An Outside Industry Perspective on Chatbots

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. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Product & Marketing for 360modern. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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