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AskAvenue chat tool bets on live agents over chatbots

Product leverages the power of one-on-one online communication
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  • Despite the efficiencies offered by chatbots, live agents offer the best chance to land a sales lead.
  • Chat software was built by the team behind 2015 Realogy Startup Winner, Avenue.

AskAvenue is a website chat and lead capture tool for real estate companies.

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AskAvenue is a website chat and lead capture tool for real estate companies.

Platforms: Browser-based with companion app
Ideal for: Any size agency; personal agent websites

Top selling points

  • Very subtle integration with website
  • Highly customizable
  • Reporting and tracking tools
  • Easy to set up and manage

Top concerns

Little to worry about here as this is a lightweight, easy-to-use audience engagement tool. Getting overzealous in its deployment could discourage customers from responding.

What you should know

In 2015, Avenue won Realogy’s startup competition, beating 14 other real estate tech startups.

The company is back with a website chat tool called AskAvenue — a product that leverages the power of one-on-one online communication.

The software installs easily on a user’s website via a block of code accessed via its admin page.

AskAvenue is barely noticeable to the person browsing through listings: It hovers as an icon in the bottom right corner.

It’s not intrusive, either. Even though all the standard “eye-catcher” messaging can be customized, AskAvenue encourages users to keep it polite, softly reminding prospects that, “I’m here if you need me.”

However, time triggers can be created to poke the user again after a few seconds or well after a couple of minutes.

When the icon is interacted with, it first asks for a name, using that name in an almost instant mobile device notification to either all agents in a firm, a select few, or only one. It’s all up to the broker.

In the mobile setting, clicking on the notification opens up the AskAvenue app and also provides a link to the webpage or listing the person inquired about.

Where the chat goes is completely up to the agent. This is not a bot; it’s a live, one-on-one conversation with a captive audience.

Every conversation automatically captures the person’s name and email address.

I see this as an ideal training tool for new agents, similar to desk duty. Instead of answering phone inquiries, newbies can be charged with learning what it takes to secure a showing or get an agreement signed.

Brokers could also use AskAvenue as an incentive tool, allowing only a few top producers each month access to the “chat leads.”

Behind the talk, AskAvenue has reporting and tracking capabilities where admins can log in to view the number of chats started, questions asked and chats abandoned.

Each chat is archived to help in reviewing what pages garnered what type of questions, what listings landed the most conversations and how chats were lost, among other data points.

AskAvenue uses a very crisp, elegant user interface throughout. The software should require minimal time to be up and running, depending on brokerage size.

Let’s face it: chatbots have their value. And thanks to Facebook, some bots are now gaining the ability to negotiate.

But until I’m convinced otherwise, when it comes to the language of sales, you can’t beat the genuine article.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

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