Virtual Leasing Agent
Virtual Leasing Agent
Funnel has leveraged AI/Machine Learning to build a Virtual Leasing Agent (VLA or VA) that will be able to reply to common inquiries from prospects. By combining our initial auto-reply and chat capabilities, the VLA will be able to leverage all community information in Funnel to better assist prospects. Prospects will be able to interact with the VLA from the property website. Agents will be able to see chat history, stored preferences from VLA chats, and more directly in Funnel on the prospect’s guest card. Click here for a word version of this job aid.
- VLA Responses - The VLA will leverage customized text content in its responses to prospects. They will be used to incorporate company-specific language/brand voice into the conversation.
- Marketing Automation
- The client would work with their Funnel Account Manager to ensure all required VLA Content Blocks have content prior to going live
- VLA Response Delay - The VLA will be configured to not respond immediately to inquiries from prospects via email/SMS. An integer range can be specified on the management company in the back end of Funnel for both email and SMS. The virtual agent will randomly choose an integer in that range as the amount of time to wait before sending an email/SMS response to the prospect.
- Indication that the VLA is Handling a Prospect - Funnel will display a statement in Messenger that indicates that the prospect is being handled by the VLA and that the virtual agent will handle all inquiries.
- Hand-off Logic - An agent can select the option to Take Over the chat from the virtual agent. Once this option is selected, the VLA cannot be turned back on. In addition, there is built in functionality to hand-off the prospect to a live agent based on 9 other categories.
- Action Required Items in Funnel - While the virtual agent is handling a prospect, there should be no communication Actions Required created. When the virtual agent is no longer handling a prospect, communication Actions Required should be created as usual.
- Reporting - Funnel will provide insight into any prospects that were handled by the VLA. Data points included:
- Chat Start Timestamp
- Chat End Timestamp
- Chat End Reason
- Messages sent by the VLA
- Origin Source for tours scheduled by the VLA
VLA Hand-Off Reasons
In the event that a conversation with a prospect is handed off to a human agent, Messenger will display the reason for the hand-off. There are 9 hand-off reasons that the VLA will utilize with prospects. Whenever a chat is handed off to a human agent, Messenger will indicate the reason for the hand-off. This will allow the agent to review the chat history and best respond to the prospect’s inquiry.
- Manually Disabled by Agent - Agent either sent the prospect a manual message or selected the option in Messenger to Take Over the chat.
- Communication with Human Agent - Agent either sent the prospect a manual message or selected the option in Messenger to Take Over the chat.
- Unsupported Inquiry - If the prospect’s inquiry does not match one of our supported categories, the virtual agent will not send a response and will be disabled.
- Detected Frustration - If we detect negative sentiment or profanity was used, we will not send a response and disable the virtual agent.
- Detected Repeat Question - If the prospect’s message triggers the same category that was already triggered (without any new entities extracted), we will disable the virtual agent.
- Foreign Language Detection - If we detect the prospect has typed a foreign language or inquired if someone speaks another language, we will disable the virtual agent.
- Message Capacity Reached - If the virtual agent is only supposed to handle x number of responses to a prospect, after the virtual agent sends the xth message, it should be disabled. Any future messages from the prospect should be handled by a human agent
- This setting is configurable at the company level
- Prospect Status Not Handled - If the virtual agent is only configured to handle prospects with a certain status (ex: Prospect, Toured), and there is a message from the prospect with an unsupported status, the virtual agent will be disabled and the prospect will be handed off to a human agent.
- Message Type Not Handled - If the virtual agent is only configured to handle a certain type of message (ex: email) and an unsupported message type is received from the prospect (ex: SMS), the virtual agent will be disabled and the prospect will be handed off to a human agent.
Sample VLA Conversations
View samples of conversations prospects have had with the VLA below:
Entering the VLA Workflow
The prospect inquiries can come into the system via email, SMS, ILS submission, or contact/submission form on a community website. Prospects can interact with the VLA through 3 avenues:
- Chat (coming soon)
Entering the Email Flow
A prospect can communicate with the VLA via email through many means - this could be a direct email to a community or an agent, or another ingress point like an inquiry via an ILS or contact form on the client’s website. If the prospect’s initial inquiry or communication is from email, the VLA will continue to correspond via email until a new medium is established.
Entering the SMS Flow
A prospect can enter the SMS VLA workflow through 3 avenues:
- Direct community text - A prospect can text the community phone number directly with a message and get a response from the VLA.
- Request for text via IVR - A prospect that has called into a community IVR and opts to receive a text message from an agent can receive a text message from the VLA.
- Request for text via client site (in progress) - We’re modifying our API to allow clients to offer the ability for prospects to request a text from an agent directly on their site via webform. Choosing this option would allow the prospect to receive a text message from the VLA in much the same way as the IVR flow.
Prospects that have not previously opted into SMS communication can be sent an SMS opt-in email through Funnel. For additional information, refer to the job aid for SMS Opt-in - Person Level Opt-in.
Turning on the VLA & Statuses/Mediums
Turning the VLA on or off at an individual community or group of communities is as easy as toggling a checkbox and indicating what “statuses” for guest cards the VLA should be able to handle:
Additionally, modifying the mediums the VLA can handle works much the same way and can be configured at the employee group level:
For assistance with enabling or disabling the VLA please reach out to the assigned Funnel Account Manager.
Revised 8.13.2021 | Virtual Leasing Agent