'iBuyers', the unintentional genre created by Open Door founder Eric Wu in 2014, brings a flood of emotions to Realtors world wide just by saying the word itself. It's a love hate relationship. Some emotions are positive, and some, not so positive. So what is actually happening behind the scenes and how do you compete and WIN with your Sphere of Influence...your Sphere of Income?
Believe me, there's nothing I want less than a corporation, a hedge fund, or Wall Street moneys grabbing hold of the database my agents have built over decades and intentionally removing my agent's commissions. But...here's the thing! Consumer direct companies have changed how we shop and moreover, how we think, and therefore, how we behave as buyers of any product. We HAVE BEEN living in a consumer driven market where "give it to me now" and convenience have driven the economy to shift, seen most notably in December 2016 when UPS and FedEx experienced an overwhelming surge of online shopping and shipping from Amazon and other national retailers. Because the enormity of snow and ice storms across the country the first week of December kept consumers inside their houses on the busiest holiday shopping weekend, both UPS and FedEx had millions of additional and unplanned packages that poured into from their retail giants. Obviously this upset their planned 'peak' package management, and thus, upset the holiday consumer with major delivery delays. Every year since, retailers plan more wisely, understanding the newly adopted buyer behavior.
It's not just retailers - since the start of Zillow in 2006, consumer direct demand has given life to iBuyers like Open Door, Offerpad, Zillow Offers, RedfinNow, Perch, Knock, Zavvie, Ribbon, Keller Williams Offers, Coldwell Banker Catalist, and so on who aren't only looking for fixer uppers or distressed sellers - they're wanting to help the consumer right where they are. Simple and easy home selling / home buying experience. The increase in LOCAL iBuyers has exploded all across the country with their 1000+member Facebook investor pages - all of this because of the iSellers' willingness to sacrifice payoff for convenience. That's just a simple fact whether you're shopping for a shoe, a computer, a car or a house. It's our REALITY in the real estate industry and we're not really dealing with it so well.
So, what EXPECTATIONS should we have of these 'iBuyers' and most importantly, what expectations should we have of the people we know, who already know, like and trust us to facilitate their home buying and home selling needs?
1. iBuyers are NOT going away...but neither is the real estate agent! The one thing iBuyers cannot do, the most important thing WE do as real estate professionals, is exercise a fiduciary responsibility to put first our clients' best interests, no matter where they want to travel on this consumer direct pathway! Remember, all of us drove this consumer direct pathway, but as the best in the business, we need to be guiding our sphere through education, along the optional paths they can take in selling their home.
2. Assume and Presume nothing with your clients! It's important we ask the right questions and have a willingness to listen to the answers with an open mind. Remember what it's like emotionally to be a consumer. You don't know their values at the time of listing, until you ask with no expectations.
Here are my 3 most important steps to take to compete and win!
1. ASK THE QUESTION - "What is your perception about your options for selling?"
2. USE THE OPTION TRIANGLE to determine your seller's preference. If they select convenience as the most important thing to them, pull out the iBuyer offers you requested before the listing appointment.
3. SHARE the iBuyer vs Traditional listing net proceeds comparison from your Palm Agent app so the seller knows what the true convenience fee is to them. (See your FNF title company sales executive if you don't have it.) LawyersAgent, FidelityAgent, AlamoAgent, ChicagoAgent, AustinAgent, etc.
The whole point of this exercise, is to be THE ONE they can depend on to tell them about iBuyers and what their options are. Be transparent - keep your fiduciary duty - and keep the relationship!
*For more information on Open Door, their process, the details in the 'service fees', and partnership with Realtors, watch my YouTube video interview of Nima K, one of the Agent Growth Managers
for Open Door.
Just click on my picture below.