How chatbots can help agents grow their business

Since they're less 'sales-pushy,' they're good at engaging and qualifying leads

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NEW YORK -- Who would the average person rather talk to: A real estate agent or robot? The answer is often robot, at least when it comes to early digital communications, according to a panel at Inman Connect. That might seem discouraging to some in the industry, but it also highlights an opportunity for agents and brokerages: using chatbots to grow their business. Sample conversation between lead and Holmes. Chatbot refers to artificial intelligence that can engage consumers in a "messaging interface," such as text and voice communication, said Nathan Joens, CEO of Structurely, the maker of a real estate chatbot called "Holmes." Agents can use the technology to capture and qualify leads on websites and via text messages. "When they think a human is sitting on the back of a contact form they're less likely to give real information," Joens said about consumers perusing real estate brokerage and agent websites. But in the less "sales-pushy environment" c...