RMIT-developed software is putting the real back into real estate prices.
The REALas program looks at property information from a range of sources and predicts within 5 per cent the final sales price.
Like many discoveries, the developers of the REALas software were working on another project when they created the foundations for the program.
Buyers advocate David Morrell approached RMIT, with investors Andrew Newbold, and Jeremy Press in 2011, to find the technical expertise to develop a product which matched potential buyers with suitable property.
Head of the Evolutionary Computing and Machine Learning group at the time and data mining expert Associate Professor Vic Ciesielski was approached for the task.
Using data mining techniques and predictive algorithms lead researcher Ciesielski was writing the code to match prospective buyers with suitable properties when he found that he was able to predict the property sales prices with surprising accuracy.
With this discovery the project changed directions and a team of students were employed to design a web interface for the software to take the product to market.
RMIT alumnus Josh Rowe was the perfect choice to take the product further.
Rowe had returned to the University to combine his Computer Science degree, which he’d studied under Ciesielski, with a Masters in e-Business when he was invited to join the project in 2014.
At the time he already had a swag of accolades and a successful start-up to his name, Rowe’s international achievements including presenting his thesis at ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) on domain name usability.
It was Rowe’s business acumen that was able to transform the clever code into a saleable and desirable product.
The REALas product has gone on to win the Westpac Innovation Challenge in 2014 and has had over 100 media mentions.
Following the sale of the REALas start-up business to ANZ last month, Rowe is staying on as the CEO to manage the business and leading the way as part of ANZ’s new agile approach.
The REALas business which started as a piece of software in the computer labs at RMIT, now runs from the ANZ head office in Collins Street with alumnus Josh Rowe at the helm.
Imagine where your study could take you.
Story: Jennifer Paynter