Geospatial technology has been a niche form of technology that historically has been exclusive for a very specific type of expertise. However, things have been changing dramatically over the past few years in the geospatial technology landscape. It has been more evident than ever to TECTERRA that geospatial technology is becoming a part of most new businesses. Whether it's how companies are innovating, marketing products or managing and monitoring their supply chain – geospatial data and technology is no longer an only expert's niche in 2021. OpenHouse.ai demonstrates how geospatial technology is infiltrating all areas of new business. OpenHouse.ai has created an AI algorithm to provide a personalized home buying experience for home builders to integrate into their websites. Homebuilding is a very complex industry. Building a new home is a highly complicated decision for a buyer, and it can be a broken process due to purchasing a product that is not yet constructed. OpenHouse.ai saw this as an opportunity to integrate geospatial technology into a machine learning algorithm that generates first-party data of users navigating home builder websites. For OpenHouse.ai, this was not an easy process, but powering behavioural data with location-based data brought a deadly competitive advantage and opportunity for home builders to differentiate themselves and offer better products to their end-users. Giving home buyers the homes they are looking for while protecting their privacy while collecting and creating data is changing the home building industry.
When OpenHouse.ai created their AI algorithm to revolutionize how real-time data is being utilized within the home building industry, they identified a 'dark space' in the home buying process. This 'dark space' is between a home buyer starting their online research to buy their new home and connecting with a sales member on the home builders' website. There was no insight into what the potential home buyer was looking for until they connected with the website's online representative. OpenHouse.ai’s technology is like a flashlight in this dark space. "Behavioural data alone isn't the best data set to understand how people are buying online," says Will Zhang, CEO of OpenHouse.ai. "The real power of our product comes from location data paired with behavioural data. You need to establish behavioural patterns to understand how people navigate websites to express what they are looking for. Then, you can identify the decision fingerprint - the reason they're converting from just searching for a new home to engaging with the builder's sales team. One of the most influential factors in buying a home for most people is location. So, we have found high levels of accuracy with buying patterns when location-based data is brought into the mix. This supercharged data substantially increases the power of our algorithms to improve the buying journey, so buyers' time spent online is accurately targeted to what they are looking for." OpenHouse.ai has created a method of data mining first-party data from online users of home builder websites with a high level of sensitivity to maintaining users' privacy. Managing and creating a product that respects users' privacy while also providing powerful insight to home builders to create a better product for their clients was a critical foundation of OpenHouse.ai's technology. Many end-users of geospatial technology do not realize they are using it in the first place. Having geospatial data fueling an industry like home building allows for endless opportunities to provide a competitive edge for a decision that is one of the most significant purchases most will make in their lifetimes.
OpenHouse.ai's user interface
Geotargeting advertisement is huge with OpenHouse.ai’s technology, and being able to geotarget while advertising efficiently and effectively means that data and privacy are essential. In 2020 geotargeting was banned from Facebook and Google for the real estate industry, as it left vulnerabilities to discriminate online. Pulling this means of targeting new home buyers caused stress to advertisers. While OpenHouse.ai has not created a ‘loop-hole’ to the new restrictions around geotargeted advertisement, they have revolutionized the possibilities for advertising to home buyers using anonymized data. Producing content that is important to home buyers is a critical aspect of a home builders' marketing strategy. Specifically, in 2021 curated content is more important than ever with online buying trends. When a home builder integrates OpenHouse.ai technology into their website, the home buyers navigating the website's privacy belongs to the home builder. They tap into their data sources provided by OpenHouse.ai. Home builders can now understand the 'segments' of home buyers on their websites and illuminate a previous 'dark space' of the buying process for their online users. This is done with how potential new home buyers are navigating the website from the moment they start using it paired with the location data they share with the home builder. With the data sets being produced and used by the home builders, a builder can now select a specific location and be able to find out what the actual average budget is for a buyer looking for a new home in that area, as well as what community or area those home buyers are looking to live in. That data is then compared to home building marketing data that most home builders purchase to know these intimate statistics.
The most powerful insight is that while the data forecasted and purchased does look at home building buying trends, the real-time data being gathered from home builders through OpenHouse.ai shows data from real potential consumers, and at times is dramatically different. This has changed how home builders target product-based content and messaging for their consumers to bring the right product and content to the right people. Before, geotargeted ads were more of a 'shotgun' approach to messaging and marketing. Not only that, OpenHouse.ai's technology has taken the ability to personalize messaging and applied it to when a potential home buyer reaches out to the home builder. They are currently working on a new prototype within their software that integrates with existing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software solutions being used by home builders. OpenHouse.ai is working on creating a personalized approach to how consumers are being marketed through content and messaging and has created a tool to best position how home builders are first engaging with the same consumers. Depending on behaviour and location-based data, the home builder's sales team will be best advised on what type of communication style is best suited for that specific user based on their identified segment. As you can imagine, a young professional upsizing and a retired couple looking to downsize would have different needs when being communicated to.
OpenHouse.ai is the first to bring location-based data and technology to the home building industry. By effectively pairing location and behavioural data to increase the personalization of content and products on home builder's websites, they have decreased the average home buying cycle from 15 to 13 days and increased average online conversion rates from 0.85% to 1.24%. More capabilities to better position products online let customers into homes faster and with fewer barriers. OpenHouse.ai has identified that not every home builder knows what technologies are available, such as software that gives consumers the power to tour homes virtually. So OpenHouse.ai asked themselves - why are not all home builders adopting tech? The answer was integrating technologies that elevate their online product offerings is not easy with their websites, as many home builders operate on antiquated website builders. There are complex project management and implementation costs associated with adopting these technologies for older websites. OpenHouse.ai allows their technology to be a third-party add-in SaaS product. This gives a zero cost to integrate with a home builders website and makes powerful user discovery technology accessible with no coding, therefore democratizing the technology. Now, OpenHouse.ai has been integrating their technology with CRM and interactive home building software solutions so builders can showcase floor plans that match their consumers' segmentation when they land on their pages to best fit their style (ex. a modern vs ranch style home). The digital transformation that OpenHouse.ai is bringing to the home building industry is right on time.
Average online customer conversion rates compared when using OpenHouse.ai's technology (blue) and the industry standard (orange)
COVID-19 is impacting the way consumers are buying homes and it is more important now than ever to see the shifts that are happening with home needs and trends in real-time. Customers are now doing more homework and expect the home builders to be ready for them when they talk to a home building sales representative. OpenHouse.ai's location and behavioural data insights provide home builders with the tools to adapt through real-time data analysis. COVID-19 has changed home buyers' needs, creating an opportunity for home builders to be better equipped to target their products more effectively or pivot products. OpenHouse.ai has allowed geospatial technology to make a real impact for an entire industry and the users interacting with home building websites. It is one of the countless ways we see geospatial technology break through the barriers of being kept in a niche market and expanding to everyday use by society. Learn more about OpenHouse.ai here.