Chatbots: The Future of Commercial Real Estate

By Natalie Jones / 08.20.20 / 3 min read

Technological advancements such as those in smart cities and the industrial landscape influence current and future techniques within commercial real estate. Whether they facilitate the completion of a task or expand the realm of potential opportunities, technology helps real estate professionals keep up with the needs of clients and properties. This is no different for chatbots, the groundbreaking technology that collects and organizes information for brokers.

According to James Scott, lead researcher at the Real Estate Innovation Lab at MIT, chatbots are meant to complete redundant tasks within the day-to-day agenda for brokers such as answering client queries and facilitating scheduling. The technology also creates user profiles and groups realistic buyers or tenants for certain properties apart from all queries. Chatbots’ humanistic ways of dealing with information make anyone feel like they’re interacting with a real person.

How do chatbots generate leads?

Chatbots revive stored information in addition to collecting it. The technology uses actual names when recognizing user data pulled from a customer relationship management (CRM) system. These users are typically prospects that weren’t the best fit for a property at the time, meaning that chatbots create opportunities for a match.

Glenn Gutierrez, COO and co-founder of alive5, mentioned that a client known as The Cannon uses chatbots at coworking space events for the pre-qualification of prospects. Collecting names and emails for brokers and integrating advanced customization based on business questions take care of basic yet important details and allow for stronger in-person conversations. According to Guitierrez, chatbots can also handle facility maintenance by responding to text messages and directing clients to customer service, quickly resolving issues.

How will chatbots make long-term impacts on the industry?

Chatbots will continue to help brokers in the ways mentioned above, but a new feature will be a game-changer for commercial real estate: natural language processing.

Google’s chatbot called Meena uses this along with machine learning and text-to-text speech to foster conversations with users. A thick accent, for example, is still understood by the chatbot with its language processing features.

Scott believes that this piece is a huge factor in the presence of chatbots down the road. 

“…the advancements in natural language processing, together with the vast influx of venture capital investment that has taken place in recent years, means that chatbot solutions will become part of many brokers’ offices in the year to come.”

Even though commercial real estate in the United States is behind countries such as Russia and Germany in adopting this assistance, the global pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology and indicated a future of advancements. To read more about chatbots in the United States, click here.