Respacio WhatsApp Integration Beta Programme - reSPACio

Respacio WhatsApp Integration Beta Programme

The most requested feature from Respacio users has been integration with WhatsApp messaging into the Respacio CRM.

One of the great advantages of Respacio is our integration with third party APIs and systems. From email, calendar and storage integrations with Google and Microsoft to incoming and outgoing feeds in XML and APIs to portals, translations with Deepl, integrations with social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to MLS system integrations, we understand that real estate marketing relies on such connectivity. 

We are now expanding our WhatsApp Integration Beta Programme to existing Respacio subscribers and this document explains how we are integrating with WhatsApp, best practices, subscription costs and our roadmap for continued development.

If you would like to be a part of this programme then please fill in the form at the end of this document.

WhatsApp for Business Vs Personal WhatsApp

WhatsApp offers two service types, Personal WhatsApp and WhatsApp for Business. Many Estate Agents have tried WhatsApp for Business and quickly abandoned it as it does not suit the needs of the industry and adds unnecessary costs.

WhatsApp for Business

Up until now the only APIs available connected WhatsApp Business accounts. This has not been a popular or practical option in the Real Estate Industry for a number of reasons.

Enquiries from 3rd party websites

Real estate marketing is reliant on many third party websites such as property portals. Due to the requirement for users to opt in to receive a WhatsApp message, enquiries from such third party websites cannot be answered with WhatsApp for business. For example, if an enquiry is received from a portal such as Rightmove or Idealista and they give their phone number, under the rules that Meta sets for WhatsApp Business, we cannot reply through them.

Time limits on replying to customers

Real Estate is not the same as ordering a hamburger to be delivered and a key element of real estate marketing is property matching, where we send newly listed properties to clients that match their requirements. WhatsApp Business allows a time limit of 24 hours for a conversation and bills per conversation which effectively penalises real estate agents using WhatsApp for Business by charging for every property sent. Real Estate timescales are longer than a day and our conversations last for extended periods of time.

Conversation billing

There are 4 types of conversation in Business WhatsApp and each is billed separately. So if a client initiates a conversation asking your opening hours, that is a Service conversation. If you send them a property they might be interested in, then that is a Marketing conversation and you will be billed for both even though they may have occurred in one 24 hour period. You can find out more about WhatsApp conversation billing here

Personal WhatsApp

WhatsApp terms and conditions clearly state that, as a business, you can message individual customers using a personal WhatsApp account. A free personal WhatsApp account does not have the limitations of WhatsApp for Business. However, as a business you are regulated by the privacy and data protection laws of your country so you must comply with these. 

Almost every Real Estate agent already uses WhatsApp in their day to day business when dealing with new enquiries and ongoing conversations with their clients as it has become the preferred channel of communication. With Respacio you can apply automations so that whenever they enquire, night or day, they will get an immediate response.

Respacio Whatsapp Connectivity

Respacio connects to Personal Whatsapp numbers only. Each system user can have their unique WhatsApp number connected to the system in the same way as each may have their own email address. 

WhatsApp Integration Features

We are gradually integrating WhatsApp with the many available modules in Respacio. Currently the following functionality is available:

  • View all WhatsApp conversations 
  • View WhatsApp tab in contact and send message from there
  • View WhatsApp tab in deal and send message from there
  • Send message from deal card in Pipeline
  • Select property in message, select property image /  PDF / Document, add text and send
  • Create Templates for whatsapp which include text, property details, website link, images, PDF, text as well as any fields from the initial enquiry such as the name of the contact and any fields from the property they enquired about such as price, type etc. Such flexibility allows you to make your messages read naturally and intelligently.
  • Respond in the right language. The automated email reader can detect the preferred language of the enquiry because of the form they filled in. For example if they were enquiring from a property portal like Idealista which is available in multiple languages, you can translate templates and send the appropriate one based on which form from Idealista is filled in. The same would apply for your website enquiries.
  • Create automation to reply to enquiries by sources. Different templates can be assigned to different sources. For example you can have a dedicated reply template for each form type on your website. You can have dedicated replies for each portal or the same reply to any selected portals, or all portals. The system is highly flexible.
  • Automated templates can send a number of messages, for example the first could be a welcome text, followed by the image of the property they enquired about, a website link etc
  • Automated chasers can be sent if there is no reply in x days.

The following features are in the process of development and will be added in the very near future:

  • Property Matching messages

As a Beta user, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for new features.

Templates

Automated responses use templates and you can use different templates depending on which form your enquiry has come from. Each form is tagged as a unique source.

A response template is selected based on the source of the enquiry. For example, on your website you will have property for sale pages with a form. Typically this form might be a request for more information, a request for a viewing etc. These different versions are each tagged as a unique source on your CRM. If you also have properties for rent on your website, then these forms will again have their own sources. Each portal you advertise on may have one or more types of forms and each of these will be tagged as a source.

A template can use any data from the form fields that the source sends. For example the form will have a [Name] field, so you can use that in your template. If the form includes a property reference number, then you can also insert any of the fields in your CRM property record. For example you can say, "Thank you for enquiring about the house we advertised for $100,000", in which case your template would say, "Thank you for enquiring about the [property sub-type] we advertised for [sale price].

You can use the same template to reply to multiple sources, as long as the sources all send the data fields that your template requires (eg name, phone, property reference), . For example you could use the same template to reply to all the property for sale enquiries from all the portals that you advertise on.

Future Roadmap

Whatsapp will be further integrated with more modules within Respacio. We will also be developing an integrated log to give you a snapshot of all communications channels and events relating to a contact and deal.

We understand that some companies may prefer to use Whatsapp for Business and we will also be integrating this as an option, however the functionality will be reduced, as discussed above.

Along with Whatsapp for Business APIs we will also be looking at Facebook messenger which is popular in some regions.

In all communications we are also looking at the integration of AI at various levels from assisting with content production, scoring of deal quality and analytical reporting.

Best Practice

You must use WhatsApp responsibly and abide by the laws of your country. If users who receive your messages complain to WhatsApp, then your number will be banned. In using the Respacio WhatsApp integration you accept responsibility for your actions and usage of the system. 

  • You should use a dedicated personal WhatsApp number, not the number that you use in your private life. 
  • You should add a box to your website forms gaining consent to contact a customer by WhatsApp and in other cases gain consent in any form, such as oral, written, email.etc
  • You should not spam your contacts
  • You should allow your contacts to easily opt out of WhatsApp communication
  • You should not send or ask for sensitive financial information
  • You should conform to the laws of your country

Costs

In order to automate replies, you will need the Templates and Automations modules active on your system.

Subscription

For each number added to your system there will be a setup cost and a monthly subscription. These costs may change in the future. 

Setup cost per number (billed once)€40
Monthly subscription per number€40

Templates

There is a one off €10 cost for the creation of each unique template.

Billing Process and Service Cancellation

When you apply to join the Respacio WhatsApp Integration Beta Programme, you will receive an initial invoice for the number setup cost. When this payment is received, we will set up templates and response automations (or you can set these up yourself).

Once the number setup is complete (2-3 working days) and your templates and automations are added to the CRM, you will receive a link to set up the Whatsapp API subscription which will be paid by card automatically each month via the Stripe system. 

You can cancel your subscription at any time, however it must be done no less than 2 weeks before the next payment due date. If it is not done in time then this will be billed and cancellation will not take effect until the following month. 

If you wish to reconnect a number after cancellation, you will need to pay the setup cost again.

Application Form

If you would like to join the Beta Programme, please fill in the form below.