Part Four: Home Search – Real Estate Match Making
Author: Jeff Agyemang
Dated: Wednesday, January 2, 2019
When I think of match making in 2019, I think of Tinder. When you’re looking at someone’s picture on the app, swipe right if you like them and swipe left if you don’t. If you like someone who also likes you, Tinder will tell you that a match has been made. It’s that simple! The creators broke an emotional process down to a very simple science we can all access on our phones. But can we do this with real estate? I see no reason why not!
You see, what I am talking about is really no different. The Mobile Age of Real Estate gives us Real Estate Match Making! Connecting the perfect home buyer to the perfect home can be made simple with machine learning to help streamline the home search process. This is where the software will remember what YOU are interested in: home type, style, neighbourhood, amenities, etc. Think YouTube, Netflix, Amazon… each has a recommendation system that uses our past searches, and likes, to present us with content they know we’ll be interested in because we have “told” them we are. Real estate offers a standardized listing system (TREB’s MLS) and customer profiles. All this content helps feed the machine with the data it needs to learn and effectively automate the search process. Tools like this help narrow down our search and save time.
A valiant effort was being made by TheRedPin.com (TRP), who were one of the few Canadian companies focused in this space. TRP’s former CEO, Keith McSpurren, spoke with the Toronto Star in February 2018 and discussed their pick 3 challenge; that worked like a recommendation system. Users just click on three properties and put a check mark or an X under the pictures, depending on whether they like it or not. Based on their preferences, the system sends them other comparable properties, refining the choices each time to provide a closer match. A tool like this, with enough data input by users, can be extremely useful to home buyers. But it needs to be able to adapt and work well together with the sales process, else it could stall the process. Let me give you an example:
“Your using the tool and it’s recommending great homes and neighbourhoods around your preferences. You then start working with a realtor, who may not be aware of all the homes you’ve gone through to refine your search, and that realtor starts asking you questions you’ve already answered, and sending you homes you’ve already seen. A simple communication disconnect like this will turn off many prospective buyers, and possibly cost the agent a sale.”
The Mobile Age of Real Estate is meant to improve efficiency and convenience for buyers, sellers, and everyone involved in the process. If it slows it down than what’s the point? The home search is the most fun part of the process. This is where you get to imagine yourself in the property of your dreams. In a beautiful growing community that YOU picked, where you can envision your whole life ahead of you! Like I said, it’s no different than Tinder. The mobile age will either turn our match making dreams into reality, or nightmares. The choice is up to us…