When apps can predict what homes consumers will like, agents must be ready to act

Insights from NAR's Todd Carpenter

Last year the National Association of Realtors announced it intended to tackle big data by launching a predictive analytics group headed by industry veteran Todd Carpenter. Why should agents care about predictive analytics — something many real estate professionals may associate more with automated valuation models (AVMs) than closing home sales?

Carpenter says that with consumers getting push notifications on their mobile devices from portals saying, “Hey, you know there’s a house that you might like in this neighborhood and you can go down to the corner and we’ll show you where it’s at,” buyers will expect real estate agents to be at their beck and call.

“The apps are going to get smarter and know not only what you like, but where you are, and whether you have spare time. Maybe (an app will) realize you’re at lunch because you just checked in on Foursquare, maybe you have time to look at a house,” Carpenter says. “Consumers are going to have this stuff fed to them in a simple way — I think that’s going to affect real estate agents and their response times.”