real estate or get a gajillion Realtors on board, this program is for you.

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If you own a technology startup or product that would work wonders for Realtors and the real estate market, applying for the 2018 NAR REach program could be your ticket to the fast track of success.

Second Century Ventures, the investment arm of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is now accepting applications for its 2018 NAR REach accelerator program. This program is designed to accelerate the growth of early-to-mid-stage companies by giving them access to NAR’s industry experts, educational resources and relationship building blocks that can help companies achieve success in the real estate market and beyond.

Think of it as an intensive, real estate market crash-course with countless opportunities to grow your business and investor network. The more you know, the more you can grow.

Companies selected for the NAR REach program will be connected with more than 350 real estate and technology leaders from major brokerages, brands, companies, and venture capitalists. You’ll be able to really connect with these individuals, too. On average, REach participants will meet with more than 50 advisors for one-on-one mentor sessions over the course of the program.

REach companies will learn how to navigate the massive real estate industry all while being supported by the NAR, which is a $4.5 billion brand. And, if your company is selected for this program, you’ll have access to the NAR’s Insight Panel, a large network of industry professionals who can give you feedback on different aspects of your business, such as user experience and product pricing. If your company is just starting out, such constructive feedback can be crucial for significant growth.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? There’s evidence the accelerator program works, too.

Overall, REach companies have experienced revenue, customer, and/or user growth rates from 50 percent to more than 5,000 percent. They were also able to form important partnerships with major companies such as Coldwell Banker, Century 21, and Google. Need another example? In April, Guard Llama, a 2015 REach program safety company, received a $100,000 real estate investment from industry tycoon Barbara Corcoran and license to use her image on their product.

For its 2018 REach class, they are seeking seven companies with stable business models, actionable business plans, and the potential to make waves of positive change in the real estate space. Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2018 via the NAR REach website. The companies that make the cut will be announced in February 2018, and the nine-month program will begin at the end of March.

Here’s a bit more about who should apply.

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Real Estate Technology

Amazon Alexa app for real estate could fill your lead pipeline

(REAL ESTATE TECH) A new app has been developed for Amazon Alexa to connect home buyers and real estate professionals, check it out.

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Voice interaction is truly the wave of the future. Amazon Alexa leads the way. It’s reported that Amazon will be announcing Alexa for Business Platform, which takes voice into the workplace.

Enterprises can use Alexa to manage temperature and lights and to get information, but other skills and apps will be available to help with calendar management, ordering supplies and much, much more. Alexa has the capability to integrate with business to be a voice-activated virtual assistant.

And artificial intelligence via voice interaction with Alexa is now entering the real estate market.

Agent NEO is an Alexa app designed for the real estate industry. This app helps users look for homes to buy, check real estate information and find a real estate agent.

Agents who are registered with the app can easily connect with buyers and sellers and stay in touch with current and past clients through the app. Users can also get information about their home’s value through the app.

How it works:

  • Users ask Alexa to help them find houses to buy. Alexa narrows down the search by locality, budget, size of house and other preferences. Users can even access pre-approval for loans.
  • Alexa matches users to a real estate agent in the area where the user is looking to buy or sell.
  • Alexa sends the information to the agent about the potential client, including their search details. The user gets an email with your contact information, a bio and an intro from you.
  • The app can book showings for users, based on their individual preferences.

Agents can join by going to the Agent NEO website. Although the technology is still fairly new, as more people invest in voice-activated interfaces, it could be a great way to generate leads for your company.

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Real Estate Technology

Silly Chrome extension blocks tweets over 140 characters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) When Twitter began testing out longer tweets, many people lost their minds. A new extension stops the madness, stat!

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Back in September, Twitter, known for forcing users to be succinct, made a controversial move when the social media platform decided to double its character limit from 140 to 280.

Twitter is testing out the concept on a handful of seemingly randomly selected accounts. According to product manager Aliza Rosen, Twitter “will be collecting data and gathering feedback,” and may eventually expand the character limit for all users.

Rosen and other execs at Twitter seemed to anticipate a backlash. Said Rosen in a blog post, “We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with the new, still brief, constraint.”

Unfortunately for Twitter, users aren’t feeling the love.

The change has inspired much sarcasm and wrath, and some have even accused Twitter of using the character limit expansion as a distraction from more pressing issues, such as curbing online harassment and hate speech, or combating bot networks. Heather Kelly tweeted, “Women on Twitter excited death threats can now be twice as long.”

While some have used the 280 character limit in positive ways, others have proved just how pointless and annoying an extra-long tweet can be. MGM tweeted a 280 character roar, while Checkers & Rally’s tweeted 280 cheeseburger emojis.

Some developers at Slate Magazine think the much-hated 280 character expansion “is a real mess,” and have decided to be proactive about it.

They’ve created an extension for Chrome that limits your tweets back to the original 140 characters, while also cutting off tweets longer than 140 characters in your feed. The extension is simply called “140.”

They admit that they “whipped it up in one night,” that Twitter may find a workaround for their extension, and that there are some problems with URLs and pasting text.

However, they hope that, at least for now, the extension will create “a much chiller experience” on Twitter. So if you really can’t stand to read more than 140 characters, this may be your best option to “make Twitter great again.”

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