Real Estate

Inman Review: Can Roof Take Your Lead Capture To New Heights?

Roof is chat automation tool that plugs into brokerage websites to capture and nurture leads with traffic metrics and sharp persona-building.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Roof AI is a chat-driven marketing automation solution for the real estate industry.

Platforms: Browser, mobile-responsive
Ideal for: Large brokerages looking to capture more website leads

Top selling points:

  • Home-shopping concierge
  • Built-in marketing campaigns
  • Resumes user search automatically over multiple visits
  • Included lead routing
  • CRM integration

Top concern:

Brokers without significant marketing budgets for their websites will have a harder time seeing maximum return on a chat-capture tool. Then again, brokers not leveraging their websites are having trouble competing in general.

What you should know

Yes, Roof AI is another chatbot tool. At least that’s the most simple explanation.

What it does differently is build in marketing automation to stay engaged with a prospect without relying on a separate system, such as your CRM. But it plays nice with that, too.

I like that Roof doesn’t act like it’s not a bot. It doesn’t try to include deliberate typos or introduce itself as a human assistant. If it can’t answer something, it’s honest about it and pushes the question to the human who pays for it, more or less.

But it can pick up knowledge from missed questions and respond to oddly worded human queries by identifying specific keywords and intent, or by pitching them to schedule a showing. A nice touch, that last tactic.

Roof tracks site visitor activity even before they engage with the chat prompt so it’s ready to respond with potential property matches.

The home-shopping concierge feature stands out, too. It asks questions to help narrow down potential agent matches, which is connected to the lead-routing mechanism. (Roof can also defer to an existing CRM‘s lead distribution rules.)

Agent pictures with links to individual websites and bios can be scrolled through by the prospect within Roof’s window, which essentially acts like in-page app.

If a property match isn’t available on the broker’s search page, Roof will reach out to the local MLS feed to pull from its inventory. Users can browse homes directly in the text window, too, which will expand to accommodate a more visually pleasing user experience. (Who likes chatting or reading in those small interfaces?)

The software can be white-labeled, and also refer leads to partner vendors in finance and insurance. Those brokers with more entrepreneurial mindsets could use this feature to build out affiliate revenue sources, too.

The marketing engine carefully dissects every engaged user’s site use, forever linking them to the homes, areas and budgets they prefer, and crafting a “persona.” Each time they return to search, the bot’s recommendations and language are that much more on target.

It also funnels them into custom email campaigns, and the activity from those also gets put into the persona algorithm.

Saved searches are considered by many to represent a sure-fire lead, but they require manual interaction by both the agent and the home shopper. Roof removes that friction with its tracking tools. Technically-speaking, it’s not particularly original, but conceptually, it’s a very effective way to leverage website metric trackers and pixels. It even knows how long a person’s been gone between visits.

Completed showing requests are routed from Roof to your connected CRM, where it can keep up with all other lead interaction, too.

Roof AI is looking to focus on larger brokerages that address a wide swath of the market. I get it. The more diverse its interaction, the more value it can provide. It can become a valuable tool in separating luxury from mid-market leads, and financially unaffiliated home shoppers to those already prequalified. And if a person is just kicking the pixels, so to speak, it’ll let you know that, too.

The chat vertical is getting taller. But maybe we’ve hit the ceiling.


Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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