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Startup company’s new tech could change development in Seattle

Everyhome has created a program that can determine not only the best areas for development, but what should most aptly be built there. (AP)

Seattle developers may now have a little help getting the most bang for their buck.

Everyhome, a 1-year-old Seattle start-up, is not only claiming to have cracked a development code, showing what areas are apt to develop, but what would best be built there.

What does that mean?

As Everyhome CEO and co-founder Bryan Copley puts it: Let’s say a property owner thinks a property is worth X, and it should be developed in a way that supports X. Everyhome has a program that can determine if the property is actually worth Y if it were developed in a different way.

Everyhome’s website is currently known around the homebuying scene. It offers people the ability to bid on properties whether they are for sale or not. But now it’s adding a whole new dimension to its service.

Related: Will developers bite at the carrot Seattle has at the end of its stick?

“There is something that hasn’t been revealed yet, in real estate, and that is the best possible use of a property,” Copley said.

“People have a pretty good idea of how to optimize current use, but best use is something that is not being looked at by a lot of people, except for developers,” Copley said. “And there’s a lot more people who have a dog in the fight.”

Everyhome has developed a way to determine the best possible use for a property. Should a property be redeveloped with apartments, or condos, or single family homes? Or is there some other variable a property owner isn’t considering? That’s the sort of mystery that Everyhome is aiming to solve.

The Seattle startup teamed up with Issaquah’s Ars Quanta, a data company, to give developers, for example, a development edge.

“If I was a guy on the street, and I owned some properties in King County, I might be interested in what the best applicable use of those properties would be,” Copley said. “That’s one thing that our site could service &#8212 that insight.”

“Even if I don’t own property, let’s say I’m a renter, I have a vested interest in having an idea if rents are going up,” he said. “Or if I’m going to need to think about a future somewhere else, or move out of the city, which is happening more and more with gentrification.”

That could be of value to cities where rents are rising beyond most residents’ ability to pay them &#8212 remind you of any city in particular?

“This software can tell the city where the most likely places are for future gentrification, which neighborhoods, even down to the parcel level, which properties are likely going to be targeted for redevelopment,” Copley said. “If we can get that information to the city, we can give them something actionable to save those properties and use them for affordable housing.”

Copley said that a few Seattle-area developers have made use of the technology, and that his company has also spoken with housing authorities around the city to determine how it could benefit them and renters seeking affordable housing.

How it works

So far, the company has dealt most with types of housing &#8212 such as apartments, single home, condos &#8212 and has looked a little into retail development. Everyhome considers at least 187 variables for each individual property to determine the best use. It considers similar factors between other developed properties, and what has worked successfully.

“There’s just too much data there to crunch for one person. When you get software that can go in and say, ‘this I how many things you need to consider with your equation, this I how you need to weight these variables,’ then all of a sudden we have an algorithm,” Copley said. “It can say, ‘these types or properties should probably be developed this way.’ That’s when we start to get some insight.”

Everyhome’s technology is not available to the general public. Aside from setting its sights on cities that could benefit from the service, a few Seattle-area developers have made use of it. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that a large housing data company &#8212 not Zillow &#8212 has also shown interest in using Everyhome.

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