This post was originally written by Brandon Hollembeak, Product Manager – Advertising Products & Services
It’s been nine months since we started experimenting with giving renters the ability to chat live with Apartments.com platinum listing customers, and four months since we launched it fully, and it’s proven to be a great next step in advancing the rental industry! As of February 1, we have over 1,200 properties signed up to receive Live Chat, and continuing to grow at a very rapid pace every week.
In January 2011, for those properties actively using Live Chat (online with Chat for at least 30% of renter visits to their listing), we recorded an average of 17% increase in conversations with renters. Those online less than 30% of renter visits only saw an average of 5% increase in conversations with renters, but obviously the more you’re online to chat, the more renters are going to be chatting with you!
Included in those numbers are both properties that are chatting online with renters directly, as well as call centers using the ContactAtOnce chat software representing the properties in the chats, with no real difference in performance. Customers have really been using the chat transcripts that are emailed to the Chat agent (and other specified addresses) to get these renter conversation percentages higher, as they provide the same evaluation and training benefit as Call Recording.
Not always does a product perform as well after launch as it does when it’s initially being tested, but we’re excited that this feature continues to excite and engage our customers, renters and even competition! ContactAtOnce has been a great partner during this launch, and continues to support our customers individually when they have questions or are interested in expanding their use of Chat elsewhere (like on their property’s own website!).
We’ve taken extra steps to help properties and call centers get launched quickly with Live Chat, as we’ve created two training videos on our ApartmentsTV YouTube channel, published the top 10 best tips in chatting with renters, and we’ll be launching additional training opportunities and tools in the coming months… and it all continues to be free with an Apartments.com platinum listing.
Stay tuned for more great news as we expand our use of Live Chat on Apartments.com and elsewhere, and let us know in the comments if you have any specific questions regarding Live Chat.