Introducing Prediction Markets

by Administrator on August 2, 2007

We think all the time about how we can notice and build real estate reputation and knowledge on a wide scale. One thing that had grabbed our attention was a concept called prediction markets: where individuals would buy or sell units of an outcome. Collectively, the markets would be able to predict the future, or at least be a real time representation. The concept is not new: the stock market is effectively the world’s largest prediction market.

What we thought to do, however, is put a twist on process and achieve two things: one is to see if we can as a group predict real estate outcomes accurately but the other is to notice the individuals making the predictions and using the fact if they were right or wrong in our real estate agent search results.

What does that mean? Basically if you, as a real estate agent, predict the correct outcome for the price of homes in your local area, you will see your ranking in our search results for that area improve over time.

Having your pulse on home price trends and being able to offer that as advice to clients is, we think, one of the most important roles of a real estate agent. And that’s why we launched our Homethinking prediction markets this morning.

How does it work? Initially we thought to predict prices on a county level, and to set the end for the predictions at the end of the year. We’ve created markets for around 100 of the top counties. For instance, here is the market for Homethinking’s HQ in Manhattan, New York. If you’d like us to add your local area, just say so in the comments and we promise to add the market in the next day.

Does it cost anything to make predictions? Nope. The service is integrated into our Realtor Console. So if you are a real estate agent, you can either login to your existing Homethinking profile or if you don’t have one, create a profile.

After you login you should see something like this:

Where the markets have been filtered down into the ones we think are relevant to you, or alternatively you can just browse them all by topic.

What if I am not a real estate agent? You can still participate to. Just you wont be linked to our search results. You can sign up for a non-agent account here.

How will the markets be judged? At the end of each market, the final price will be set by looking at the median sales price of a residential home in that area, as determined by our friends at Trulia, a real estate search engine. Each market has a link to the relevant Trulia page, as well.

That’s it from here. I (Niki Scevak) am here in San Francisco for the Inman Connect conference. So stop by and say hi. And as I said earlier, if you’d like your local area to be added, just let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to add it right away. We’ll also keep adding markets over the coming weeks and months to build out our coverage.

p.s. Still interested in reading more? Here is an old fashion press release we put out.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

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Ryan Ward December 16, 2007 at 7:02 pm

You could actually make it relevant if you used something that was accurate, instead of trulia.

Ryan Ward March 28, 2008 at 9:15 pm

This seemed like a good idea until I saw how you were going to track the results. why on earth would you utilize something other than an MLS to determine values. You are aware that Trulia values are not accurate enough to make your results reputable. Don’t you?

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