Members of SFAR have a new AI productivity Sidekick

Sidekick was developed by San Francisco-based boutique brokerage Avenue 8. It primarily uses a text interface to send commands to retrieve data, execute tasks and in many ways, function as a common, “visual” interface would. It’s now offered to members of SFAR.

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The 4,000-member San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR) is partnering with a software application called Sidekick that uses artificial intelligence to automate a range of business operations for real estate agents. The news was shared with Inman in a May 6 press release.

The product launched in late 2023 with the intent of helping the industry quickly request market data and insights, from which it also quickly conducts home valuations, among a number of other business tasks, at a pace the release said is “10 times faster” than a virtual assistant and does so for less than one-tenth the cost.

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Michael Martin

Sidekick was developed by San Francisco-based boutique brokerage Avenue 8. It primarily uses a text interface to send commands to retrieve data, execute tasks and, in many ways, function as a common, “visual” interface would.

“It is critical that agents demonstrate value across two vectors: specific knowledge and speed,” Sidekick co-founder Michael Martin said to Inman in a November email. “Many have the former, but the latter is a constraint. Even if you’ve been working in the industry 20-30 years, the ability to quickly generate, analyze, and assemble information across a variety of modalities is incredibly challenging. It’s not about having a personality or a face or a name — it’s about functionality and speed.”

Martin is also co-CEO of Avenue 8, which has offices across California’s Bay Area, Greater LA, NYC and Palm Springs, with more on the way. In November, he shared plans that included the company’s intention to roll out Sidekick as a stand-alone product.

San Francisco is the heart of AI, according to Martin, so it makes sense to first offer the technology to the city’s most recognizable association.

“The rise of generative AI is already changing how agents work, and on the heels of anticipated changes to how agents earn commissions, Sidekick will enhance the way agents, teams, and brokerages perform all of the mission-critical aspects of supporting their clients and finding new opportunities,” Martin said in the May 6 release.

Partnering with Realtor associations is a proven way for technology companies to gain exposure, user feedback and, of course, sales. This connection is especially serendipitous given Sidekick’s origins.

Members of SFAR can use their new app to build CMAs, publish market reports, search listings, create their own property marketing content through its computer vision talents, and even manage calendars and emails. Use of the app will only teach it more skills and each user’s preferences for using it, according to the release.

“Sidekick is a fascinating tool that will give San Francisco real estate professionals a competitive advantage by allowing them to complete their work faster without sacrificing accuracy,” said SFAR Chief Technology Officer Jay Pepper-Martens in the press release. “Their novel approach using the latest AI technology to access a sophisticated set of agent tools is not only powerful, but surprisingly fun to use.”

The app is built on top of OpenAI’s product, not merely a re-wrapped offering, aligning with Avenue 8’s repeated mantra of improving an experience so broken that it has become the subject of multiple lawsuits challenging how agents are compensated.

Sidekick was recognized at the 28th Annual Webby Awards as “Best AI App” in the “Product & Service” and “Work & Productivity” categories across all industries who submitted products.

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