New automated system set to revolutionise property evaluation

The EU-funded ImmAzing project is giving banks, real estate brokers and professional property appraisers a faster, more accurate and transparent way of determining the objective value range of residential property.

Appraising property can be a tedious process of data collection and manipulation, but ImmAzing is changing this. “We have built an automated valuation system that can appraise any property at anytime from anywhere without the traditional need for an appraiser,” explains Dr Wolfgang Brunauer, Managing Director of DataScience Service GmbH and project coordinator.

How does it work?

ImmAzing uses machine learning models that self-improve with everyday use. Dr Brunauer notes: “Thousands of data points create a detailed view of the market, which is further enhanced with indices drawn from significant volumes of demographic, socioeconomic and local neighbourhood data.”

Application of machine learning algorithms and Big Data approaches will empower the banking and real estate communities. State-of-the-art, transparent real estate valuation tools are now instantly available, at a fraction of the cost, and provide unprecedented clarity and glass-box transparency.

Feasibility of commercialisation

ImmAzing carried out an extensive investigation into the viability of commercialisation. A partner scoping exercise helped identify the characteristics of a suitable partner for ImmAzing, and a technical roadmap outlined the technical and commercial steps necessary for its development and distribution. Business and financial roadmaps were also developed to outline expenses and potential profit.

A partner motivation matrix study helped ImmAzing gain insight into what partners would most likely find most appealing. A market analysis concluded the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia offer the most attractive real estate appraisal markets for the introduction of ImmAzing. At the end of the investigation, the researchers were convinced it is commercially feasible.

Facing the challenges head on

“It was not always obvious how heterogeneous the data foundations in other countries are,” Dr Brunauer underlines. Countries differ in their stages of real estate data collection and organisation, property transaction record keeping and interest in the automated valuation model technology. ImmAzing overcame this issue and set up a roadmap to establish, formalise and standardise data sourcing channels.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) also posed a challenge to ImmAzing. Through a freedom-to-operate analysis, the project was able to check there were no breaches with any published IPR in the last 20 years. This however, will be monitored, as Dr Brunauer stresses: “Our project needs to respond to market needs as soon as possible and we cannot afford delays caused by IPR implementations that may or may not be beneficial in the long run.”

ImmAzing now and in the future

Currently, ImmAzing provides the official residential property price index for the Austrian National Bank. The year 2017 witnessed its launch into the Austrian real estate market, and it has been serving banks, real estate brokers, funds and investors, and professional appraisers ever since. They have benefited from a transparent, more accurate and operationally efficient property valuation process.

Prior to wider commercialisation, it is expected that complete data sets for each target market will be obtained along with internationally recognised certification for the system. ImmAzing will also have established partnerships in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, giving the project a launch pad for a successful start in 2019. Dr Brunauer points out: “The commercialisation of ImmAzing will generate a revenue of EUR 5.2 million by the end of 2021. At that stage, we will have hired 10 new members of staff and reached a return in investment of 404 %.”

Source: Cordis

Illustration Photo: Home for sale (CC0 Creative Commons from Pixabay.com)

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