- The showbot kiosk was featured in several publications as a next generation way to show homes.
- Showbot UI. The showbot was used on several platforms like 18" tablet
- To vet the idea, we conducted a design sprint where we tested the flow with buyers
- Slackbot was used as a quick prototype for scheduling. Buyers, sellers and agents were able to confirm and change showings by text.
- Test Service Blueprint for Showing a Home
- Revised listing page on the website
REX Real Estate
Automated Home Showings
How do you show homes using unlicensed customer service reps at the same time creating a best in class showing experience?
REX Real Estate needed a solution to deliver showings fast as well as scale the workforce of agents. Part of the opportunity was that buyers only need an agent at the point when they are interested. It was also very hard to hire and train licensed agents. So, REX embarked on a journey to automate showings
We first kicked the project off with a design sprint, with a cross functional team. While we knew that scheduling was half of the problem, we decided to work on showings. The solution from those sessions was a”showbot” which included Alexa app which the user could use to speak from anywhere in the home, along with a mobile app for the agents, and a kiosk. Several revisions later, and product tests later we landed on app that could be deployed on any device from 10” to 40” which starts with a primary voice reaction and allows the user to browse the rest of the information. This “showbot” was then featured in several online publications and media outlets, and the product was deployed on a prototype basis until we could productionize the data.
In the meantime, we needed a way to send confirmations to buyers and easy ways to take next steps. We found through our tests, that buyers needed an immediate follow up and easy offer instructions as soon as they left the home, as that was the critical time that buyers need expert assistance. While this was initially solved with text, we used Slack to create a shortcut to building the app and test it quickly. This Slackbot allowed us to pilot the scheduling, and work out the flow for the scheduling until we needed to create a more robust UI.
Ultimately, the textbot was able to handle incoming conversations, automated showings, customer service notification for failed attempts, as well as understanding intent from the incoming text.
The next step was to productionize and structure all the home data, which and to capture the data from the home owners. This step involved reviewing all the data homebuyers need and structure it in a way that was interesting to them. Once that was done, we needed to update the website in order to display the information. Our first release laid the foundation for that project, however, the next phases were to finish the project.
The customer service team has now reduced the amount of time required to scheduled from 1 hour to 7 minutes/showing on average. In addition, this data and new data structure is now powering internal information for unlicensed agents to show homes.
The showbot is in prototype for special homes, while the website structure is being rectified to productionize it. The showbot continues to receive acclaim and press, and was responsible for up to 10% of closed deals in certain markets and continues to get requests.
Project lead/moderation, Usability Testing, Service Design, Information Architecture and Interaction/UI Design.