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An Outside Industry Perspective on Chatbots

If you’re an agent or broker, chances are good you probably won’t find much value in watching the following video. However, if you’re a founder, executive, consultant, or technology vendor in this industry, you should.

The video is an interview with Paul English, the founder of Lola (and a co-founder of Kayak & Director at Partners in Health, an organization I greatly admire), at the Phocuswright conference.

Lola is a personalized travel assistant, by way of a simple messaging interface. While Lola is absolutely developing an advanced travel bot, it’s real humans interacting with travelers, not automated bots (the humans on Lola’s team use the bot/ai they’re developing to help do some of their work). Paul is very candid that he believes a consumer would get pissed off if they had to interact with a bot that’s 90% accurate. He’s right. He won’t expose his end consumers/travelers to a “bot” until he’s confident the experience is better than an experience with humans. 100% of the time.

That’s my worry with many of these real estate chatbots coming on the scene. They may be good 40% — or even 60% — of the time, but nowhere close to 100%. And a chatbot that is accurate any less than 100% of the time is pretty useless, and annoying, to your average buyer or seller.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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