Recently we caught up with Erik Backer, Co-Founder and CEO of Portal.chat at the 24th Property Portal Watch Conference in Madrid.
The decade-old Netherlands-based Portal.chat offers online real estate sites an instant messaging app that also supports live video and audio chat.
“We have a plug and play solution that allows real estate classified sites and marketplaces, anywhere in the world, to offer a live chat solution between consumers and the listings owners or between the advertisers (the agents) and the real estate site.
“In the past 18 months, we have noticed that there has been a significant increase in the use of chat and it can no longer be ignored as a communication channel,” stated Backer.
He also added that the use of chat is generational with the younger generations using chat as their prime method of communication with some never even answering the phone when it rings.
Backer stresses that Portal.chat can be used as a new income stream for online real estate classified sites and marketplaces as well as a communication channel. "With the implementation of our new artificial intelligence, a chatbot can take over all first point of communication and if the chatbot is unable to answer a query, it forwards it immediately to the owner,” stated Becker.
When asked if companies need to be convinced to use chat, Backer commented, “They know that somewhere down the line, they will need to use chat. It’s the same process as it was with email, some 20+ years ago. The challenge is to be at the top of their priority list.”
Simon Baker, the founder of the Property Portal Watch Conference commented: “classifieds sites and marketplaces have to step up their game and look for more ways to inject themselves into the real estate process. Portal.chat and other chatbot providers can bridge the communications gap between the renter or buyer and the agent, landlord or project marketer. In this way, classifieds sites and marketplaces can become even more relevant to all parties involved in the real estate transaction.”
With over a dozen Property Portal Conferences under his belt Backer said that “Being at the Conferences, Portal.chat has been able to increase our name recognition and generated significantly more business,” concluded Backer.
Join us in Bangkok the 19th to the 22nd of March for the Property Portal Watch Conference.