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Why All Chatbots Are Not the Same

Chatbots human-assisted AI

Digested from Multifamily Insiders

Chatbots differ based on how much onsite assistance is required.

Chatbots are here, but they cannot do everything.

While chatbots are capable of fielding queries about amenities and floor plans, make apartment tour appointments and send rental applications, there are many questions that they cannot answer. To fill gaps, it is important that leasing staff step in to help in either AI-assisted human interactions or human-assisted AI interactions.

Onsite staff primarily manages AI-assisted human interaction and the chatbot is the first point of contact, looking for keywords to figure out if the prospect is asking about pets or things such as rental rates. The bot suggests answers that the agent may use and the agent can approve the responses or take over the interaction if the suggested answer is not proper.

“The main benefit of this approach is the bot does not need to be programmed for natural language processing,” Jen Lawson writes for Multifamily Insiders. “Instead, it relies on keyword and pattern matching. “The drawbacks are that the bot does not learn and it does not become smarter and more self-reliant as it would if it understood natural language.”

Another drawback is that the leasing agent must be present for interactions. With human-assisted AI, the chatbot receives the message and it can use programmed data and language processing to provide a reply. The human steps in if the agent does not have an answer.

While this technology is not as far along, there are benefits.

The primary benefit to human-assisted AI is that humans have more time to perform more complex tasks — such as leading a property tour — resulting in smoother apartment-community operations, Lawson writes.

“Because a dedicated leasing agent doesn’t need to monitor the chatbot, operating costs are lower,” Lawson writes. “Also, the apartment chatbot only needs to be taught how to answer something once and [then it’ll] remember the actions for future use.”

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