Avi Khan knows one of the core pillars of business success in today’s world and beyond is immediacy.
In an era when everything from watching a movie, doing your banking, booking a medical appointment and ordering dinner is available 24/7, at the click of a button, those in real estate know they need to keep up or risk delivering a sub-par customer experience and being left behind.
It’s why Avi, the principal of Ray White AKG in Queensland, has recently implemented Propic’s Artificial Intelligence technology – a conversational virtual assistant, known as Propic Concierge, – across his property management department.
He says the technology will help foster strong relationships with landlords and tenants, give his property managers more time in their day to build those connections and meet clients’ needs for immediate service.
“Immediacy is really the key to any business,” he says.
“Immediacy is our currency.
“That’s what we normally say in our business, and for us to find a technology solution that solves the immediacy issue and allows my staff to build relationships and do the important parts of real estate, that’s the goal that Propic ensures that we can have.”
Avi says he is introducing Propic Concierge incrementally at his business so that both his team and the clients feel confident and comfortable with the technology.
“The tenants will be able to have a conversation with Concierge, check what rent is due, log a maintenance request, check when their leases are expiring and do things that they don’t need to do between 9am and 5pm,” he says.
“They have a 24-hour service there that enables them to check all of those things.
“The technology relates very well for a business like ours that doesn’t want to lose the relationship with clients but wants to give tenants and landlords more opportunities to check those things instantaneously.”
Propic Concierge is one of a suite of technology solutions the PropTech innovator has recently refined to meet real estate consumers’ need for on-demand, 24/7 customer service in a world where brand loyalty is fading, and the customer experience is paramount.
Propic Concierge provides conversational AI trained to answer unlimited daily inquiries across property management, residential sales and project marketing.
Propic Advantage is machine learning that not only works out which properties and vendors are most likely to transact in the future but contacts them on an agent’s behalf.
Propic Insights helps agencies manage their network with insights on the market, agents, and agent performance by helping them understand how they’re performing relative to the market and the competition.
Propic Chief Executive Officer Jeffery Gray says the technology meets the needs of buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants to do business at a time that suits them, using the channels they desire.
“In the latest census data, millennials make up the largest individual cohort in Australia, and these are people that have only ever known eBay,” he says.
“They’re always on their phone, and we’re living in a world where customer success and customer management is measured in seconds.
“If you think about most things you do now, how often do you go into your bank? How often do you physically go into your insurance company or your health insurance company?
“You don’t; it’s all online. People want to transact when it suits them, not when it’s convenient for us to have our businesses open.”
Jeffery says it’s critical that businesses not only keep up with technology but meet clients’ needs for real estate on demand because if they don’t, it’s likely they will be superseded.
“There is global research that shows there is less brand loyalty now,” he says.
“The experience matters more than the brand, and that’s backed up with global research from Google.
“So if there is Brand A that enables a landlord, tenant, buyer or potential vendor to be served 24/7 in the channel they want to be served in, and you’ve got Brand B in the same area that is operating 9am to 5pm and agents are calling back a day later, customers will notice that difference in experience and that experience completely trumps the power of your brand.”
Jeffery says 79 per cent of the conversations Propic’s technology has is outside of office hours, with most happening between 9pm and 10pm.
As well as consumers having their inquiries answered immediately, the AI drastically reduces or redistributes workload, particularly in the property management space, where 98.6 per cent of leasing inquiries are deflected away from a team member.
Avi says the technology enabled his team to spend more time on the tasks only humans could do.
“We’ve started with this in our property management side of the business, because we feel like we need to give our staff more time to concentrate on the most important things, which is building strong relationships with our landlords and tenants,” he says.
“This will give us the opportunity to ensure our processes are constantly improving and our communication is 10 out of 10 for our landlords and tenants.”
Propic Concierge also takes care of about 80 per cent of the coordination and management of maintenance requests and can chase and process rental arrears.
Outbound AI and prospecting is another area where Propic’s technology is swiftly changing the way real estate happens, with Propic Advantage able to generate leads for residential sales agents.
The technology went live just a few weeks ago, and the platform not only mines consumer data to predict who is most likely to transact in the near future, it contacts those prospects on an agent’s behalf via text or email, instantly creates a micro listing about the home and directs the customer to that listing to continue the virtual discussion.
“This is the first of its kind in Australia and, from what we know, in the world,” Jeffery says.
“It might say, ‘Hey Peter, I just wanted to let you know 1 Smith St has just sold. I’ve created a website about your home, so if you want to jump over to that website, we can continue the conversation’.
“The goal is to nurture these prospects to a point where they want to get an appraisal, and then the platform will book that.”
Jeffery says the technology is highly personalised and can be tailored to ensure it’s speaking in the real estate brand’s tone of voice and the machine learning is continually improving.
Even in its early days, click-through rates are already sitting at about 40 per cent, and Propic is monitoring how consumers are interacting with the AI so it can make changes and improvements.
“It’s not just about us understanding what’s happening and behaviour, the machine learning itself is also understanding and learning from the conversations it’s having,” Jeffery says.
“The more conversations it has, it knows what the goal is, it can see where people are dropping off, are not dropping off and what suggestions it should be making… based on how this consumer is behaving.”
The next generation of Propic’s technology, due before Christmas, will also be available in 13 different languages.
“What the technology will be able to do is work out, from the browser preference of the consumer, what their preferred language is, and it will automatically speak to them in their preferred language,” Jeffery says.
“It will then translate to the agent or the property manager what the conversation was in English.”
The cost for Propic’s products starts at as little as $2 per property under management per month for Propic Concierge in the property management space.
Propic Concierge is priced at $140 per listing for residential sales and $2200 per development per month for project marketing.
Propic Advantage has a price guide of $160 per sales agent per month, while Propic Insights for individual residential sales and property management leaders has a price guide of $140 per person per month.
“This is where technology becomes very interesting at scale,” Jeffery says.
“We might start work with a client, and they might have four or five million contacts in their CRM, and it’s not possible for someone or even a team of people to manually go through those four million contacts and work out who should contact them, when they should be contacted and what they should be contacted about.
“Whether you’ve got 10,000, four million or 10 million contacts in your CRM, this is where this type of technology becomes extraordinary.”