While the U.S. real estate market is still experiencing its ups and downs, the number of online real estate startups continues to increase quickly. The latest entrant in this business is Flipt, which aims to take some of the emotion out of real estate purchase decisions and replace it with a more data-driven approach.
Flipt analyzes available residential properties in an area and then ranks them according to what the potential buyers are looking for: to fix and flip the house, buy and keep it, or to rent it out. Using its proprietary algorithms, the company scores every property according to these three possible outcomes. “Moving beyond a basic marketplace, Flipt doesn’t just display real estate data – it makes sense of it,” is how the company describes its approach.
The company says today’s buyers want access to more than just basic home listings and instead also need facts and data-driven analysis to make their decisions. To render its verdict on a home, Flipt looks at public data about a property, as well as some proprietary data. Based on this analysis, Flipt then assigns a value between 0 and 100 to every property to rank it according to its investment potential.
For potential rental properties, for example, the service estimates the rent and cash flow based on local demographics, locations and other data about the house. For houses you may want to flip (always a sign of a recovering housing market and a contributor to the last crash…), Flipt will try to determine the value of a home based on its foreclosure status, condition and age. If you just want to buy a home, the service will look at its appreciation over time and data about other homes in the neighborhood.
In addition to the consumer-facing service, Flipt also offers tools for real estate agents who can use the service as a lead generation tool.
For most home buyers, real estate decisions are still driven by emotions, and services like Flipt can’t take everything about a home into account (view, neighbors, renovations needed, etc.). Still, the more information home buyers have, the better.
Many aspects of the service itself still need a few tweaks, however. It barely offers any filters, for example (at least that I can find), so you will see houses within a very wide price range whenever you perform a search. That’s not very useful given that few people look for houses between $150,000 and $2 million. Its geographic search is also often off, and even though you provide the service with a ZIP code, it seems to look far beyond your original constraint. Most people look in specific neighborhoods, so data about houses 50 miles away isn’t very interesting. There is also no way to filter searches by number of bedrooms, bathrooms or other features. Once the company changes this, it’ll be a bit easier to recommend this service. Until then, it’s probably most useful as a tool when you’ve already narrowed your search down using Zillow, Redfin and other services.
Flipt was founded by Andrey Nokhrin, whose previous startups include BuildersCloud (a tool for contractors). BuildersCloud received $1.1 million in angel funding from Dave McClure, in addition to Facebook’s former legal counsel Rudy Gadre and other angel investors and funds. Flipt is funded off this same round.