By: Jim Dalrymple II, Staff Writer of Inman
A new company is building a system that will use data and artificial intelligence to match high-end properties with consumers’ lifestyle preferences and leisure activities.
Realm describes itself as a “subscription based, member-exclusive global luxury collective,” and is being designed to connect agents across different markets. Julie Faupel, the new venture’s CEO, told Inman that participating agents will be able to input their luxury clients’ personal information into a database that will then identify properties that might not otherwise have been on their radars.
“The intent is to empower agents,” Faupel said. “It really is intended for the elite agents operating at the highest level of the industry.”
Though currently in the testing phase, with an official launch scheduled for June 1, Realm has built a system that uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning to connect consumers with properties. Participating agents begin by importing their clients and listings from whatever customer relationship manager (CRM) they use. Realm’s system then generates tags that describe both those listings and clients.
After agents imports their listings and clients, they can click on one of their own properties or a listing from another Realm subscriber. The system then breaks down the agents’ own clients by how likely they are to be interested in that property. It also gives them contact information for other agents with potentially interested clients.
The result is a system that can connect clients and properties based on things like surfing, wine tasting, hiking, travel or any number of other activities..
Faupel said the system gets progressively smarter as it learns. It also links clients to their corresponding information in large databases, such as those maintained by Wealth-X or Equifax, to generate more complete profiles and better match them to properties. And, it’s encrypted.
“Agents are totally protected,” Faupel said. “The intent of Realm was never to take information away from agents.”
Faupel said the goal for now is to keep the service exclusive, and to that end it will initially only be available to individual agents, not brokerages. Subscriptions will cost $5,000 per year and provide “essentially unlimited access” to the platform, Faupel added.
Getting a subscription, however, will not be as simple as just signing up.
Faupel said that agents will be admitted after undergoing a review of their business from a board of peers. Realm is still in the process of creating that board, but Faupel said it should ultimately consist of between 10 and 12 high-performing agents who will serve as “stewards of this brand.” The review board positions are unpaid, but Faupel anticipates members should see financial benefits due to productivity and networking opportunities Realm provides.
In addition to A.I. and board of “steward” agents, Realm is also being guided by a “board of futurists,” Faupel said. That board includes tech veterans such as Thom Gruhler, a former Microsoft executive, and Abigail Posner, a current executive at Google. Faupel described this board as a group of “thought leaders” who help shape Realm’s strategy.
Asked about funding, Faupel — who also owns Wyoming brokerage Jackson Hole Real Estate — said that so far Realm has been mostly “bootstrapped,” with her own company making a “substantial investment.” However, she said the company is already generating interest from potential partners and participants who are drawn to its vision of data-enabled real estate.
“Realm is not a brand being built in service to itself,” Faupel added in a statement. “It’s a members-only ‘club’ of professionals committed to operating at the very top of their game.”