3 Reasons To Work With & Not Against The Big Three iBuyers

Sponsored Content by iReal Estate Pro
Written by iReal Estate Pro Founder Dan Noma Jr.

3 Reasons To Work With & Not Against The Big Three iBuyers

I have been focused on working with iBuyers since they entered my market almost 8 years ago, concentrating on testing their new tools and technologies. Previously, I was the instant offer buyer in my market. Agents and home sellers would contact me, and I would provide them an as-is offer on their property. The model worked great; until it didn’t. Since then, I have been focused on ways I can leverage the iBuyer model in my business and create a better experience for my clients along the way. As a broker, I feel like it’s my responsibility to make sure my agents have the tools they need to succeed. I prefer to stand by my mantra that “any set of circumstances can be leveraged for individual or collective gain; if viewed masterfully.” Change is inevitable. I want to be in front of it. Working with the giants of the iBuyer industry has been a ton of fun. Once I realized how much better the experience was for my clients, I had to share. Let me be clear, I am NOT an iBuyer nor do I work for one. I am simply a broker who believes in our industry, but I’m worried about the future if we don’t make significant changes in our business right away.

1. Your clients are going without you.

Yep, yea… I know you are saying to yourself, “not mine.” Well, I have news for you; they are. Our industry is plagued with agents looking out for their own self-interest and for that we have all been lumped into a box right next to used car salesmen. Your clients' passion for you and your snazzy lifestyle videos on Facebook keep them entertained, but when it comes down to it, money talks.

In 2018, a former employee of one of the big three iBuyer companies shared with me that 78% of home sellers went to their website first and requested an offer before contacting their agent. Because I’m a geek, I asked how this was measured. He said they tracked all the property submissions on their site to new MLS listings day-over-day. I was blown away by this statistic and had to find out more. I started to survey our own home sellers for 120 straight days and found the data to be staggering. Most of the people we surveyed told us that prior to listing, they had checked with one of the major iBuyer websites and requested an offer before calling us. Even more staggering, we found that when they called us, they were undecided on whether to accept the iBuyer offer or list in the traditional market. Then the light bulb moment occurred, I realized that consumers liked the convenience of the iBuyer offer, but were not yet certain if they trusted the offer or the firm making the offer. Before deciding, they needed contact with a real estate professional.

The iBuyer option is not for every customer, that would be silly to think that. However, convenience is king. If we can become a one-stop trusted shop of information for our clients, we stay in the game. By bringing the iBuyer options with us to each appointment, we can help the consumer eliminate doubt, create certainty, and build credibility by being transparent. If we suggest to a consumer that they shouldn’t go the iBuyer route, we immediately lose credibility. If we bring the option and let them decide what's best, we win. Oh, and we get paid! If they go direct to an iBuyer without us and we’ve failed to present the possibility, our credibility is questioned, and we risk losing them in iBuyer land forever.

2. iBuyers are bigger & working smarter than us.

One of the great American architects and inventors, Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” See, technology has no end. It’s simply a tug of war on who has the best mousetrap at the time a person needs it. That is what makes technological change in real estate so beautiful, it won’t ever end.

The big tech firms and iBuyers are simply outplaying us. They saw an opportunity to take advantage of an antiquated industry and feed off consumer stress points. If they can solve the stress points, they can increase their volume of transactions with OUR customers. They are playing for keeps too, they aren't playing the short game. We can talk in another article about how “iBuyers aren't making money,” but for the sake of this discussion, let's assume I am right and they have enough money to be wrong for a while. It’s simple to raise millions for a “bad idea.” It’s going to be virtually impossible for these giants to raise billions of dollars on bad ideas. iBuying is a good idea and the big financial markets have spoken. They are here to stay.

How many of you have over 400 software engineers studying and analyzing each email or keystroke in every step of your process? iBuyers are bigger because they have financial backing that is equal to or greater than the GDP of many small countries. Also, they are smarter because they are willing to risk it all to put control into the consumer’s hands. They recognize that the consumer is no longer taking things at face value. Consumers have access to unlimited information and iBuyers are providing those consumers with a better option.

This sounds bad, right? Actually, this is good news for us. As the big iBuyers get bigger, better, smarter, and stronger, one fact remains: They aren’t YOU! You have one advantage they don’t have. You have the power to bring more value to your clients by presenting all available options. You can bring your traditional sale options to the table alongside iBuying options, and in each case, you get paid. Bringing options presents the consumer with a much more convenient and unbiased one-stop solution. You are the ultimate aggregator of information and iBuyers will never be able to beat you there.

3. iBuyers make our jobs easier.

Traditionally speaking our job is hard. We have to be a marketer, a CRM, a showing agent, a salesperson, an operations coordinator, an attorney, a closing consultant, and more! You know your listing timeline, how long does this process take from beginning to end? Could you use more time to create efficiencies in your business?

So, put your feet up and let the process of elimination drive. We are all taught this method as kids in grammar school. Our teacher taught us to narrow our options until we have the best two and focus on those until we arrive at the right answer. The same methodology holds true now that our customers have selling options virtually everywhere. Instead of having to invest billions to compete with the iBuyer, simply leverage what they have already created. What if you were to bring a comparison of all the available options in the market to your client and compare those value propositions to the traditional sale? Consumers are educated on their options and can make a much easier decision with all the cards in front of them.

If the seller selects the traditional option, you have to continue to sharpen your saw and execute a sale for them. If your customer selects an iBuyer option, your workload just got reduced significantly. The iBuyer will handle all the paperwork, inspections, and even coordinate the closing. Meanwhile, you aren't spending time marketing or sitting at open houses on behalf of the listing, you can focus your time on the next transaction. See the win here for us is time — we can win some time back and eliminate consumer doubt by bringing the options to our clients and letting the process drive. Make your life easier and gain some time back to sharpen and educate yourself on building a better mousetrap.

Again, I am not an iBuyer. I’m not even advocating for iBuyers or technology. You have an opportunity to look at all of this one of two ways. First, you can shift. You can choose to believe we as an industry have an opportunity to use some awesome tools and options to offer our consumers and the ability to learn about them in detail to better serve our clients. Second, you can choose to ignore the change. Charles Darwin summed it up best when he said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” There's no question that the iBuyer is here to stay and that the iBuyer has the consumer's eye, so why not give it a shot and see for yourself?

About the Author

Dan Noma Jr.

Dan Noma, Jr. is the designated broker of Venture REI, a full-service real estate brokerage firm that specializes in commercial and residential investment properties, and founder and CEO of iReal Estate Pro. The son of a builder and developer, real estate runs in Noma’s blood. He is recognized as one of the state’s leading real estate brokers and is ranked among the top five residential agents in Arizona by the Phoenix Business Journal. In 2013 and 2014, he also was named “40 Under 40” by the Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors and named as one of Arizona Republic’s “35 Entrepreneurs Under 35” in 2016.


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