In today’s tough real estate market, brokers are looking for all sorts of ways to connect with consumers — especially online — and an interactive software company is offering technology that aims to do just that.

WebsiteAlive, a provider of live chat software, has created a version of its platform for real estate sites and is partnering with LuxuryRealEstate.com to offer it to real estate companies.

Brokers interested in licensing the software can do so via AliveRealEstate.com.

LuxuryRealEstate.com is a consortium of luxury residential real estate brokers who represent about 1,800 brands and 200,000 agents.

Live chat software is touted as a sales tool that can help close more sales and convert more browsers into buyers. The real estate industry has suffered a bad reputation for not answering online inquiries fast enough — with some industry statistics pointing to a more than 24-hour average response time.

Scott Rudolph, director of business development for LuxuryRealEstate.com, hopes the technology will enable the real estate industry to better interact with consumers online and improve the gaps in response time to consumer inquiries originating on the Web. The technology enables brokerage companies to offer live support, visitor tracking and proactive sales tools.

"There’s been this dialogue about how poorly the real estate agent reacts to online leads," Rudolph said. "This really puts the consumer in the driver’s seat."

How it works is real estate brokers can license the technology via AliveRealEstate.com for use on their Web sites. They can install it next to virtual tours, for instance, so that consumers watching a tour can click on the button to the side that offers to answer any questions they may have about the property.

The technology launches into a live interactive chat program in which consumers can ask questions of a live person on the other end.

The thinking behind the interactive chat is that customers who can engage with real people when they have questions will be more likely to make purchasing decisions and work with the brokerage company offering the help.

"This immediately struck me as a great way to communicate online," Rudolph said.

Brokers interested in licensing the technology from LuxuryRealEstate.com don’t need to members of the network, Rudolph said.

WebsiteAlive’s AliveChat software is utilized on more than 10,000 live Web sites across the globe. The company serves various industries, including real estate, automotive, Web hosting, e-commerce, and entertainment. Some of the company’s clients outside of real estate include the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets, TheSecret.tv, Bluehost.com, and Chicago Sky.

Pricing for live chat software packages starts at $29.95 per month, and the company offers a 14-day free trial period for interested brokers.


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