How Dating Apps Are Influencing Real EstateJune 1, 2018
In 2006 Zillow created a new paradigm in the way people search for homes. By creating a search engine for real estate, Zillow managed to democratize data that was previously monopolistically held by fragmented and siloed MLS organizations. With Zillow, buyers are given a plethora of houses to choose from, helping them to find their next home.
Property search engines have become the first channel a prospective buyer takes in their home search. Multiple Zillow competitors, such as Trulia (which was acquired by Zillow), Realtor.com, RealStir and others have filled niches to provide users with multiple sources of data to aid in the home buying process.
However, all of these platforms rely on similar search characteristics. Prospective buyers are given limited categories to choose from such geography, or physical characteristics of a property. Then, these platforms use a search algorithm to determine the available properties that meet the buyer’s criteria. Zillow’s recommendation algorithm, which uses Single Pass Clustering, tries to predict properties that may be of interest to a prospective buyer, by equating time spent browsing a particular location to the buyer’s preference for that location.
Felix’s personalized solution
At Felix Homes, we recognize that every buyer is unique. Instead of providing buyers the same old recommendations based on outdated search techniques, we’ve decided to take a more personalized approach. Similar to the algorithms dating apps use to suggest more relevant matches based on a person’s personality & preferences, we believe this approach can provide prospective buyers with properties they will fall in love with!
Our approach begins with a simple questionnaire that helps us understand a buyer’s likes & dislikes beyond just how many bedrooms and bathrooms they’re looking for. Next, we use Collaborative Filtering to recommend properties that are suitable based on the criteria they filled out. This approach shows a buyer homes that people with similar preferences have bought in the past, similar to how Netflix is able to find the next series you will want to watch. This form of social filtering helps get the right property in front of the right buyer, and allows them to find a home they’ll love. Additionally, it expedites the buying process by cutting down on the tedious and time consuming search process.
A win-win for buyers and sellers
So, how does this new way of recommending homes benefit home sellers? Well, by recommending the right home to the right buyer and the right time, we can help ensure that the home will sell. Not only that, because Felix is only showing the home to relevant buyers, it has a much better chance at inciting a bidding war which will drive up the eventual sales price of the home. We’re so confident in our process that Felix will guarantee from day one that the home will sell within 90-days or else we’ll buy it!