URBANZOOM, a homegrown artificial-intelligence-enabled research portal for HDB and condominiums, on Monday announced that it has enabled API access to its proprietary auto-valuation tool, which has already been used by Singapore government agencies and companies.
API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.
UrbanZoom's users include the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), as well as startups and companies in the insurance and finance industries including SoReal Prop and Ohmyhome. The latter two property technology (proptech) firms have incorporated UrbanZoom’s API and deployed it in their current product offerings.
Jeremiah Ng, chief technological officer of SoReal, one of the API users, added that on top of working with UrbanZoom to provide its users with current market indicative valuations, SoReal is planning a further collaboration between the two companies to increase the accuracy of the valuation for the market at large.
UrbanZoom founder Michael Cho said: "After we launched, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of interest from businesses who're interested to tap on our technology. There were proptech, fintech startups, financial institutions, et cetera, each with their own unique use cases of Zoom Value."
Zoom Value is a tool that is able to predict HDB and condominium valuations with a median error of less than 3 per cent. It includes a confidence rating on its accuracy for every prediction, all in real-time.
"While our team is proud of the tech we've built, which is outperforming even the best-in-class auto-valuation tools in markets like the US and China in terms of accuracy, a good piece of tech is still useless unless people use it. So we'd rather open up Zoom Value to allow more people to access it, be it through partners who use our API or our own website."
By opening up API access, UrbanZoom hopes businesses can tap into UrbanZoom's AI-enabled insights to enrich their services. Since its launch in March 2018, UrbanZoom boasts about S$100 billion worth of Zoom Value searches, it says.
In addition, UrbanZoom also recently released a voice app on Google Home (“OK Google, Talk To UrbanZoom”) and launched a phone hotline, 31388416, where users can now dial in to check on their home's Zoom Value, all built using the Zoom Value API.
Mr Cho said this came after his team received feedback from older and less tech-savvy users that its website font is too small, and that they prefer to ask for information over the phone than from a computer screen.
"This is why we built the voice app and hotline; it’s a direct response to our users’ feedback," he said.
"Ultimately, we’re here to empower home owners. How can we leverage on our tech know-how to better inform the ‘moms and pops’ with useful insights without overwhelming them with a deluge of data? That is the challenge and our opportunity to make a real difference in this space."