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This Guy Built A Real Estate Website Using AI To Keep Brokers Away And Save Your Money
Indiatimes.com  |  June 18, 2019

Jayesh Shinde

If you are a young professional recently shifted to a new city, finding apartments and houses on rent can be an extremely frustrating and expensive affair. Frustrating because of the search for right place, and expensive because of brokers and middle men charging atrocious finder's fee.

 

One startup is trying to put an end to all of that. And it uses technology in a clever way to enhance its service experience.

 

Akhil Gupta, Co-Founder and CTO of NoBroker.com, explains how him and two other guys faced the hassles of renting a place firsthand across different parts of India that fuelled their startup idea.

 

"Indian real estate is plagued by multiple issues two of which make the experience of finding the right house really difficult," explains Akhil Gupta. "The first one is information asymmetry and the second one is the huge amount of brokerage one has to pay to the broker. For ages, Indians have been paying huge amount in brokerage while renting or buying a property. Nowhere in the world do we pay such a huge amount only for seeing a few properties," he adds with frustration.

 

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Akhil takes a lot of pride with the fact that while most real estate platforms help in discovery of property, no other platforms in the domain are 100% brokerage free apart from NoBroker.com, of course.

 

Using technology to help, not harass

 

NoBroker uses an algorithm that identifies and eliminates brokers from infiltrating the platform, through pattern recognition and some other proprietary magic. The website also lets people search listings with time as a metric rather than distance.

 

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For example, you can search for places within 1 hour of commute time from your office, which it does by looking at Google Maps data. It also suggests rent estimates and ways to reduce carbon footprint by staying at particular locations that are high on quality of life.

 

That's not all, according to Akhil Gupta. "We extensively use TensorFlow to build our numerous AI/ML algorithm." He also mentions how NoBroker started using Google Cloud's Vision API to extract phone numbers from captured images of open house/rent postings, and making the listing process easier and faster.

 

Making a dent in the real estate market

 

Of course, it's still early days, but NoBroker's five year journey is showing signs of paying off. Their platform serves 5 million customers and connect over 10 lakh customers every month, with over 18,000 deals closed per month. But this is the most important stat they have helped save Rs 1000 crore in brokerage annually across the five cities they operate, while doing business worth Rs 9800 crore.

 

Yet investors in India weren't warming up to NoBroker, Akhil tells me, because what they were doing didn't have a successful precedent. Since the problem of high brokerage is so unique to India, "it became impossible to find a Chinese or an American precedent," says Akhil.

 

"It took a lot of mettle to onboard them on our model because we were doing something that had not been attempted anywhere in the world. But once they came onboard, the rest is history."