In an increasing on-demand society patience is a vanishing virtue. People want everything immediately and when they can’t have that they at least want to be told their progress. Domino’s Pizza was one of the first consumer brands to really grasp the importance of this cultural change. They implemented a feature that would allow pizza delivery customers to see the progress of their order with everything to who it was cooked by to what street it was on in the delivery route. This was not just a silly gimmick. It has helped Domino’s stock to outperform tech giants like Google, Facebook and Apple.
This impact has been felt in the real estate world as well. Residential leasing inquiries from prospective tenants are expected to be answered in the same day they come in, even if they are coming at odd hours. This is one of the realization made by the CEO of Nestio Caren Maio. “We’ve discovered that the large majority of initial inquiries are asking the same questions, over and over again. We’ve also learned that many of these inquiries come in during off-hours. This means that the prospect often doesn’t receive a response for hours, and the agent is writing the same response over and over.”
Nestio is a multifamily marketing and leasing platform so help take some of this busy work away from brokers and managers they have just launched a host of new features that include 24-hour, on-demand response technology and apartment booking tools. Maio and her company utilized machine learning to be able to answer a number of common questions that come in through their interface. She told me about the opportunity that she thinks this type of tool can provide the industry, “With technology changing the way we shop, travel, dine and more, it was clear to me there was a major opportunity to transform the apartment renting process as well. Finding and renting an apartment should be easy, much like booking a hotel room or making a restaurant reservation. The experiences we expect as consumers need to be effortless, on demand and personalized.”
Sales of any product is about communicating. In the age of information communicating customers are researching dozens if not hundreds of other options at their fingertips. This applies to home and apartment rentals as well. If someone has to wait too long to find out about critical information about a unit, they might go with another option in the meantime. For a busy broker or property manager, personally answering the barrage of questions in a timely manner might not be possible.
So in comes technology to create a way for these communication demands to be met. Products like the one Nestio has just rolled out will allow a much faster response. Obviously, we are a long way from the entire sales conversation being done by an algorithm. But for small, repetitive inquiries there is a lot that can be done with technology. While not talking to a real person might be a little creepy, curious prospective renters and overworked property brokers will both be willing to overlook this for the utility it provides.