Placy: An AI Assistant For Real Estate With Flavours Of Fine Wine

by Marios Roussos
Sergey Osipov, founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Placy

Sergey Osipov, founder and Chief Strategy Officer, talks about revolutionising the industry

Can you imagine one day, opening your phone and in a few minutes, having bought a house? This can be true, here in Cyprus with a new startup that takes advantage of cutting-edge technology that uses Artificial Intelligence. But what is quite interesting is that the team behind all this observe that the next decade is a time for personal co-pilots, not websites.

“A big love for big tech sparked Placy into existence” said enthusiastically one of the founders of Placy and Chief Strategy Officer, Sergey Osipov, to The Future. “We, founders, couldn’t sleep well since we met AI in 2023. Such a massive game-changer!” he adds.

The three founders, Mike Vasiliev, Sergey Osipov and Alex Alexeev, all have worked before at CIAN, Eastern Europe’s biggest real estate marketplace, the unicorn ($1,1bn IPO on NYSE in 2021).

“CIAN was great, but the tech held us back. AI suddenly opened the way for a new generation of tools that can double the productivity of a real estate agent. Next generation doesn’t operate a usual site with property listings. It interacts with you as a human, for example, via typical-for-humans WhatsApp or Telegram. This is a paradigm shift, and a chance to create one more unicorn” Osipov claims.

Revolutionising real estate

As he notes the real estate business has a large problem of inefficiency, as practically, the agents lose a portion of calls, they have no time to maintain relationships with the clients, and they struggle with the routine and repetitive tasks that an AI assistant can easily do.

This is where the Placy comes in and aims to automate 1/2 of agents’ work for 1/4 of the usual costs. “Or in other words, agents can close twice as many deals while spending half as much” he highlights.

But, aren’t out there similar real estate platforms or services? Sure, but according to Osipov, Placy is different.

“Think of her as your savvy friend who knows all the property ins and outs—always ready to offer the lowdown on taxes, regulations, or even the best café near your new place. It’s proactive, like a good Cypriot—always where the action is” he says adding that Placy doesn’t compete with property portals. “They haven’t essentially changed for 10 years. They will milk their audience for the next 10 years before leaving the market or transforming into something else” he admits.

Meet Placy
Meet Placy

As simply, Osipov puts it “The next decade is a time of personal co-pilots, not websites”.

“People are used to passive voice assistants like Siri or Cortana that respond only when asked. AI opens a new era of proactive assistants that will cooperate rather than assist, automating more and more human functions” he explains.

Placy’s team builds such Intelligent Assistants and the industry’s first platform where AI Assistants team up with Real Estate Professionals, as he reflects.

A souvlaki mix

For Mr Osipov to explain how the technology behind Placy works, and its natural language processing and how it continues to improve over time, he goes a little bit to a… Greek cuisine.

Imagine a souvlaki mix: every spice matters. Placy’s tech is similar: a mix of psyche-profiling, machine learning, and a pinch of proprietary secrets that help it understand accents from Patras to Protaras  

But then he explains in more formal and technical ways that Placy, integrates ChatGPT’s AI with their specialized language models, trained on the property topics, for a seamless hyper-personalized experience.

“We index local classifieds, developers’ sites, state registers, maps etc. We manually put more than 1000 typical questions to the Placy’s knowledge base (for example, how to obtain the residence permit via buying a house). She’s continuously training on this data. So, she can provide you with cool insights in minutes in 50 languages. And she’s constantly evolving—give it a query, and she learns to respond better each time” he highlighted.

Cyprus is different

The pilot program is scheduled to launch in Cyprus and then in Greece. But what makes Cyprus so important is something that came up after the team analysed 20 countries.

Mr Osipov listed the following for Cyprus’s uniqueness:  

  • Low-tech competition and a growing, but fragmented, real estate market,
  • 46% of deals by international buyers (hi, multilingual Placy),
  • Legal/tax heaven for global biz + government perks for IT, 
  • Bonus point: it’s been my home for 9 years, and I’m a half-Cypriot.

“Small island is good for a modest MVP test budget. And our Cypriot team can easily handle Greece, testing the geo-expansion workflow. Then the seed round and the global launch. That’s the plan” he disclosed.

More deals

The team also uses GDPR in their recipe to make sure the platform is safe and following all the legal rules, local or global.

The biggest challenge they faced in developing Placy, was “convincing real estate pros that AI isn’t here to take their jobs, but to assist them make more deals in the same working time”.

At this point, the team can only imagine the user journey “Picture this: a young agent connects Placy Pro to his WhatsApp Business account and doubles his property sales to Arabian and Chinese clients. Or a British expat finds her dream seaside villa without stepping foot in Cyprus. That’s Placy at work—turning complex quests into simple chats on your phone”.

Startup World Cup Cyprus

Be like Odysseus

His mantra is “Navigate like Odysseus, adapt like a chameleon”. He also claims that that he is not a natural writer but blogging through telegram, surprisingly was an effective way to connect with everyone from potential team members to investors

“We, Placy’s founders, believe that a good product should truly resonate with a particular community, not just us. So, I started a blog, sharing AI and PropTech insights, and our successes and failures. My Telegram channel subscribers are like our social partners, our alarm when we do wrong, our fun club when we do right. Check out “Placy AI Startup Insights”:” he shared. “And cheers to transforming challenges into opportunities!”.

For the future, Mr Osipov imagines making Placy better and tasteful like fine wine. “We take every bit of feedback, every user journey, and fold it back into making Placy better—smoother, smarter, more intuitive, to make real estate transactions as smooth and delightful as a fine Commandaria wine from the Troodos mountains​​”.


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