Jon Evans receives about 50 phone calls and/or emails daily from enthusiastic developers pitching their latest technology. “My policy is to always be as open as possible,” says Evans, chief technology officer for Daniel Gale Sotheby’s Intl. Realty in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. “I always listen and I always read about it. I’ve developed good skills and can look at something pretty quickly and evaluate whether it’s a fit for our organization, or whether it will be a success or failure within our industry.”
With a background in marketing, economics and accounting, in addition to technology, Evans’ antenna went up when he heard about New York-based software firm Buyside. “I always felt that buyers were the missing piece in this industry,” he explains. “We traditionally focus on the listing and selling side, but everything I know is about supply and demand—you have to find a way to win both sides to be successful.”
According to Evans, who at press time had just launched Buyside’s front-end to consumers, the ability to analyze buyer data is extremely powerful, as it provides agents—and their sellers—with a snapshot of true demand for properties based on their location, price and other key details. “If you can have the buy-side demand and match that up with your listing inventory, you’d be able to predict the future—that’s the holy grail.”
When Evans met with Buyside Founder Charles Williams and CTO Ori Klein, he knew the firm was several years ahead of the curve in its ability to harness buyer data.
“Other companies in this sphere are focusing on agent tools,” says Evans. “They’re trying to be an all-in-one solution, but the result is jack of all trades, master of none. Buyside truly understands business intel, algorithms and predictive analytics. They’re focused on buyer demand and buyer data and translating that into transactions.”
Such buyer data put a powerful listing tool in the hands of Daniel Gale’s agents, says Evans. “Now, during a listing presentation, the seller proposition becomes, ‘When you list with me, I’m going to run a quick report that tells me there are 37 people right now inside of our network that are looking for exactly what your home has.’”
By aggregating buyer data from Daniel Gale’s proprietary Open House app, its website and portals like Zillow, valuable information about the buyer pool can be imparted to potential seller clients. “If they list with us, we can tell them that we have access to these people in real-time,” says Evans. “That’s the benefit of real-time data intelligence. It’s not just getting exposure for your listing; it’s getting exposure to the right people.”
Evans’ No. 1 priority is to engage Daniel Gale’s agents with this next generation of data. As he explains, “data used to be very two-dimensional—a spreadsheet or a card catalog. Data are now being used in ways that will change your life. But we have to make it simple, and we have to give them tools that are incredibly easy to use.
“Every technology we incorporate has to be designed for growth and to build business,” adds Evans. “Not only is Buyside a great listing tool and a great marketing proposition, it’s also going to provide efficiency that leads to more transactions. Buyers are going to find what they’re looking for in a faster manner for better value. The seller will sell with less showings. It’s nothing more than what you learn in economics—it’s supply and demand.”
The ultimate goal, according to Evans? To predict the market. “Our job as professionals is to understand the market—to be able to tell people whether it’s a good time to sell or buy. With this information, it won’t be opinions anymore. We’ll be able to predict with accuracy what values will be in a price range in a neighborhood, down to a street. This is going to happen within the next six months—and it’s going to change our industry.”