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In 2010, Tom Hosack was ahead of his time when he discovered he could predict transaction sides by carefully researching internet leads and watching website traffic. In 2016, Hosack, president and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Northwood Realty Services, is bringing the power of predictive analytics to the firm’s more than 9,000 agents by delivering technology from Buyside™.

Hosack was a speaker at RISMedia’s 2015 Real Estate CEO Exchange when he first learned about the New York-based software firm Buyside. “I was on a panel talking about the power of data in determining buyer activity and Charles (Williams, Buyside CEO) came up to me afterward and said, ‘I can do that for you in-house.’ I thought there was no way, but then he showed me how it worked. This was a great tool to better process and predict sales of property.

“When it comes to data, in this industry, we think the most important data is our listings…and they are important,” adds Hosack. “But buyer data is equally as valuable, yet no one has had the ability to harness and leverage that data. The most important thing every seller wants to know is, ‘Do you have a buyer for my house?’”

By predicting buyer behavior, Buyside technology helps agents match buyers with properties, thereby causing listings to move faster…and often at a higher price.

According to Hosack, the Buyside program allows agents to identify how hot a particular market is based on buyer interest. “Agents can see if a market is hotter because more buyers are looking in a particular school district or for a certain product type and price range, and, therefore, can use much more aggressive pricing.” Conversely, it enables agents to convince sellers in other markets where there is less demand to price their home more realistically.

The data imparted through Buyside boosts an agent’s credibility as an authority on pricing a property, and as an economic expert, in general.

“The old way, particularly for seasoned agents, was to tell sellers, ‘I know this stuff because I work in this market—trust me,’” says Hosack, “but now they have the data to actually show sellers.”

The Buyside technology is easy to use, says Hosack, but requires agents to truly dive in. “It’s kind of like chess,” he explains. “It’s not that hard to learn how to do it, but to be a master at it, you need to learn the different ways to implement the data in listing presentations and to market yourself.”

To that end, while Buyside offers training, Hosack deploys Northwood Realty’s internal tech trainers. “In most programs we roll out, we have very little buy-in from top producers. This has been the first program where we’ve seen a large adoption from our top producers,” he reports.

“As a broker, part of my ROI involves my agents thinking I gave them something of value—and they know I’ve given them something of value with Buyside,” says Hosack. “If agents are able to get a higher sales price and make more money in commission, that’s all the proof we need. And I’ve already recruited a couple of people just by showing them Buyside.”

Looking ahead, Hosack is excited for what’s on deck from Buyside. “The Buyside platform continues to evolve, layering in additional data sources and advancing real-world applications for predictive analytics,” he explains. “Being an early adopter, we’ve positioned our company to leverage the new features quicker than other companies.”

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