People imagine real estate agents as always on the job. Roberto Moreno wants to change that. A few years ago, when his wife Elisse wanted to return to the world of real estate, they wondered how they could use the latest developments in technology to make the job easier and let her spend more time with her family. And so Gabbi, the A.I. assistant they have been developing over the last two years, was born.
Touted as a central hub for all communications between an agent and a client, Gabbi aims to step in to help convert leads and move sales forward. “Statistics show that if realtor doesn’t respond to a potential customer within a few minutes, that customer has already gone elsewhere,” says Moreno. “The consumer wants information much quicker. It’s important for agents to be able to respond in a timely matter with accurate information, and that’s really where Gabbi can come in and help.”
“There are also a lot of repetitive tasks in an agent’s day,” he continues. “A lot could be automated or enhanced. We’re trying with Gabbi is help agents do what they do best, which is build relationships.”
Gabbi’s MLS integration — arguably its killer feature — allows it to pull from the MLS (multiple listing service) database and return listings that match with a client’s parameters. That information is then sent to the realtor for confirmation, and within minutes, back to the customer. In order to make this possible, Gabbi takes advantage of natural language processing (NLP).
“Natural language processing is talking to somebody and being able to understand what the customer is saying,” he explains. In the event Gabbi can’t understand a message, that message gets flagged and sent to the agent so the agent can look at it and respond.
But technological hurdles aside, the biggest challenge Moreno and his team has faced so far has been changing people’s perception of the real estate industry and how technology can help realtors move into the future. “When you’re talking about A.I. there’s still some confusion. People fear things when they don’t understand it,” he says. “They think Gabbi just another tool in their arsenal, but Gabbi is more of a process.”
Much of their work has been in helping realtors understand exactly what Gabbi offers. “Once they get to see it in action, they’re like, “Oh, this is actually going to make my life easier and let me spend more with my family.”
Although currently in beta, Elisse and her team have been using Gabbi for the past year with resounding success, saving 15 to 25 percent of a customer’s time and thus allowing her team to increase the number of leads they could turn sales.
Another characteristic that Moreno hopes gives Gabbi an edge over its competition is the fact it’s designed to be used both by agents and customers. “Everyone’s been trying to tackle things from different angles,” he says. “Other tools either focus on the agent side of things or on the consumer side.”
“With Gabbi, the consumer feels like they're being taken care of much quicker much better, and the agents have a better work-life balance because Gabbi's there helping. When Elisse and I go on dates, and I like to joke that Gabbi is kind of always there with us. But she's doing work and letting you be able to spend time with your family and not have to worry about some of these mundane.”
At its core, Moreno and his team view Gabbi to help real estate agents spend less time doing things that can be automated and more time cultivating relationships with their customers, an area they still have a distinct advantage over even the latest A.I. technologies.
And while Gabbi currently only operates in the real estate realm, at heart it’s a sales tool. In the future, Moreno envisions Gabbi being a tool that any sort of salesperson uses, no matter the industry. “We hope that it’ll be something automatic, like a website was 20 years ago,” he says. “We’ve barely scratched the surface of what Gabbi can do.”
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