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Answer email with the power of AI




If you receive 100-200 emails every day, which you have to reply to, then you might want an assistant! At the same time, you want to keep control of your mailbox. On top of that, you would like to be sure that the assistant does a good job. No missed mails and always a neatly drafted response. Because of our experience with AI, it was no coincidence that this question arrived on our doorstep. The Harborn team quickly set to work developing an AI assistant that not only met all of the above qualities, but also has human traits…


Meet our AI mail assistant: Giraf Giraf is the AI-driven solution that supports the real estate and rental industry, by answering the daily load of emails. Not as a separate program, but as a real, personal assistant in the form of an AI-powered plugin, which can read most emails and provide a suitable answer. Reducing the pressure on employees, leaving them with more time for fun things, including personal attention for customers and doing viewings. That overview in your mailbox immediately provides extra energy!


  • AWS
  • Python serverless programming
  • AI
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Vue frontend framework


Schermafbeelding van het programma Giraf.

Starting with the right starting point

Artificial Intelligence is the future and there’s still much to be done, especially in the field of Natural Language Processing (interpreting language). Rotsvast is active in rental and property management and has to deal with a lot of standard email responses. So, when the company came across an article about answering email using AI in the hotel industry, they immediately contacted the party responsible for this: Harborn. Experience with artificial intelligence in combination with user platforms? Check!

During a few focus days with Rotsvast, the basis for the new product was laid out. With that came the question about the best way of implementing this. Are we going to develop it for Rotsvast? Or, as our own licenced SaaS solution? Rotsvast went for the same choice as we did. A solution that’s so extensive and at the same time, so complex, the entire industry should be able to benefit from it.

Knop met de tekst 'verzenden'.

Believing in the right solution

To show the great faith we had in our solution, we started working on Rotsvast's case. Their mail programme and CRM system were taken as the starting point for the basis of the product, which was given the name “Giraf”. We developed a demo, which the team took to Rotsvast, and they saw great potential in further development. From that moment on, we worked together intensively. After all, our assistant wasn’t complete: artificial intelligence needs a lot of data and literally has to be trained. To do this, the Utrecht branch of Rotsvast gave Harborn full access to their system. This mutual trust was one of the ingredients that ensured a streamlined process. By meeting every two weeks and discussing the steps to be taken, the first pilot was ready for testing in just six months.

Open laptop met op het scherm 'Ontvangen aanvraag email'.

Already full of functionality and always learning

Using the input from estate agents, we are continuously working on our assistant. Giraf is more complete, more functional and smarter, making it the perfect mail assistant for other industries as well. Giraf can scan and answer e-mails at lightning speed in exactly the way you want. It can send messages automatically or have them ready for you to read first. Messages sent by Giraf will also be in your outbox. The product can be linked to your CRM system and, in the future, to your agenda. Development is progressing quickly. At first Giraf could only answer new viewing requests, now it’s ready to write responses automatically too. Moreover, because the programme is active in the background, you don't even notice it's there, except for the amount of time you have on your hands.

And that human touch? Giraf is always working, but only sends messages during office hours. He also pauses for a moment to read a message and formulate a good reply. Let’s not forget that nobody will believe a human who has read an e-mail properly can send a reply within half a minute.

Handen die aan het typen zijn op een laptop.
Schermafbeelding van een ontvangen aanvraag email.

The numbers at a glance

Giraf is a hard worker and has answered over 4,500 mails autonomously since July 2021. Giraf handles around 50 emails per day for Rotsvast Utrecht, 80% of which are answered immediately. The remaining e-mails are answered by Rotsvast itself, either semi-automatically or otherwise. It’s not just Rotsvast, other customers are also successfully using the assistant. Emails not picked up by Giraf, will enter the system later. After they are labelled, they are used periodically, to feed Giraf new information. Increasing Giraf’s productivity and skills.

Emails answered fully autonomously
Emails responded to immediately
Emails every day

Also looking for a smart email assistant?

Tired of handling all your emails? Curious about what Giraf can do for you? Giraf is available under licence and can be linked to various mail programs and CRM systems. Even if you have a different challenge, we’re always open to sparring about a solution together. With AI, or even with our own HI (Human Intelligence). You’re welcome to call Ferdinando, the project lead on this case, if you’d like to know more.

+316 1368 1514ferdinando.vandepanne@harborn.com