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Innovation ahead: AI equips agents and clients with more time

When American author Rick Warren espoused, “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it,” he hadn’t considered the possibility that Artificial Intelligence would, in essence, gift people more time.

Not in terms of adding hours to the clock, of course, but in working at times when humans can’t – or shouldn’t – and completing menial tasks that are not the best use of a professional’s time.

It’s this theory of creating and gifting people – agents and clients – more time that has seen leading Brisbane agency Place Estate Agents introduce Propic’s Enliven AI products across most of its 16 offices.

A NEW FRONTIER
Head of Innovation and Service Delivery Manager at Place, David Sparksman says the group introduced Propic’s Enliven Concierge AI in February this year, intending to solve two interconnected problems: creating a better customer experience by responding to clients in real-time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“What attracted us to Propic and AI was it solved a number of problems,” David says.

“One of those was that customers, en masse, expect responses literally immediately – which is a reasonable expectation given how far AI has come in every other area of their lives, such as Siri on iPhone, banking and instant entertainment.

“Real estate has four types of client (personas) – the buyer, the seller, the landlord and the tenant – and in all cases, they seek immediate responsiveness.

“There might have been a flood and a landlord is chasing information about lease insurance, there’s high emotional involvement and they want an answer quickly to have peace of mind. 

“Or something has gone ‘bang’ in the middle of the night and sewerage is leaking, and a tenant seeks immediate information and urgent out of hours help – when most humans are sleeping. The general knowledge sharing it enables is really attractive.”

Propic AI solves the problem of delayed response time by having an always-on digital concierge available 24/7 that can have intelligent AI conversations to solve problems, answer questions and complete tasks at any time. 

Priopic AI provides numerous nurturing-type and informative responsiveness.

It operates across email, text, online portals and websites, giving a consistent user experience and the full digital picture on vendor sales or lease campaigns.

“With Propic AI in Place we can support many mundane tasks of clients 24/7,” David says.

Innovative time saver

David says the virtual assistant also gives agents time back in their day as they no longer have to respond to high volumes of easy-to-answer questions such as when an inspection time is or whether a vendor would consider an offer.

He says in the first five weeks, Propic handled 19,162 buyer-related conversations, from 8,111 portal (realestate.com.au and Domain) inquiries.

“That’s 19,162 conversations a human didn’t have and the responses, most after hours, were within seconds,” David says.

“They were predominantly after business hours up until midnight, with 10pm being the peak time.”

On the property management side, Propic handled 7,626 portal inquiries and 8,337 people were ‘spoken to’.

“That was in a short period of time, from 21 February to 31 March,” David says.

David says as well as improving the customer experience with immediate response times and giving agents time back in their day to handle high volumes of inquiries, the AI technology can help identify buyers and sellers with a high intent to transact.

It helps sort the ingenuous buyer inquiries. 

He says when a potential buyer inquires about a property, the Propic technology directs them to a ‘micro site’ about that specific home where they can find out more about it.

“There’s the capability to create a lot more discussions, which enables you to see more of their intent and how serious they are in buying at that moment in time,” David notes.

“The biggest problem for agents is time. They’re swamped. So this technology gives them more of that precious resource and enables prioritisation, which means more control over their days – which is infinitely more empowering and satisfying as a professional. 

“So what you want to be doing is still having conversations, but the real in-person conversations happen with more serious people at the pointy end of finding a place to rent or buy, rather than the plethora of predictable, repeatable, easy to answer questions from the vast volume of people that were never going to buy – but still have a right to get their questions answered.”

Giving agents more authority

The conversations data generated also enables agents to have more informed discussions with their vendors about key matters, including price.

David says each week Place agents are provided a report for their vendors with all the discussion points the technology has picked up in conversations about their property in the past week.

“The discussion points could include what people are saying about price, whether they’re asking for the pool certificate or what happened with interest levels when there was a price reduction,” he says.

“This is an authoritative data source an agent can discuss with a vendor. There might be 15 or 20 people at an open home, but you might get hundreds of conversations online and being able to tap into that when you’re having a discussion with a vendor is valuable.

“Being able to say, ‘We had ‘X’ hundred people online, and they were really specific around this problem or that point’, really gives authority to the agent.”

Place will also soon deploy Propic’s vendor prediction technology, which leverages market and corporate data to contact possible sellers directly via SMS and start an informative discussion about their property’s potential worth, selling options and insights around them.

“We will be able to do things like send a text to alert potential clients within a couple of hundred metres of a just listed, just sold or record price event,” David says.

“Agents would normally do a letterbox drop for those types of events.”

David says he’s also been in talks with Propic regarding the enhanced capabilities it has after acquiring Property Realm announced in May.

Integration of Realm’s AI technology into Enliven is underway and enables agencies to automate most property management tasks, including managing and streamlining regular maintenance requests, chasing rental arrears and sentiment analysis to help detect and dilute angry or disrespectful messages from landlords or tenants.

“There’s a plethora of PropTech coming into the industry, and the industry is ripe for a lot of change. We’re very happy with our choice of partnering with Propic,” David says.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.

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