Meet Kelle, Your Virtual Personal Assistant

Feb 19, 2018 7:35:40 PM

What if you could spend less time buried in technology but reap even more benefits from it? Meet Kelle. Available now in app stores for Apple and Android users, Kelle is an AI-powered personal assistant that can help KW associates do just that.

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According to Keller Williams Co-founder and Chairman Gary Keller, “We are in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ – an era of the machine-powered ‘know-it-all’ business that’s always on, analyzing, learning and thinking.” Big data is king, and artificial intelligence can be a competitor or a partner. Through AI’s ever-increasing computing abilities, agents are able to access data like never before and gain even more insights. This allows them to better serve their clients, something pivotal to ensuring the real estate profession prevails against industry disruptors.

From the automotive sector to medicine to the media, artificial intelligence is transforming our world. Keller Williams is the first to harness its power specifically for the real estate industry.

“AI is the next frontier,” says Josh Team, Keller Williams’ chief innovation officer and one of the masterminds behind Kelle. “It’s becoming more mainstream, and it allows us to give more value to our agents and clients in a way that technology hasn’t been able to do before. Kelle will give our agents back valuable time.”

As the largest real estate company in the world, Keller Williams is well-positioned to lead the way in “real estate AI” given its vast amount of data, which is crucial for artificial intelligence.

Your Virtual Personal Assistant

Kelle can be compared to Siri, Apple’s intelligent personal assistant, or Alexa, Amazon’s version of the technology. “If you sat Siri and Alexa down for the day and trained them on The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, that’s Kelle,” says Team, a self-professed engineer since the age of 12 who’s ironically never seen “Star Wars.”

Kelle has been the subject of many Labs prior to entering Family Reunion 2018. Now in general availability, the assistant operates within Keller Williams’ single platform, the Keller Cloud, along with a host of other applications.

In its first iteration, Kelle responds to agents via text only, but later versions will include email and likely voice capabilities.

Today, Kelle can help agents:

  • Get questions answered
  • Find and follow associates on KWConnect
  • Discover expert KWConnect content
  • Manage agent-to-agent referrals and networks
  • Check progress against career goals

The more agents use Kelle, the more Kelle will learn and be able to help. In future iterations, Kelle will provide client history, details, and preferences, as well as prompt agents to take specific actions based on that stored information. For example, if it’s been a few months since an agent has contacted a new lead, Kelle will send a notification to that agent prompting them to follow up and offer a suggestion on exactly how to reach out.

With Kelle helping with many of these everyday tasks, agents can focus on more high-level work, such as growing their business, or on spending more time with their family and friends, Team says.

Crawl, Then Walk

To develop Kelle, KW technology designers started with the basics. “When humans learn, it’s a journey,” says Team. Infants don’t start out reading “Moby Dick,” but rather begin with sounds, then letters, and then build a vocabulary. “Computers are no different,” he says.

So, Kelle started out performing simple tasks. Designers chose everyday activities based on information gathered from thousands of agents through questionnaires – mainly: what do agents ask an assistant to do for them each day, and what tasks eat up their time? Associates also influenced the tool’s development by submitting questions via a special “Ask Kelle” page on KWConnect, its learning platform.

Team and his cohort of designers are continually training and testing Kelle. Each night, Kelle runs an algorithm to discover which queries weren’t completed. Designers then use that information to teach Kelle how to correctly respond. And, now that the app is downloadable, KW agents across the United States and Canada will serve as teachers, helping Kelle to advance even more.

Kelle Enhances the Customer Experience

Team says Kelle can’t come at a better time. Companies from Apple to Microsoft have been on the hunt for top AI talent the last several years, and spending on AI technologies is expected to balloon. Market-research firm International Data Corp. sees AI spending growing to $47 billion in 2020. By developing its own AI, Keller helps protect agents by keeping their data close to home. Using an outside company’s AI could put agents’ data at risk, Team says.

Some might worry AI could replace jobs done by humans, and that is something to keep top of mind as the technology evolves, Team says. Kelle has been set up to give agents and consumers a better experience, he says, without giving up the human touch. That’s because real estate is a relationship business, and always will be.

“We’re pretty excited about how far along Kelle is on day one,” he says. “And we’re really excited that this tool will only get smarter and smarter.”

Say hi to Kelle, ask a few questions, and don’t be surprised if your experience isn’t perfect just yet – that’s the learning process!

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