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A new AI-driven platform for valuing properties scans photos and uses data points to create an accurate valuation within seconds

by wrich
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure

houzen’s ground-breaking algorithm picks relevant information on over 500 pre-set data points – including pulling info from digital pictures – and auto-calculates an accurate valuation as well as rental yield for all listed properties on the internet in seconds, thereby massively cutting the time it takes to shortlist high yield properties.

The algorithm scans property photos and understands more than it would just by analysing the content of text listings, automatically compares the property with other properties nearby and finalises a valuation that’s much more specific and accurate than any human-produced valuation.

Tim Philips, Chief Investment Officer at houzen, said: “In the late 1990s and early 2000s a new kind of innovation called ‘listing websites’ were putting all the newspaper classified ads onto this new phenomenon called the internet. In the UK, this is when Rightmove came about. Other countries had their own version of it, and all made the process of discovering real estate listings so easy that it dragged all the adverts from most of the sellers and brokers onto these websites. But all these listings also brought an issue forth – noise.”

“Since the listings websites charged the seller or the broker, they were incentivised to become sell-side marketing tools. However, renters and buyers would now have to search through 10s or 100s of listings and frequently speak with 10s of agents and sellers and request relevant information to conduct their due diligence. It has stayed this way, as a ‘standard model’, for many years.”

In 2021, a new type of platform was introduced in the form of houzen’s algorithm.

“A lack of ready buyer-focused information has become a big point of frustration for customers in a world where they use Amazon to discover information on a product instantly, trust it and then purchase it instantly,” Philips said, “Similarly, Uber delivers info about a cab driver upfront and creates trust for riders, and stock purchase apps share financial info on companies which creates trust and enables the instant purchase of the stock. Real estate purchase takes time, and most of the time is spent in info extraction by buyers or renters. houzen is committed to property transaction information to customers and believes that this can single-handedly improve the service standard in an otherwise notorious industry.“

“In future, houzen will be leveraging big data information sets to further bring valuation and rent transparency for customers, thereby creating more trust in the industry and hence more speedy transaction lead times. These algorithms are especially useful in times of Covid where customers don’t want to visit too many properties.”

The tool is currently in the beta phase and is being tested by houzen’s clients – which includes leading build to rent and buy to let investors. houzen hopes to release this tool also to its Asian clients, who have shown tremendous interest in purchasing homes in the UK. houzen hopes to one day make purchasing of units and blocks – even cross the border – possible at the click of a few buttons, with the same trust and speed of buying a book from amazon.

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