Are the days of the real estate agent numbered? Probably not — no matter what, someone has to put out cookies and snacks for potential home buyers — but artificial intelligence is taking more command in the industry.
The latest evidence comes from SetSchedule, a real estate data analytics and marketing firm. It recently announced its launch of a service called SetValue, which the company describes as a “tool that is the first of its kind to combine data analytics and artificial intelligence and deliver accurate property valuation and real-time connection with qualified real estate professionals.”
SetValue represents the “artificial intelligence-powered data arm” of SetSchedule, and “compiles estimated values from at least six sources.” The tool factors in ancillary data such as school districts, tax records, crime rates and other neighborhood characteristics.
“SetValue aggregates data from a variety of sources, using a blend of public websites, data connections, direct engagement and proprietary algorithms that take into account things like market trends and consumer behavior,” said SetSchedule CEO Roy Dekel. “All of this information goes into the creation of the predictive analysis of home value.”
One feature calculates the value of home improvements, using property data information along with local market data. This provides home buyers with potential leverage in negotiations, the company said. The tool also connects buyers and sellers with local real estate agents, enabling users to schedule meetings. Home shoppers can sort via agents to find those with desired expertise and personality types.
“We benefit as a company by creating a symbiotic ecosystem that services our customers and professionals, such as investors, agents and brokers, who utilize our software to connect,” Dekel said when asked how his company intends to make money from SetValue.
He said the tool differs from other digital real estate information sources. “SetSchedule uses a proprietary tool of unbiased open architecture that connects many platforms,” Dekel noted.
The release of SetValue comes amid similar advancements in the real estate industry. For instance, REX Real Estate Exchange, a brokerage, has launched a service based on artificial intelligence that finds “potential home buyers based on who is clicking on REX ads, as well as recent purchase decisions people have made coupled with their history of home ownership,” according to CNBC. “REX also identifies potential home buyers and sellers by gathering data from retailers and businesses that show changes in people's purchasing behavior.”
Buyers who use that service pay a 2 percent commission, lower than the 4 or 5 percent typically charged by human agents.
But that service does not yet work as well with lower-priced homes as it does for more expensive sales, probably helping to ensure job security for agents for the foreseeable future.
“The AI is better at selling a $500,000 home because there's much more data," REX co-founder and CEO Jack Ryan told CNBC. "To do probability theory, you need lots of data points to say with 85 percent certainty or 92 percent certainty — this is a buyer for a home."