The race to relationships in real estate starts with data.

Case in point: Uber. Everyone in tech likes to talk about Uber – it is the most valuable private technology company in the world and it has been toted as the company that is/would ‘disrupt’ transportation. And I reckon a lot of this talk is missing the point a little bit.

Here are some facts:

Across 18 rounds of capital raising, Uber has taken on $22 Billion dollars in investment.

And how are things going in the taxi-disrupter business?

  • In 2014, the revenue was $495.3M and they lost $671 million
  • In 2015, the revenue had increased to $1.5 billion
  • In 2016, they reported a $2.8 billion dollar loss
  • In 2017, losses grew 60% to $4.5 billion
  • In March 2018, their self-driving car prototype fatally struck a pedestrian.

I’m not sure if you are responsible for keeping the books in your business, but most people with a modicum of financial literacy understand that this is not a particularly buoyant private transportation company.

So, how does Uber haemorrhage cash and become the most valuable private tech company in the world? They don’t own taxis….they own data that tells them how people move around cities, All. Across. The. World.  That data is an asset.

Here is how that sort of data might be valuable. Similar data is available for New York City through an open source database fed by New York City Taxis – the famous yellow ones from all the movies.

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab have used that data and machine learning to demonstrate the cost, noise, traffic congestion and pollution savings if NYC cabs enabled a ride-sharing capability. If up to 4 people ‘shared’ taxis using ride-sharing capabilities – the 400,000 taxi requests serviced by 14,000 taxis each day in NYC, could be met with only 3,000 taxis on the road and the service could be guaranteed by a trip delay time of only 3.5 minutes.

My point is, that if NYC taxi’s adopted this artificial intelligence and offered ride sharing, then the taxi industry would be severely disrupting Uber, guaranteeing trip times, creating a social enterprise and offering transportation at a drastically reduced cost. They probably won’t do that…but the opportunity can’t exist without intelligence. And intelligence can’t exist without data.

Uber is in the business of amassing opportunities. Automated vehicle opportunities. Advertising opportunities. Distribution opportunities. That is why their data is so valuable – it is all an attempt to get really close to the life events of customers.

Actually when you look at how companies are trying to do exactly that, get close to life events of customers, you start seeing the technology in a whole new light. Google Home, Alexa, Siri…all of this personal Ai put those companies at the centre of the family-home referral economy. Ask Alexa to book a flight to New York, and she will suggest that you upload the Flight Centre Skill, effectively referring you to a preferred supplier. All of this is an attempt to establish and secure the relationships that lead to transactions.

Here is the point. Real estate agents are already THAT CLOSE to the customers in their community. You don’t need to have technology in their homes – you have been in their homes. In many instances, your relationships with homeowners have involved a full tour of their home, a summary of their personal financial situation, you may have presented to them over the dining room table and perhaps even, walked through the rooms where their children sleep. It doesn’t get much closer than that.

So why aren’t real estate agents using their data to amass opportunity in their neighbourhoods?

At Aire, our research indicates that the problem is a bit more complex than agents lacking motivation, time management or knowledge.

Most agents we know understand that they need to talk to more people, more often. Most agents, when presented with a list of people to call and a reason why have the knowledge about what to say and the skill to execute the phone call. Most agents work 6 days a week and there is no time management in the world that is going to create enough hours in the day for agents to do all the things they ‘could’ be doing to get more business.

A lot of the agencies that we encounter are data-rich but engagement poor.

So, the solution has to involve adding some resources that will help agents do more with less. That is the concept for our digital employee, Rita. She is not Ai that will replace or disrupt agents – she is designed to support agents by using their data to deliver opportunity.

Each day, of all the things that an agent ‘could’ or ‘ought’ to do, Rita prioritises the very best things to do, the very best people to connect with, based on strategies geared towards managing relationships over time, delivering personal service, as well as creating appraisal and listing opportunities.

Our mission at Aire is to help real estate agents realise the potential as agents by maximising the value of the data they hold in a CRM. One of the most underutilised parts of a real estate business is the data they hold and the potential it has to deliver business.

Through the speed and capability of Rita’s artificial intelligence, we help agents by analysing vast quantities of data and synthesising it with third-party data relating to the marketplace where they work. We deliver opportunity to the real estate industry.