When the 2017 Inman Innovator awards were announced, Buyside was among them.
It wasn’t surprising. The company solved a major issue for the real estate industry. In a market with two sides, only one of them was visible: sellers.
“Buying and selling are a lot more efficient when you know what the market is for the home,” said CEO and Founder Charles Williams. “You have so much more information when you know how many buyers are out there — and what they are looking for. It was a mission for us, really.”
An engineer by training and third-generation real estate professional, Williams started the Buyside platform with that focus of visibility into the demand of the market — and this has evolved the platform into a strong seller lead generation tool that also creates purchase transaction opportunities for mortgage companies.
“Today, we’re connected with almost every major technology vendor out there from Zillow and Trulia to StreetEasy data, and every major brokerage portal in every major market out there. We’re consuming their buying signals as they search for property and sharing those insights with the industry and consumers. We see all the activities and combine from all these disparate sources so we can articulate the demand for any major metro across the country.”
The company has already explored the many use cases for this data. Homeowners can see the buy side for their home — getting a sense for the estimated value of their home, and how many buyers are looking for home just like theirs. This encourages a conversation between the homeowner and the agent, creating an average conversion rate to a closed listing at 11% in 2021. Agents can add this buyer interest to their listing presentation, strengthening their position as a local market expert.
Today, the company manipulates billions of data points around buyer intent — yes, BILLIONS. And they are poised to expand beyond real estate with exciting new applications for their service. But there was one issue.
“The company name was just too limiting,” Williams admitted. “We’re moving into other verticals, including mortgage, home supply, insurance, telecom, and more. And the name ‘Buyside’ doesn’t serve us anymore.”
So the team set out to find a new name. One that spoke to their mission and strength with artificial intelligence, that was flexible enough to work across verticals, but also had a connection to the original brand.
That name is Percy.
Percy is the first name of one of the original investors in Buyside — a family relative, in fact. But the name was also given to the powerful machine learning algorithm that the company runs on. And not just for internal use.
“Customers would ask about our AI by name: can Percy do this? Can Percy help us with that? The name was already part of our culture. Not to mention it has a professorial feel to it, since the original Percy was an academic. It resonated with our employees and our customers. It’s the next generation of our brand.”
Now Percy is a fully white-labeled platform that is added to existing real estate and mortgage tech, enriching the data and helping to make smarter business decisions.
Agents need transactions, but they can’t achieve those without inventory. Lenders use Percy to help generate leads for the agents they have relationships with, and that creates inventory. Then in turn, that creates borrowers for the lenders.
“Percy is that coach who sits behind you, whether you’re the homeowner, the selling agent or the buyer’s agent. It’s giving you the insights you need based on the billions of signals we collect from throughout the market on that day… we evolved from what we were to be perfectly positioned in today’s market.”