[caption id="attachment_56432" align="alignleft" width="330"] Portal.chat general manager Kornel Kathi. Portal.chat is a sponsor of this year's Property Portal Watch Conference in Bangkok.[/caption]
Property Portal Watch Bangkok Conference sponsor Portal.chat is leading a new era with the introduction of live video chat functionality for its online real estate industry customers.
Portal.chat connects website visitors to listing owners such as agents. Its key service is the ability to deliver a live chat account to all the advertisers on a portal, putting them “one click away from the real time visitors on their listings”.
Launched at the end of 2015, Portal.chat was live at the start of this year and is currently in the testing stage on more than 10 portals. General Manager Kornel Kathi says Portal.chat expects to be live on 50 websites by the end of Q3.
Portalchat.com customers include website owners from two key market segments, property and automotive.
“The biggest market challenge for our customers is how to make their portal a more efficient advertising medium than that of their competitors,” Kathi says.
“It all starts with having quality traffic to the portal and the next big thing is converting the better percentage of that traffic into quality sales leads.
In this context, Kathi says live chat is another form of communication in addition to telephone and email.
“It is an easy to use tool which everyone can relate to while benefiting advertisers exactly where it’s needed.”
Kathi asserts Portal.chat generates more enquiries for the listing owners.
“Portal.chat delivers sales leads to over 20,000 advertisers while making real-time chat communication possible for over 10 million visitors per day-all within 6 months,” he says.
He adds the point of difference offered by Portal.chat is the ability for a visitor to chat with multiple listing owners at the same time.
“All the live chat systems available on the market today are designed for the website owners to engage their visitors on the website,” he says. “But a property portal website is fundamentally different as it has basically has hundreds or even thousands of ‘owners’ who are advertisers.
“So it makes sense that it’s not the portal owner who should chat with the visitors of xzy real estate agent since they won’t know anything about the particular listing. Rather the listing agent should have live real time access to its visitor.”
Kathi says Portal.chat was designed exactly for this type of workflow, where the listing agents have access to their portion of the portal website.
“Our experience shows speeding up the decision making process for the visitor by offering real time answers to questions from different agents is critical,” he says, “especially in the property letting market of busy cities.
“Many properties in good locations are grabbed up before the first day of a new advert goes live. We have learnt that serious visitors want to have instant access to real estate agents.”
The company’s current goal is to introduce live video chat in addition to the currently available text and SMS chat features.
“We believe that boosting high visitor traffic numbers are great for some business models that generate income from display advertising but for the most of the businesses representing themselves online, the key will always be converting that traffic into a sale,” he says.
“In particular for high value items such as property, consumers will welcome live video to start building a rapport with the agent they are talking with. Currently no such service exists, so our new Portal Studio platform will lead the way into this new era.”
Kathi reveals Portal.chat is in the process of Beta Testing two new plugins to the core Portal.chat system:
‘Portal Studio’ will deliver the live broadcast of one-way video chat between visitors and advertisers where the presenter or sales person is shown in a live camera feed in the header of the chat box.
“This will bring a more human element to a website,” Kathi enthuses.
“Having a live video agent on a listing/website will generate even more enquiries for advertisers and there is no better way to stand out by being ‘live in the crowd’.”
Small advertisers without the resources to dedicate a live salesman for a few hours, typically during the busiest time of the day in terms of visitor traffic, can use an ‘Outsourced video agent’ who will be available from they company’s chat center starting Q3, 2016.
In addition, ‘Lead Marketplace’ will allow automotive visitors’ to enter a protected area accessible to all portal advertisers with an active subscription to exchange parts.
“Auto dealers will be able to communicate directly with visitors who are looking to part exchange their vehicles and/or looking for a particular model or simply a special deal,” Kathi says.