The Silicon Review
The Real Estate (RE) industry is ready for technology disruption. The transaction process is highly manual and repetitive tasks are time consuming. The pervasive tech used in the space was not designed specifically for this complex segment. Localize solves this by engaging every lead in your network through personalized communication and advances those buyers toward the finish line on your behalf.
Studies show that agents spend 90% of their time on non-revenue generating tasks, which further contributes to the low conversion (only so much a human can do). Localize looks at this world and says enough. Agents deserve more. It’s time to introduce the future of real estate. To solve the complex problems mentioned, Localize is building the operating system for real estate. The future of real estate, a few years from now is one where deep technologies drive the process. Localize is making that future a reality by building services and tools on top of these technologies that agents and brokerages can license and really leverage their benefits. Empowered by these tools, agents become more efficient and ultimately close more business.
In conversation with Omer Granot, CEO of LocalizeOS
Q. One of the biggest barriers to businesses, whether enterprise or SMB, when it comes to investing in any kind of technology is the cost. Tell us about the affordability of your solutions.
Localize’s business model is simple: we charge a low monthly subscription fee and also partner with agents on the incremental business we are able to help them close (success-based fee charged only upon closing). The RE industry is complex in that every brokerage, team and independent agent has their own operating model. Our SaaS offering is created to be customized based on what is best for our users. So, when a new client reaches out, we work with them to understand their needs and further customize our offering, including pricing model, implementation, and onboarding structure, to best serve their needs.
Q. How do you monitor the performance of the solution? What guidance and direction did you find most effective to train agents to use your solution effectively?
Our solution allows agents to expand the number of opportunities to close a deal by more than 3X on average. Our secret sauce is that like all great technologies ours is proactive. Instead of burdening the agent with setting up follow up reminders and figuring out how to establish complicated CRM workflows, our technology takes things off of the Agent’s plate. This enables agents to focus on what matters most - communicating with real buyers who are ready to transact and require a dedicated professional. We offer four onboarding options: self-serve; 1:1 video conference with Customer Success Specialist; 1: Many (e.g., brokerage, team) video conference with a Customer Success Specialist, and finally, ‘Launch and Learn’ onsite onboarding sessions for the whole team. Performance is monitored via an application we call Dashboard, which provides transparent, real-time reporting on all the events which occurred with the leads (conversations flows, SMS exchanges, listings shown, matches, etc.) for the Agent, as well as an easy to use mobile app.
Q. Can you tell us in brief about the technology that powers the Localize Conversational Engine?
The conversation engine is Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing/Natural Language Understanding based. The process starts by getting initial information on the leads’ preferences. Then, using ML for building a profile for them, clustering the user and matching relevant listings. We share one listing a day (the best match) and see how the leads react to it. We track the user interaction and can see which listing they liked/clicked and how deeply they have investigated the listing. The system’s ML algorithm continuously learns from the leads’ interaction on what preferences are more/less important to them and expand/narrow the matched listing accordingly. And can initiate a follow up conversation and questions to refine the search and increase engagement.
On top of the above, the user can react with free text. In those cases, we use NLU to understand what the user wants and extract elements and sentiment (e.g. we can extract the fact that he is looking for a pet friendly building in uptown and does NOT want a place on the first floor). According to the result of the NLU algorithm, we can change preferences and/or take actions (e.g. understand that they want to see the property and set an appointment accordingly).
Q. Cyber security is the top priority of any company. How do you secure your clients’ data without increasing the complexity of their operations?
In order to simplify the operation and maintain security, we provide online integration using secured channels (https based) and credentials. In addition all the data is saved on a secured cloud (AWS), that provides strict access control and only specific people in the company have access to production. We also minimize risk by collecting the minimum required data to perform the task (e.g. we do not collect any data that has to do with a credit card nor SSN information).
Q. There are other major players in this segment. How do you distinguish your services/stand out from the rest?
We have carefully brought together AI, as mentioned - Natural Language Understanding, Data Analysis and Machine Learning - with a team of subject matter experts to create a platform that provides agents more control and capacity over how they prioritize their time. Localize has many critical differentiators from other tech solutions like CRMs and chatbots. We’ve introduced a new product segment. First, our machine is built for real estate and supported by a team geo-local and real estate knowledge. By leveraging the big data that we have acquired over the past few years, partially based on millions of interactions with buyers and listings, and data Scientists specializing in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), we have built a unique language command specific to the real estate industry. This enables our solution to be able to handle free form text with responses that are both on-point, intelligent, and in a flow of natural language communication. Most initiatives that agents perform and many technologies they employ are actually very passive and require a lot of work on the agent’s part. The CRMs and fixed chatbots based on limited dictionaries rely on someone else to do something. If you send a mailer, you need someone to call you back. If you send an email, you need someone to open it and reply. If you have a chatbot on your website or in your workflow, it is built on a limited dictionary of scenarios. This is not the proactive technology that takes the workload off your plate and advances the deal stage in the way that we set out to. We automate repetitive, manual CRM-tasks, while our Real Estate-specific Natural Language Understanding AI is constantly learning and adapting with each interaction to successfully communicate and progress the lead through the transaction funnel. This is a technical explanation and I do think it is important for the market to understand because it is a major differentiator in our solution. Additionally, our solutions are implemented on top of an integration-friendly Operating System whereby others RE technology solutions, CRMs, marketplaces, and tech providers, can build on top of our Operating System too. This will develop into an ecosystem of partners and solutions for agencies, teams, and independent agents.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
2023 will be a year of expansion nationally to several new markets. We are live in NYC and Chicago and expanding to more US metropolitan areas in early 2023. We are excited to see the success of our partners’ achievements and to onboard more partners.
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Meet the leader behind the success of LocalizeOS
Omer Granot, CEO captains Localize teams in the U.S. and Israel. He engages directly with brokerages to showcase how AI and deep technologies will revolutionize the future of real estate. Omer leads on a mission to be a client-first culture that builds proactive technologies that disrupt markets that lack innovation. He can be found onboarding brokerages and holding speaking engagements to educate the industry on this new product segment. Prior to leading Localize, Omer was VP of growth at Via, a transformative transit technology company. Omer holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from MIT and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering & Management from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Omer is a Board Member of Mifrasim - Sailing for Change, an accomplished competitive swimmer, avid reader and interested in fitness wearables. He also helmed an Israeli submarine as its executive officer for eight years.