Blog

EB5 – Technology vs Real Estate Investments

Recently some emerging technology companies have turned to EB5 capital raise to execute their growth strategy. Many investors do not realize that technology companies are offering a much better job creation opportunity and has a much higher overall value return potential.

Technology traditionally has been a powerful business enabler. However Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Immersive Experience are disrupting Industries exponentially by transforming the Industry architecture itself. This fundamental shift is fueled by automation, machine cognition and new C2E (Consumer to Everything) engagement models.

In this article we will compare real estate and technology investments on how they stack up for an EB5 investor.

Criteria Real Estate Project Technology Company
Return on Incremental Investment Real Estate projects have a target project development cost. Without the full budget amount being available, the project cannot be completed and revenue cannot be realized. Technology companies on the other hand can put any amount of investment to use immediately and generate a return from it. This provides an opportunity for every investor to be assured of their return.
Risk of Green Card approval

 

Investment in EB5 is expected to take a huge dip soon after the November 21, 2019 deadline. You would not expect the same investors to put down 90% more for the same green card soon after the deadline but in due time we expect the EB5 candidates to return to investing.

Real estate projects run the risk of not filling their full capital raise before the deadline and thereby not being able to reach the finish line for job creation. This may put the green card approval at risk. Technology projects on the other hand can continue to provide returns and hire with incremental investments and weather the dip in EB5 investments. It is part of the technology business model to easily adjust course based on available capital.
Valuation Potential

 

Companies are valued based on their revenue, income, assets, pipeline of customers, and the market potential.

Real estate projects are valued with traditional valuation models based on mostly on the income and assets. The multiplier and the goodwill are very much limited to the location. Technology companies hold patentable intellectual capital that has a long term growth potential. Selecting a tech company with the right specialization or secret sauce usually can result in exponential valuation – the multiplier on revenue would 10 to 15 times.

 

Convert your loan to equity

 

Your EB5 investment is usually loaned to the Job Creating Entity (JCE) and the returns are in the form of interest payments at set annual rate. Investors do not get a share of the business. But that is different with technology companies.

Most real estate investments due to the limited valuation opportunity may not offer the option to convert your investment into a share in the business. Technology companies enjoy a much higher valuation after the initial growth years and since the initial investors were the enablers, it is common practice to offer a conversion to shares in the company at a discount price. For example after 5 years if your capital is returned at $500K, in addition to all the interest payments, then you have the choice to buy into shares of that company that will be immediately valued at $625K or higher based on the discount offered to you.
Potential Market Size and Geographical reach

 

This is important for the growth and resiliency of a business. A wider geographical reach means less dependency on the local market shifts.

Real estate is by definition a local business and is limited to the market available to it in that area. Even real estate at tourist attractions are dependent on the local tourism industry. Technology companies cater to the global marketplace across regions and countries. Usually the intellectual capital they create is applicable across the world. This is especially beneficial when economies take different turns in various parts of the world.
Job Creation Potential especially when the Green Card processing dates are not current. Real estate projects hire at a high rate during the construction phase and once the construction is completed operating the real estate does not require as many employees. Technology companies have a continuous growth as the number of customers increases and the employees hired are retained and developed for the long term.

And more importantly, the skills that a tech company develops in their employees is longer lasting and very attractive for USA economy.

 

As we see above the technology companies are undeniably a better EB5 investment opportunity But real estate may still be attractive to investors who like the comfort of knowing that their money is invested in a physical asset despite its limitations.

However in this new world where data is the oil, Artificial Intelligence is augmenting our collective intellect and our physical and digital worlds are merging, tech is the place to be for every EB5 Investor! Learn more at https://eb5.propmix.io

PropMix introduces Data-in-a-Box – a unique data service ideal for high-performance analytics and machine learning

MANHASSET HILLS, N.Y., Sep. 2, 2019 – PropMix.io, a real estate data and insights company, introduced a brand new way to interact with data using its Data-in-a-Box offering. Data-in-a-box is a cloud facility that provides easy and immediate access to very large amounts of property data to power various analytics and deep learning platforms in the real estate industry. Using this data-as-a-service will especially help lenders and appraises or any other real estate technology provider to reduce their internal data operations and leverage the economies of scale that PropMix is bringing to the industry.

PropMix has been diligently assembling the dream database for the real estate industry over the past several years and curating it with its artificial intelligence techniques. Their data quality improvement techniques include many patent pending capabilities to extract information from natural language and from real estate photos. The data lake now includes data on over 151 million properties, tax and assessment records, deed and mortgage records, foreclosures, and a lot more.

Many large companies in the mortgage and appraisal management market have their proprietary analytical and machine learning models that need access large amounts of data. These companies may already have a model that is proven in a local market with limited data and are ready to scale it up for use across the country. With Data-in-a-Box PropMix is enabling the growth strategies of such companies by offering cloud access to its proprietary data set. “Our customers can now focus on building value on top of the data instead of spending their time and money on gathering and standardizing data”, said Daniel Mancino, Vice President of Data Solutions and Sales at PropMix.

The real estate industry is undergoing a transformation with billions of dollars invested in PropTech each year. “With Data-in-a-Box offering, our goal is to accelerate innovation in the real estate industry by creating an environment where a company of any size can focus on creating their best machine learning and analytical models with seamless access to nationwide curated data”, said Umesh Harigopal, CEO of PropMix.io. “We are excited to invite all industry participants to leverage our high quality data to accelerate the ongoing transformation of the industry driven by AI and Blockchain.”

About PropMix.io

PropMix.io LLC, an Innovation Incubator Inc portfolio company, offers a ground-breaking Real Estate Smart App Development Platform that enables the Real Estate ecosystem to easily consume and monetize data and insights and build Smart Solutions. PropMix’s platform and solutions are widely used by mortgage lenders, appraisers, realtors, and investors. Built on industry open standards for global scale, PropMix.io empowers users to engage with data, make decisions using insights and build the real estate technology of the future. Headquartered in New York, we also have presence in Boston MA, Leesburg VA, Freehold NJ in USA and Trivandrum, Kerala in India.

Media Contact: Sakeer Hassan, PropMix.io, 7329799507, sakeer@innovationincubator.com

PropMix announces discounted pricing for Valuation Expo and Appraisal Buzz members

MANHASSET HILLS, N.Y., March 18, 2019 – PropMix.io, a real estate data and insights company, has announced in conjunction with Valuation Expo, a unique offer to try out its Market Conditions Advisory (MCA) product for appraisers.

All participants and delegates at the Valuation Expo at Charleston, SC from March 19 to 2, 2019 will be eligible for a 20% discount on all contracts that are signed before March 30, 2019 for upto a duration of 12 months from the date of signing. “With this offer, we are providing significant value to the independent appraisers as well as large AMCs to experience and adopt the seamless data and insights access platform for appraisers”, said Daniel Mancino, Vice President of Data Solutions and Sales at PropMix.

MCA was first released in February of 2018 and a large number of appraises have been leveraging its single point access to data and insights nationwide. PropMix recently integrated its image recognition technology into MCA to automate and simplify certain mundane tasks for the appraiser.

About PropMix.io

PropMix.io LLC, an Innovation Incubator Inc portfolio company, offers a ground-breaking Real Estate Smart App Development Platform that enables the Real Estate ecosystem to easily consume and monetize data and insights and build Smart Solutions. PropMix’s platform and solutions are widely used by mortgage lenders, appraisers, realtors, and investors. Built on industry open standards for global scale, PropMix.io empowers users to engage with data, make decisions using insights and build the real estate technology of the future. Headquartered in New York, we also have presence in Boston MA, Leesburg VA, Freehold NJ in USA and Trivandrum, Kerala in India.

Media Contact: Sakeer Hassan, PropMix.io, 7329799507, sakeer@innovationincubator.com

PropMix brings Image Recognition to the Real Estate Appraisal Industry

MANHASSET HILLS, N.Y., February 20, 2019 – Appraisal Vision is PropMix’s new addition to the suite of products and services it has been enabling for the real estate appraisal industry. Appraisal Vision is an image recognition solution using a deep learning engine that has been trained on terrabytes of real estate image data over the past couple of years. It enables the extraction of information from images which is used for enriching data and improving and validating home valuation with information in the home photos.

Appraisal vision can power many solutions such as fraud detection, appraisal validation, and automate some simple tasks for the appraiser such as ordering and labeling photos in an appraisal form. “We will continue to integrate appraisal vision into many applications under the Market Conditions Advisor brand” said Umesh Harigopal, CEO of PropMix. “Our goal is to reduce and appraisers mundane tasks and help them focus on high-value activities.”

The core technology that powers Appraisal Vision is a complex chain of cascading neural networks each a convolutional neural network. PropMix’s heuristic algorithms combine results from multiple deep learning engines to arrive at its final predictions on a real estate photograph. The neural networks have been trained over the last 2 years on about 22 terabytes of image data. This has resulted in accuracy levels of about 93% and it continues to improve.

About PropMix.io

PropMix.io LLC, an Innovation Incubator Inc portfolio company, offers a ground-breaking Real Estate Smart App Development Platform that enables the Real Estate ecosystem to easily consume and monetize data and insights and build Smart Solutions. PropMix’s platform and solutions are widely used by mortgage lenders, appraisers, realtors, and investors. Built on industry open standards for global scale, PropMix.io empowers users to engage with data, make decisions using insights and build the real estate technology of the future. Headquartered in New York, we also have presence in Boston MA, Leesburg VA, Freehold NJ in USA and Trivandrum, Kerala in India.

Media Contact: Sakeer Hassan, PropMix.io, 7329799507, sakeer@innovationincubator.com

Bradie – The Bar is Now Set Higher for Digital Engagement in Real Estate

Redefining digital in real estate

We are excited to announce Bradie – Broker and Agent Digital Engagement platform – our suite of capabilities for the real estate marketplace. We are redefining the online real estate experience completely using AI and Machine Learning techniques. It integrates our various existing products that have been used by hundreds of agents and brokers.

We believe that the real estate agent has the opportunity to build lifelong relationships with homeowners as their trusted advisors on the largest investment of their lives. Bradie is our journey to help agents nurture that relationship and provide value to the homeowners. Visit

Bradie brings to market brand new ways of interacting with real estate information using computer vision. Home buyers using an IDX portal can now stop staring at loads of data about the homes they have shortlisted and instead see them side-by-side using pictures of each room and focus on what makes the homes different from each other.

 

 

Stale and weeks old Home Value Reports are a thing of the past. Our comparable market analysis engine – iCMALive – provides an engaging platform with live updates to their personalized value analysis as the market changes in their neighborhood – a new home on the market, a new sale, or a price change. All such updates can be screened by the agent in real time and Bradie will communicate with the customer on the agent’s behalf – building a trustworthy relationship with the customers. Visit bradie.propmix.io to get more details.

You have to see a demo of Bradie today to get a peek into a whole lot more groundbreaking features. Contact us at register.propmix.io or write to us at info@propmix.io.

Using Sally APIs to Auto-Label and Auto-Organize Images In an Appraisal Report

With the release of Market Conditions Advisor we have been receiving multiple requests to integrate Sally image recognition APIs into existing AMC software. This post intends to provide some specific information on one of the uses of Sally APIs and how to use it.

Image Rules for Appraisal Quality Reviews

The GSEs – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are quite stringent in their requirement for the type, number and quality of images attached to an appraisal report. For instance, Fannie Mae requires that exterior images include front, back, and a street scene of the subject property and the front of each comparable. All properties must be appropriately identified.

Fannie Mae also requires interior of the kitchen, all bathrooms, and the main living area, while also providing examples of recent restoration, remodeling and renovation, and physical deterioration, if present.

To meet these photo requirements, appraisers spend valuable time during report preparation collating and organizing the photos of the subject property and searching and finding the best photos of the comparables.

Automating the Image Rules Using Sally

Some of these mundane and time consuming tasks can be easily automated using the Sally image recognition APIs. You can use the APIs to select the images for different room types required, check for the right quality of the images, and reject the ones that do not meet the standards prescribed. If there are no acceptable images for a specific room type, Sally can alert the appraiser accordingly.

In addition, the API can also return the images in a preferred order for direct inclusion in the appraisal report.

How do we implement this?

This is how your appraisal management software can easily make use of Sally:

The key step is to fetch a label for all the subject property and comparable photos from Sally. Once you have it, you can then make decisions on what to include and how to organize the photos. Sally provides the following APIs to do exactly that:

GetLabelsForImage:  With this API you would pass one or images as URLs or files to this API and receive an automatic label for each image.

GetListingDetails w/ labels & auto organized images:  This is a much simpler API to use. You can provide a listing ID or the full address of the property and Sally can find the photos for the property, label them, and organize them based on your preferences. And of course, use of this API requires that you have your MLS credentials.

Parallel and Background Processing of Images

Note that most image recognition processes can take about 1-2 seconds to complete for each image. With about 25 images on the average for a subject property this can quickly add up. First of all the Sally engine has a built-in parallelism to process multiple images at the same time. This would reduce the total processing time for a subject property to about 10-15 seconds. In addition, for the best user experience we recommend that you invoke Sally in the background while an appraisal report is being prepared by the user. You can then use the API responses to auto-label and auto-order the images and only generate alerts when there are warnings or errors.

Please contact us at support@propmix.io for further details of the APIs and code samples.

Reference: https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b4/1.2/01.html

PropMix API Search Best Practices for Best Results

Less is not always more…

We have all heard the term, “Less is More”, but when trying to find comparable sales and listings that is not always the case.

There is a school of thought that if I keep my search simple, I will get everything I need, therefore, if you look for comparable sales and listings within 1 mile and 12 months from your subject property, that should return a sufficient set of results. Well, the problem with this logic is if all your searches are “generic”, your results in urban and rural areas will vary widely.

Consider a 1-mile radius search in Queens, NY, where there are hundreds of residential units of all types on one city block, therefore thousands within a 1-mile radius. A search in a densely populated area like this could return upwards of a thousand or more results, when only 50 or 100 are needed.

api search

Conversely, you run the same 1-mile radius, 12-month search in a rural area like Colts Neck, NJ where there are a multitude of mansions and horse farms on multiple acre lots, there may be a few dozen properties in total within a 1-mile radius. You would find results in the single digits for the same search in this area.

Understanding the market is paramount to getting the best possible results.

If you know you are working within an urban area, here are some suggestions:

  • Reduce your radius to half a mile
  • Shorten the timeframe to 6 months
  • Tighten search criteria such as:
    • GLA +/- 20% of the subject
    • +/- 1 Bedroom/Bathroom
    • Sale or List Price Range, etc.

Here are some suggestions when working within a rural or even some suburban markets:

  • Expand your radius to 3 or more miles
  • Add 6 months to the timeframe
  • Broaden the search criteria by as much as 50%
    • GLA +/- 40% of the subject
    • +/- 1 Bedroom and +/- 2 Bathrooms
    • A wider Sale or List Price Range, etc.

With PropMix API’s, you have the option of re-running your search as many times as necessary, without paying more for the same appraisal order. In fact, we encourage our clients to develop adaptive searches that will iteratively call our APIs and adjust the filter parameters to optimize time, distance, and additional filters to achieve the best comparable results.

To help our clients implement such best practices we launched a Professional Services division in 2018 that has already enabled many clients to retrieve the best comparables straight into their applications with optimal API integrations.

In my next blog post, I will explain some of these API integration scenarios so that you can achieve the same with PropMix APIs.

School Data APIs: Enrich Real Estate Data with Local School Information

Now you can easily retrieve school information for any property in the US through new APIs released recently. This is another step in PropMix’s ongoing journey to provide a one-stop shop for all your real estate data and insights needs.

These APIs enable you to search for public and private schools or school districts across the nation for any property based on attendance boundaries, geographic areas such as Zip or City, or within a radius from from the property.

We often ask from agents and appraisers are:

  • Add additional information to property detail pages on IDX sites
  • Map school attendance and district boundary information to better understand property values

The new API methods available are:

  • GetSchoolsByGeo
    Find public and private schools within a Zipcode, City, County or State
  • GetSchoolsByRadius
    Find public and private schools within a particular distance from a property or  any geocode
  • GetSchoolsByDistrict
    Find schools within a public school district. School districts can be found using GetSchoolDistricts API.
  • GetSchoolDistricts
    Find school districts within a state or school district applicable to a Zipcode

We recently also added an API specifically for IDX usage:

  • GetSchoolsForProperty
    This API would find all the public schools for the property based on attendance boundaries and also include local private schools. The same API would fetch a GreatSchools rating for each school using your GreatSchools API key.

In addition to their core function, these APIs provide a number of ways to filter the school data retrieved – keywords, grades offered, school affiliations, etc.

All the APIs respond with various school attributes including NCES School ID, State School ID, NCES School District ID, State School District ID, whether public or private, charter or not, grades offered, school grade level, school affiliations, etc. Upgraded APIs could also provide deeper analysis such as demographics, test scores, etc. if required.

Stay tuned for upcoming API releases and application enhancements (such as Market Conditions Advisor) that combine school data with home sale data:

  • GetListingsBySchool
    Find all homes for sale within your favorite school’s attendance boundary
  • GetListingsBySchoolDistrict
    Find all homes for sale within your target school district

Listing data will only be available to MLS participants based on permissions and entitlements defined by the MLS.

GreatSchools is a trademark and copyright of GreatSchools.org

How to build a hyperlocal real estate portal to drive your business?

As a Real Estate Agent or Broker how do you differentiate your website from Zillow, Realtor.com, or Redfin to attract visitors and generate leads via your online presence? One of the key benefits that agents offer is their knowledge of the local market and neighborhoods to help identify the best suited locality for a potential buyer or to help homeowners prepare and price their properties for sale.

As a Real Estate Agent or Broker, your time should be spent on building your business, not worrying about the nitty-gritties of setting up and maintaining a website. PropMix has recently launched a plug-in that allows you to set up a listing search website in a few minutes. It is a complete Real Estate solution in one plug-in. It is easily configurable and flexible. It provides properties details over and above MLS data such as Agent contact details, home fair market value, neighborhood and school information. The plug-in also allows search by polygons and multiple search results layouts to choose from.

blogsearch

There are three modules available currently in the plug-in – the search widget, the property results widget, and the research widget. The search widget allows you to search for listings in an area by providing the zipcode, city or state. The property results widget allows to get details of properties within the specified filter parameters. The research widget lists cities within a state, neighborhoods within a city, and demographics including school district, neighborhood details, population details, commute, and so on.

The highlights of the plugin are:

– Search for a property with the search widget

– Property details in different views available through the property results widget

– Additional details of a specific property available in layouts chosen by the Agent

– Property listings by zip code, city or state

– City details with demographics and description

– Neighborhood information

– Mark properties as  favorite for future reference

– Integrated school district data

– Commute details of a locality

The plug-in enables you to embed a few lines of code in your website, and it is ready to be used. The plug-in provides MLS data that is fetched using the MLS credentials of the Agent and/or Broker. All you need in addition is the credential for using this plug-in, which can be obtained by contacting us at support@propmix.io. You can also contact us to schedule a demo of the plug-in.

 

Real estate data mining for your next business need using Public Records

Here are a few examples of how our public record data mining is leveraged

Comprehensive nationwide real estate public record data helps tackle various business needs in many industries beyond real estate. We mine terrabytes of real estate data to find the those needles or patterns in the haystack. This post covers a few real estate and non-real estate use cases we are actively supporting.

As previously announced, our public record data provides a comprehensive set of property attributes such as owner occupancy, last sale information, and more detailed tax assessment information along with full property details. It also provides property identification, seller/buyer information, tax exemption details, building information, and legal description of the property.

The valuation models and comparable similarity scoring are now based on authoritative property details and current market conditions from listing data.

Marketers in any industry

PropMix real estate data is very well suited for finding target customer base for many businesses. Here are a few examples:

  1. A skylight company recently needed information on all homes that have a skylight so that they could offer upgrades or servicing options
  2. A flooring company is able to provide an automated estimate of carpeting or hardwood flooring costs using our building area information
  3. An insurance company is able to target customers who have lived for more than 10 years in a home to consider modifying their insurance coverages

Real Estate Investors

Investors are interested in finding undervalued homes in good rental markets to buy and convert them to income generating rental properties.

  1. We identify tenant occupied properties in each neighborhood in the country and find areas where rental demand is increasing
  2. We then find owner occupied homes in these areas that can potentially be converted to investment properties.

Our data can also power a full investment pro forma including the total cost of ownership and return on your investment.

realestate
Mortgage Industry

Appraisers and lenders need information to accurately assess the risk of a collateral before underwriting a loan –  purchase, refinance, and/or home equity.

  1. Appraisers improve the accuracy of their valuations using extensive assessor recorder property data and comparable sales from public records – including new homes sales and/or owner sales not in the Multiple Listing Services.
  2. Underwriters or lender reviewers can run their appraisal review and AVMs using:
    1. Transaction history on a property
    2. Comprehensive report of the property details

As we continue to solve additional business problems we will provide updates on this blog on new and creative ways in which our customers are mining our data.