Ever had a problem with finding a flat? Kamil Nicieja, Natalia Świrska and Adam Stankiewicz, a startup team from Wrocław, created an unusual solution: Ada, a chatbot integrated into Facebook Messenger that serves as a personal assistant in the tedious process of apartment searching.
Ada is an AI program that finds the best rental offers in its vast database based on user’s criteria such as localization or price range. It is capable of chatting with users – it can ask questions, gather data, keep track of viewings schedule and arrange meetings with the landlords, all in order to bring the time and effort required to find an apartment down to a minimum.
“We needed a tool for ourselves — each of us was looking for a flat to rent back then, and we hacked a prototype to filter the best listings from around 50 rental websites available in Poland. We thought other people might like it, too, so we made it public,” said Nicieja.
Ada started as a simple Google Form before evolving into a program with almost 1700 registered and 1209 active users. Eighty-two percent of the provided offers were viewed at least once, and 30% of all Ada’s users scheduled at least one meeting with a landlord. The total number of messages exchanged with the chatbot is 25000, averaging 16 messages per user.
Ada is not the first project for Kamil and Natalia. They used to work on a research project that uses OpenData for real estate prediction. Kamil is an engineer and a project manager with 10 years of experience in startups. Natalia is a marketer – she used her expertise to reach a 50% month over month growth rate with Ada. They were joined by Adam, an engineer who participated in building the Natural Language Processing dictionary that is a basic resource for NLP tools.
The main factor distinguishing Ada from its competition is the convenience of use. It is integrated into Facebook Messenger, which allows you to search for an apartment without installing additional apps. It can also personalize listings based on user-defined criteria, such as automatically generated safety reports.
The Ada team started the project February 2016. The team is concentrating on developing the database of flat rental offers and plans to extend its reach to foreign markets, especially in Germany and Great Britain. They’re looking for investors to implement new options, including a payment management system. Ada is still bootstrapped and is looking for outside investment to expand its reach and intelligence.