realAs.com is a free web site and app that helps home buyers and investors find their next home.
- is a tool made by buyers, for buyers;
- provides accurate predictions of sale prices and a forum where buyers can exchange information about individual homes;
- uses a unique proprietary learning algorithm that has been developed over three years;
- reduces buyer stress and saves time and money; and
- is ‘owned’ by its community
The company is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Current realAs algorithm price prediction accuracy is:
- realAs predictions are on average within 5% of final sale price
- 64% of predictions are within 5% of final sale price
- 89% of predictions are within 10% of final sale price
- 99% of predictions are within 20% of final sale price
realAs predictions are significantly more accurate than any other online valuation tools, including predictions of US based Trulia and Zillow.
The realAs Founders
David Morrell - Co-founder
David is a licensed real estate agent who has spent close to 40 years in the industry. He bought his first house at age 18 - and owned his first real estate agency when he was just 21 years old. Together with Christopher Koren, he started the first buyers’ advocacy in Australia. David has probably purchased more houses than anyone else in Australia. He is a sought-after speaker and is widely quoted in the media. He is the author of the best-selling book Real Estate Myths Exploded.
Andrew Newbold - Co-founder
Andrew is a lawyer with over 20 years experience in property law and was Managing Partner of Herbert Geer Group. He was a founding Director of a renewable energy business which he sold to Origin Energy at the beginning of 2009. Since that time, Newbold has been pursuing a variety of business interests. He has served on the Hawthorn Football Club Board since 2003 - and was elected as President in 2011, succeeding Jeff Kennett.
Jeremy Press - Co-founder
During Jeremy's storied career in advertising, he picked up many awards as Creative Director of one of Melbourne's largest advertising agencies with responsibility for creative work and communications strategies for clients including Telstra, Heinz, Cadbury, The Age, etc. Co-founder of successful agency and industry association. Jeremy has been working in web development and the digital arena since the mid-90's.
Josh Rowe - CEO
Josh is a digital entrepreneur who is passionate about eCommerce. Josh has been helping businesses – like Australia Post, Tarazz and Medibank – improve their performance by using the Internet, for over 20 years. Before making the leap from a corporate role to be part of this exciting start up Josh interviewed the realAs team and home buyers for six weeks.
The realAs story
David Morrell has built a career as a disruptor. Once among Australia's most successful real estate agents, he became troubled that the dealings between buyers and agents were so often one-sided and unfair. Too many agents were manipulating the sales process and it was costing buyers too much in wasted time, money and, often devastatingly, hope. David, together with business partner Chris Koren, set up Australia's first firm of buyer advocates — to work exclusively for buyers from the time they were looking for a home, through auctions or negotiations, all the way to settlement. They were told it couldn't work. They went on to disrupt the entire real estate industry. There are now hundreds of buyer advocates around the country and Australian real estate will never be the same again.
realAs was David’s idea. It started with a conversation with a friend who was developing a web-delivered service. David wondered whether the methods he had perfected to buy real estate could be adapted for buyers to use themselves. David's idea addressed two challenges: Buyers needed to know how much to bid at auction or offer in a private sale, and they needed to get the truth behind the real estate listings — the photos that make everything look perfect, the descriptions that overlook any and all deficiencies. When buyers have an accurate idea of likely sale price they can save a great deal of time, money and disappointment. Rapidly evolving technology was creating a way to make this information accessible to all. Predictive algorithms were becoming increasingly sophisticated and [combined with machine-learning], increasingly accurate. Web-based crowd-sourcing enhanced practical everyday use.
In 2011, the real work began. In partnership with Andrew Newbold and Jeremy Press, a company was formed and algorithm development and customer research began. An early false start had been an attempt to work with a US group in developing an algorithm. An international search led to, amazingly, world-leading talents virtually just around the corner: RMIT University. The initial data needed to develop the algorithm was crowd sourced through potential buyers. They were asked about predictions, prices, needs, search methods and how an app could assist with these time-consuming tasks. realAs was developed from this crowd-sourced data. Price estimates produced predictions that were close to 5% of actual sale prices. The algorithm then had to prove itself when data was gathered online. Buyer acceptance and participation were still to be measured and demonstrated.
The first real test was in Richmond, Victoria, at 10 auctions on one Saturday in late 2013. For two weeks, buyers were asked to enter their estimates and follow realAs to see how close its predictions were. The realAs predictions were then published online the night before the auctions. One home had sold prior. realAs averaged within 5% of actual prices for the remaining nine. The agents' reactions? Some applauded the project, believing that it would help bring greater certainty to both buyers and sellers; others were clearly threatened (one notorious in the area for under-quoting) and tried to intimidate realAs staff who were distributing invitations to participate. Since then realAs has been tested broadly throughout Melbourne. The app has been taking its final shape and the algorithm continues to 'learn'. Face-to-face research has been augmented and validated via on line research among buyers — the indications are that over 80% of those polled would register, that participation in entering data is roughly twice what is estimated as needed and that the accuracy of realAs predictions easily meets or exceeds what buyers say would be useful to them.