Data outfit taps AI to anticipate single-family sales

RealtyTrac aims to ID likely foreclosures for would-be buyers in tight market

RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga (right) and TKI’s Tom Gamble (Ten-X, LinkedIn)
RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga (right) and TKI’s Tom Gamble (Ten-X, LinkedIn)

UPDATED, Nov. 19, 8:36 a.m. PT: Data specialist RealtyTrac plans to use artificial intelligence to identify properties likely to go up for sale months before they come on market.

The Irvine-based company, founded in 1996, publishes what it calls “the largest database of foreclosure property information in the U.S.,” among other data.

Its recent deal with Philadelphia-based software developer TKI aims to address the shortage of available inventory of homes for sale amid the pandemic era’s hot run of sales.

“The biggest challenge cited by both real estate investors and Realtors is the historically low number of homes available for sale today,” RealtyTrac executive vice president Rick Sharga said in a release, “which makes it difficult for investors to find properties to buy and equally hard for agents to find properties to list.”

RealtyTrac announced its partnership with TKI last week. The joint AI initiative from the companies is a platform called nSkope, which uses algorithms to “identify the homes that are most likely to be listed for sale within the next 6-12 months.”

nSkope makes its predictions by analyzing patterns across 95% of American zip codes, according to the firm. With access to that information, investors and realtors can then target their marketing toward those homeowners.

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“Marketing to a wide swath at the ‘top of the funnel’ with the hopes of finding home selling clients is costly and inefficient,” said Tom Gamble, TKI’s co-founder and CEO, in the release. “Our use of data has changed this approach.”

The announcement is the latest example of AI’s foray into the real estate industry.

Last month saw the launch of, an AI construction-tech startup that uses data to automate the project estimation process. The construction sector has been plagued by supply chain problems, and for large projects the estimation process can take weeks; the startup says it shaves it to seconds.

“This helps those companies experiencing labor shortages that are trying to grow and simply can’t find the team to do it with,” CEO Patrick Murphy said.

AI startup, which uses cell phone data to track pedestrian foot traffic near specific buildings — valuable information to retail owners — announced a $50 million raise in April. And Compass debuted an AI tool that advises homeowners on potential renovations last year.

CLARIFICATION: This story has been revised to reflect RealtyTrac’s extension beyond its speciality on foreclosures with a focus on the broader residential market thought its nSkope platform.

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