Robots will find your new home

It’s no secret that househunting requires some compromising. It’s common for buyers to hold impractical expectations of what their budget can afford, and many find that their needs become clearer once they’ve viewed a few properties.

A survey of 100 haart branch managers concluded that 40% agree buyers are open to negotiate on their requirements “in almost all cases”. 43% of buyers are open to negotiate on proximity to a school but 50% are more open to negotiate on price, and 58% are open to negotiate on the number of bedrooms.

Branch managers also said that buyers are, in nearly all scenarios, open to reconsidering a property they had initially turned down. It’s becoming clear that there is a difference between what buyers think they want and what they actually end up buying.

But might it be easier if technology could predict what buyers needed before they start searching? With Facebook and Instagram, this is now a reality, with machines being better at figuring this out than buyers are themselves.

Both networks are shifting the way properties are purchased and sold. Users of social media may not be completely used to property adverts showing up in their Facebook newsfeed, but what they may not be aware of is that due to the huge amounts of data made available by Facebook and Google, it’s now possible to predict which property they might buy.

FLINK, a social media tool created by Norwegian tech company CCT, uses data to drill down on a property’s most likely buyers and then targets them using automatically published adverts on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Machine learning allows this technology to be constantly evolving and improving at finding the most likely buyers. It finds out who’s clicking on a property and then searches for other people similar to them, before the property ends up in their feed. This results in viral reach among its most likely buyers.

Throughout our haart and Felicity J Lord branches we have seen properties, on average, sell 31% faster when using FLINK instead of property portals. A property in Bristol recently sold in just two days and for over £5,000 over the original asking price, to a buyer that was found on Facebook via FLINK.

This technology flips the househunting process on its back, with properties now finding their buyers on social media, rather than it being the other way around. Does this make property portals redundant? Not exactly. A motivated buyer is always seeking a destination, whether it’s viewing properties on online portals or discussing with an in-branch expert.

Reaching passive buyers (a buyer not actively looking, but who would make an offer if they found the right property at a good price) is possible with deeply targeted social media advertising. According to haart’s survey of 2,000 people, passive buyers make up 66% of the current market.

The thought of these social media networks knowing everything about you can be a daunting, but those selling a property or looking to buy should be aware of Facebook’s role in facilitating this process and putting the right properties in front of the right buyers.

Find out how FLINK has helped other sellers in the past.