UrbanAgents, an AI-powered platform that links up home sellers to real estate agents, raised about US$1.47 million in seed investment from FarSight Capital, APAC Realty, and angel investors.
The Singapore-based startup will use the fresh funds to further develop its AI technology to determine a “target price” for properties and pin agents’ commissions on their relative performance.
Agents who take a fixed commission rate have little incentive to achieve a higher price for the seller, according to Michael Cho, CEO and founder of UrbanAgents.
Cho is also the head executive and founder of UrbanZoom, a property research portal that developed an auto-valuation tool called Zoom Value. “We thought, why don’t we leverage on [Zoom Value] and tie it to agents’ commissions somehow?” he said.
The service, which was soft-launched a few months ago, sets a target price based on the home’s Zoom Value. Zoom Value uses an AI model that factors in recent transactions, relevant listings, and features specific to a unit, as provided by the seller.
“The idea here is that we peg the agent’s fees to his performance,” said Cho. An agent who sells above the target price will get higher commissions, while those who sell below the target price will receive nominal commissions.
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