SkenarioLabs Uses AI for Property Benchmarking
AI continues to be a hot topic across industries. The PropTech startup SkenarioLabs has a data analytics solution that utilizes AI. The results have been successful from the perspective of property owners: reliable technical surveys that contribute to making smart investment decisions.
While automatic valuation is not a recent invention for property owners and investors, there has not previously been an available service that combines it with technical surveying. SkenarioLabs has been building a system that digitizes technical surveys in order to help property owners manage their properties. The algorithm extracts a property’s technical risk from the market value.
“There are basically two ways to use our product: either the web-based software that produces predictive data analytics or the API solution that can be connected directly to a customer’s own systems. Currently, the web service is more widely used than the interface solution,” Topi Tiihonen, Co-Founder and CEO of SkenarioLabs, confirms.
Intelligence through predictive data analytics
SkenarioLabs’s biggest customers are financial institutions in the Nordics and housing providers the UK. Its database receives generic data from open data sources and property-specific data from their customers directly.
As Tiihonen points out: “Our whole solution is based on the idea of sharing data. We obviously do not hand out data to third parties, but we are able to utilize all our customers’ data within our own platform. A customer cannot see individual property data other than its own, but the platform helps all of our customers to be able to benchmark their own property portfolio against the millions of properties around the globe we currently have in our growing database.”
Tiihonen believes that customers are now ready for their solution because it is easy to see the added value in allowing the customer’s own data to be used in the analytics.
While it’s obvious that any pre-transaction activity can easily be digitalized, there is still some discussion as to whether a machine should be allowed to do certain types of real estate valuations.
To address worries related to the use of AI in valuation business, from the very beginning SkenarioLabs has incorporated European valuation standards into their service.
Tiihonen points out that “the biggest issue with data is its reliability. We always first clean up the customer’s data to see how much of it is reliable and useful. There can be a number of reasons for corrupt data; multiple methods of manual data entry is one big challenge.”
KIRA-digi enabled municipality outreach
Tiihonen is happy that SkenarioLabs is a part of the fourth round of the Finnish KIRA-digi program. SkenarioLabs, together with its partners Motiva and Vahanen PRO, carried out a “Renovation Renaissance” project that studied the technical risk of properties owned by Finnish municipalities.
Tiihonen continues: “In addition to economic profitability, municipalities also have also other parameters to consider. For example, municipalities need to make sure their properties meet certain standards in terms of health and safety, parameters that arise out of regulations and the core duty of municipalities to serve their inhabitants. This was an important realization for us because we had to emphasize other indicators over the usual ROI. Our solution included preparing a custom reporting template for Finnish municipalities”
Future international expansion
SkenarioLabs has had a global mindset from the beginning because its biggest potential customers are not located in Finland. The startup has attracted a lot of international interest. Recently, SkenarioLabs was one of the Top-25 PropTech European startups exhibiting and pitching at the most important European industry event, EXPO REAL 2018, in Munich, Germany. The event was a success and will hopefully result in growing international activity.
“At EXPO REAL 2018 we got to meet representatives from all of our customer segments and were very happy with the discussions we had there. EXPO REAL was our first step toward projects in Germany. For the moment, we are focusing on gaining a foothold in the Nordics, UK, and Switzerland,” Tiihonen concludes.
To see the latest news on SkenarioLabs please visit their website.
Text: Jenni Ripatti, AE Partners
Images are courtesy of SkenarioLabs