Can You Predict When Someone Will Sell Their Home?

AI Can Help Identify Sellers

For as long as Realtors have been selling homes, they’ve been developing their “listening network” to capture hints of anyone in the community who might be thinking of selling.

Tom Cruise in Minority Report image courtesy of

This listening activity is something that AI software developers are now keying on as a high value offering to Realtors. Either that or you might need some precogs from Minority Report.

Community listening and intel gathering is a key practice of good real estate sales people. In the old days, word of mouth was a primary communication channel. And when someone in the community wanted to sell, it was news to everyone, which is why it spread like wildfire among the locals.


But today, communities are different and the clues are never seen, heard, and there’s little sharing. Sometimes there’s no for sale sign.

So Why Do People Sell Their Home When They do?

In every neighborhood from Boston to San Diego to San Francisco, For Sale signs mysterious pop up. Suddenly, without warning, homeowners want to sell. Neighbors look at the sign mystified and say “oh, the Jones are moving!”

They had no idea, saw no clue, that the house or condo was being put up for sale. But things were happening behind the scenes — life events. If you’re a Realtor, wouldn’t it be nice to hear the clues and know the sale was coming?

How Can You Predict a Potential Seller?

What exactly happens in people’s lives that leads to a home sale? These events are what social media predictive tools would look for.

1. kids graduating from college
2. nearing retiring age
3. changes in neighborhoods – noisy, busy, crime, unfriendly
4. they don’t really like the neighborhood or city anymore
5. home prices starting to peak or recession is coming
6. the home isn’t big enough
7. the home is too far from their school or job
8. they’ve always wanted to move to the country
9. a couple get married
10. a couple gets divorced
11. they miss their kids who live far away
12. old age, disablement, injury, or health issues
13. their mortgage payments are too high
14. lost job
15. desire for a lifestyle change
16. the fixer upper is now fully done and perfect
17. house flipping, sell to harvest the equity
18. home is too expensive to fix up
19. home bills are too high, can’t afford it anymore
20. financial loss or big setback

Communities Communicate Through Social Media

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Fast forward to today and our communication channels have changed. Now people talk to friends, family and others via social media. And people in neighborhoods are more likely to be strangers and really have no clue as to their neighbor’s plans and life events.

And if you’ve been door to door canvassing, you see how indignant many homeowners are about being polled and having their time wasted.

Word of mouth isn’t as effective now, and growing your team to increase your listening web won’t likely work. You’ll need to find another way to listen to your target communities. Social media listening is that solution.

AI Marketing and Predictive Tools

How can you build this listening network without word of mouth referrals online?

Enter predictive AI and social tech. As people lay a trail of comments, responses and posted material on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc., they reveal much about their lives and whether big changes might be in the future. These new social listening tools can detect behaviors and events that predict future moves.

And it’s just beginning. AI software is analyzing social behavior and learning more deeply about which specific behaviors online signal a future relocation or property transaction. There activity goes beyond general profiling people, and can learn more specifically about individuals.

This data isn’t easy to get. Realtors must build their social connections and use social media feed providers to get access to user’s social posts. And it’s impossible to analyze unless you have these AI marketing tools to do it for you.

Yet, when you your AI marketing platform up, you’re accessing what other Realtor’s feel is the hottest lead generation tools going.  They’re aimed at helping you get first in the queue to present your professional value, and help them sell their home or condo.

Social media engagement and listening is a new skill for you to acquire. But when you get into it, you may realize just how powerful it is in connecting you with home sellers, ahead of hungry competitors.

What are These AI Social Media Tools?

You can do some of this on your own use Hootsuite. It lets you scan your social network for keywords, and what’s accessible via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  But that’s not scanning intelligently for all the clues related to home selling. For that, you need tools designed to search for them.


Mention is a social listening tool that tracks 1 billion sources.  It provides real-time social media monitoring with data-rich, customizable reports. You can search via keywords, hashtags, and engage new connections and connect with them. Good way to expand your local social network and grow your influence.


SmartZip uses up to 24 segments or 2000 variables of data from a number of large listings and real estate firms.

As Peter Grace, SmartZip VP says, “You’ve got a 1-in-20 chance in finding a potential seller client if you randomly knock on doors… but you’ve got a 1-in-10 chance if you knock on the doors we tell you to knock on.”

SmartZip’s latest development is called Sphere Targeting – offering home seller analytics and targeted marketing campaigns for an agent’s sphere of influence — or your databases. You upload your personal contact databases to Sphere Targeting’s predictive analytics engine and their software delivers rich data insights and seller predictions for each contact on an ongoing basis.

After SmartZip’s system identifies the best prospects, Ttey provide a multi-channel marketing program using emails and direct mail pieces, including digitally hand-written letters and post cards. It also has a backend lead management CRM feature that looks good. What can it integrate with? is a new, recently funded tech startup located in Durham, NC. They’ve been working with several big brokerages to improve their social listening capabilities and lead recommendations engine. Drawing from their estimated network of 214 million people, they’ve hit on something very good.

Top Remax Realtor Brandon Doyle reported that “I haven’t found a better solution to get ahead of listings.” First AI collects and plumbs user activity to find signals that indicated buyers and sellers.

As new business models emerge in our industry, innovative brokerages are adopting technology to reinforce their agents’ existing advantages. First has developed a technology that enhances an agent’s ability to capture value out of their network, by leveraging big data and artificial intelligence. When agents focus their time and energy on the people our data suggests, we see them winning more business,” said Mike Schneider, CEO of — from release on

Another user had this to say: “Our recent rollout with First yielded significant results,” said Thad Wong, co-founder and chief executive officer at @properties of Chicago. “The First data accurately predicted over 1,800 homes that listed during the pilot period, added more than 3,000 properties associated with each of our pilot brokers’ contacts, and facilitated over 500 conversations that would not have happened without them. This is great business.”  — from release on uses proprietary technology, but the process of social data mining is well known. The key to AI predictive software for Realtors, is that this type of AI marketing solution is creating leads well ahead of anyone being aware prospects might be in the market to sell their home.

Roof is a conversational AI solution designed to automate the building and maintaining of client relationships.  Prospects can ask questions about properties freely and without end. Since users aren’t speaking with a Realtor, they might ask a different variety of questions, and reveal more about their true interests.

After users satisfy themselves with their quest for info, they might be more inclined to contact the Realtor about listings or become a client.

Revaluate uses Artificial Intelligence and advanced algorithms to find who in your existing database who is most likely to move in the ext  3 to 6 months.  Revaluate’s AI platform’s premise is that certain life events such as divorce, death, kids, and engagements predict moves.  Certainly, that’s easy to see, so the question is how much deeper Revaluate is going to detecting these events and how they do it.


There you have 3 new leading edge AI marketing and predictive lead generation solutions that may be in your future. For real estate brokerages with a lot of prospect data, these solutions might be a key to market leadership and big sales increases in 2020.

Realtors, should getting known and trusted be your Job #1


Ready to build your social and search engine traffic and start plumbing this amazing source of future clients?

Let’s talk about what’s needed.


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