Digital assistant service will use chatbot to provide ‘verified leads’ for estate agents

A digital assistant service backed by former LSL director David Newnes and proptech venture capital firm Pi Labs has expanded into the agency world.

AskPorter, which provides artificial intelligence chatbots in the property management space to raise queries and send and receive documents, will now offer the service through estate agents, allowing users to enter the type of property they want and book viewings.

It has also appointed Curran McKay, co-founder of deposit replacement scheme Reposit and former business development director of Canopy, as chief commercial officer to expand the business.

A lead qualification facility has been trialled by agents, and AskPorter claims 31% of people who used the service during a trial with agents went on to book a viewing.

The chatbot service works with an agency’s own website, and portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla 24 hours a day.

An enquirer is sent a link to the chatbot either by text message or email and is then asked whether they are looking to rent or buy, how many bedrooms they need and what type of property they would prefer, then Porter will offer them a selection of properties that they can click through to see on the estate agent’s website.

They can then, at the press of a button, arrange to view the property, which the founders say will help agents build up a book of buyers and verified leads.

Tom Shrive, chief executive of AskPorter, said: “Our mission is to deliver an end-to-end communications platform optimised for anyone managing a property, be it residential or commercial.

“To do this, we’re building out a marketplace of services designed to free agents from the boring, repetitive and time-consuming parts of the job, giving them more time and energy to invest in growing their business and delivering amazing customer service.”

AskPorter has also launched a concierge service that can be used by landlords and tenants to book cleaning, shopping or laundry.

AskPorter did not disclose which agents it is working with.

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