Just as predictive analytics can entice Amazon customers into additional purchases and Microsoft, armed with Big Data, can predict pancreatic cancer diagnoses from web searches, mortgage lenders can use similar tools to zero in on likely future borrowers.

One such tool, SmartZip, is used by about 3,500 real estate professionals. The predictive marketing software for real estate is at least two times better at picking homeowners who will need a real estate agent than choosing potential clients at random, the Pleasanton, Calif., company claims.

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