In the movie Terminator, Sarah Conner is targeted for assassination by cyborgs from the future. Machines of the future have rebelled against their creators and are seeking to eliminate human beings from the face of the planet.
They are on the verge of succeeding. The only man standing in their way is John Connor, son of Sarah. The robots have learned that John will succeed in putting the rebellious machines back under human control.
Having invented a time machine, the cyborgs send a robot back in time to kill Sarah Conner as a way to keep John from being born.
Did we mention that Terminator is a sci-fi movie? Yeah … you probably figured that out by now.
While we don’t expect time machines to be invented anytime soon or believe that cybernetic organisms from the future will show up to take you out based on things your descendants are doing, you do share something in common with Sarah Conner – you too are being targeted by cyborgs.
It’s called big data and artificial intelligence. What are these critters?
Big data refers to new types of data being accumulated at an exponentially increasing rate. It’s not just that there is demographic info available about you – your age, race, gender and so forth. It’s not just financial and economic data like your credit score and income.
It’s the profusion of information about your attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and intentions. Your internet searches. Your Facebook activity. Your blog posts. Your tweets. Things you save on Instagram. Even the conversations in your home that Alexa overhears, like the computer named HAL in 2001 – A Space Odyssey.
All of this information is being collected and, more importantly, peddled to people that want to sell you crap or get you to vote a certain way or steal your identify.
The amount of information is so overwhelming that it would take armies of staff members to sift through it and make conclusions that businesses, politicians and criminals could use in meaningful ways. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.
An AI computer is not programmed to perform tasks. It is programed to learn. It is programed to scrutinize vast quantities of data and learn things and draw conclusions.
For example, you could program a computer with the names of the 50 United States and then have it use that information to do certain things. With an AI computer, you don’t have to tell it the names of the fifty states. Ask it to name all the states and it will go learn their names from sifting through data.
At this point, you may be saying: This is all very interesting but aren’t you a real estate brokerage firm? How does any of this apply to residential real estate transactions?
Here’s how: Companies have multiplied like rabbits over the last year that are using big data and AI to predict when people are likely to either buy or sell a home. They are giving you a “move score”, which is kind of equivalent to a credit score.
These companies get real estate agents to pay them money to get your name and contact info, so the agents can target you as a potential client. If you are seeing lots of popup ads from agents as you surf the web or if you’ve noticed increased solicitation by mail or door knocking, it is likely that this is due to having a high move score.
Given this, we thought it would be a good time to remind you that the very best way to find a real estate agent when you need one is by referral.
An agent you know, or one referred to you based on the personal experience of someone you know, gives you the best chance for a successful outcome. You know their character. They have a proven track record. For good reason, you start off with a higher level of trust in such a person.
All agents are not created equal. You don’t get the same result from every agent. Agents provide you skills in pricing, staging, marketing, negotiation, contract preparation and a host of other skills. Some do these things extremely well and get a better bottom line for their clients as a result. You are more likely to find a good one via your own personal experience or by personal referral from someone you trust.
These reasons explain why over 70% of all sellers and buyers use an agent they know personally or use an agent that has a good track record with a trusted family member or friend.
In the Terminator movie, Sarah Connor had a protector and champion – Kyle Reese. The few remaining humans of the future got access to the time machine and sent Kyle back in time to safeguard Sarah from the Terminator robot. He showed her how to outwit the robot and thrive.
A good agent is like Kyle Reese … there to guide you safely through the maze of potential pitfalls of a real estate transaction to a successful conclusion.