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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

KRACK is the wifi vulnerability Y2K wishes it was

(TECHNOLOGY NEWS) It was recently discovered that there is a vulnerability in all wifi networks, know how to keep your information from slipping through the KRACK!

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A security researcher has discovered a new vulnerability that affects literally all WiFi networks – and now that they know about it, it won’t be long before hackers know about it too.

The vulnerability, discovered by security researcher Mathy Vanhoef, lies within the WPA2 encryption used by all WiFi devices and routers. It’s called KRACK, which stands for Key Reinstallation Attacks.

By taking advantage of KRACKs, a hacker can snatch up data that we previously thought was encrypted and totally safe, including credit card numbers, passwords, messages in chat and email, and photographs. A hacker could even hack into your devices with cameras and get a live stream into your home.

They can also inject ransomware or malware into your device.

Security experts are urging all device makers and internet service providers (ISPs) to release updates to patch over KRACKs as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are a few suggestions for how you can protect yourself.

First of all, make sure all of your devices and routers are updated, and turn on auto-updates so that if any new KRACK patches come in, you’ll be sure to get them right away. If you got a router from your ISP, you should call them and bother them until they release a security patch for KRACKs.

In the meantime, use your router’s user guide to find the administrative options and make sure everything is up to date and that you have the strongest privacy settings selected.

If your ISP is slow to respond, you might consider using an Ethernet cable to connect to the Internet, since KRACKs are only a problem with WiFi networks.

You can also disable WiFi on your smartphone and use your cellular data instead – although this could get expensive if you pay extra for cellular. You should also pull you Internet of Things devices, especially ones with cameras and assistants like Alexa, off of WiFi until your ISP has a KRACK patch.

It also helps to access the web through encrypted websites whenever possible.

Many sites offer either unencrypted access (HTTP) or encrypted access (HTTPS). You can download an extension called HTTPS Everywhere that tells your browser to automatically use encrypted access whenever available.

It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

Lastly, be aware that Android devices 6.0 or later are more vulnerable to KRACKs attacks than other devices. Good luck, and keep your information from slipping through the KRACKs!

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Real Estate Technology

Dot coms are on their way out when it comes to Realtors’ sites

(TECHNOLOGY NEWS) NAR is making moves to secure their Realtors sites with .Realtor and .realestate authentications.

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR), the governing body of American realtors, has offered the .REALTOR domain to those who are members and has extended its initial kick off program until 2018.

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Currently, members of NAR can acquire a .REALTOR for one free year, as well as branded domain email and website creation. After the first year, REALTORS will pay $39.95 for their domain. NAR is also working on acquiring the domain .realestate for those in its membership as well.

Pile on the pros

This change can affect the online presence of a realtor in many number of ways. Because the .realtor domain is strictly policed by NAR and top level domain (TLD) registration group Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), this allows for a certain amount of trust and credibility to be made with a future customer. Due to the NAR’s deal with ICANN, those who use .REALTOR has that his or her domain registration tied to their National Realtors Database System (NRDS) ID number.

NAR states that this process is similar to the verification process for a .gov or .edu address.

Another reason for the decision to layers of around the strict TLD verification is the protection of the NAR brand, as well as the word realtor. Laypeople frequently confuse the terms “realtor” and “real estate agent,” unaware of the fact that only a member of the NAR is officially a realtor, and licensed non members who sell property are actually real estate agents.

In 2015, .REALTOR was the fastest growing TLD that had authentic websites, i.e. not domains bought for the purpose of scalping.

The NAR is also the largest trade association in the United States, with 1.2 million members. The TLD process for the NAR made history by being the first brand using this type of verification that was previously only afforded to governmental bodies and educational institutions.

Added security

The internet is a vast superhighway of changing parts, and the modification of TLD is a selling point for enhancing a brand.

NAR is offering a service by allowing the TLD to be another source of credibility for its members, a perk few other trade organizations can match.

#DOTrealtor

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Real Estate Technology

Are your phone settings giving hackers a free pass to your life?

(TECHNOLOGY NEWS) If you are one to leave your bluetooth on 24/7 you might want to rethink. Doing so leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of hackers.

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Bluetooth connectivity

Bluetooth is meant to keep you connected. By enabling it, your devices can sync up to one another without even being prompted. However, in this case, what is easier for you is typically also easier for hackers.

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Hackers are incessant and if they want to, can find a way in. But that doesn’t mean that you should hand them an all access pass.

Peace out privacy

With every technological advance, comes some relinquishment of privacy. When you use social media to share your experiences, it’s an open invitation for the world to know where you live, who you’re friends with and what you do.

Newsletters and email accounts require you to share personal information just to use their services.

Bluetooth is no different. Researchers from the group Armis have discovered a way for hackers to infiltrate your devices simply by having Bluetooth enabled.

They call it borne, Blueborne

No, Blueborne is not exactly like James Bond, but it does have the power to mysteriously infiltrate your devices. Researchers found that it takes less than 10 seconds for hackers to gain access to your devices through Blueborne.

You don’t even need to be using Bluetooth.

All it takes is for it to be on. Blueborne scans surroundings to find devices with Bluetooth enabled, and then is used to hack into such devises. From there, hackers gain control over the device and can steal data. Once one device is hacked, it can spread to another device, giving hackers the chance to access multiple devices without increasing their distance.

Prevent hackers

Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, iPhones, iPads, car audio systems as well as Android and Microsoft products are all vulnerable to a Bluetooth cyberattack. One line of defense is to make sure that devices are updated.

Last week, Google and Microsoft created security patches so that owner can update and secure their devices.

Just don’t do it

However, if there is one take away from the discovery of Blueborne it is this: don’t keep your Bluetooth on. Think of Bluetooth the same way as you think of locking your car. It’s obvious that not locking your car makes it easier for people to steal it. The same goes with Bluetooth.

The best way to prevent a cyberattack is to be aware of when Bluetooth is enabled, and to make sure it is off when not in use.

#BlueBorne

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