A leading proptech figure has claimed that agents who have an encyclopaedic knowledge of their area are fast being caught up by platforms such as his which can ‘more accurately’ value homes.
Nitin Aggarwal (pictured), the 39-year-old founder of research platform Property Deals Insight, says he has built an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) which uses a wider range of data to inform its results than those offered elsewhere, including by the major portals.
His comments follow a piece run by The Negotiator last week in which industry figure David Hannah claimed that technology will ‘never replace estate agent local knowledge’.
Aggarwal, who is also a property investor, says he built his AVM after discovering that many agents in his home patch of Harrow in North London did not know the values of properties that they were marketing.
“My AVM has millions of data points from trusted sources and is much more comprehensive than what local agents have in their heads,” he says.
“For example, I use an accurate ‘average per square metre’ pricing metric for specific property types in specific areas, instead of generic local averages, taking the guesswork out of the equation.”
Aggarwal also says too many valuations by agents are inaccurate because, as has been claimed many times before, their key purpose is to attract instructions.
But Aggarwal appears unaware that he is a proptech swimming amongst sharks when discussing AVMs – many agents have disliked the march of digital tech into one of their key areas of expertise, and the early portal AVM price range estimates were often wildly inaccurate.