OpinionTechnology

What’s happening behind the curtain of Zillow Instant Offers

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Zillow’s announcement about its Instant Offers program was a big deal. I think it will be remembered as a moment in real estate history when the industry veered in a new direction, not something scary, but instead the catalyst for a shift in focus and new thinking around how people sell their homes. During the week, some funny and interesting stuff (gossip, in some cases) happened behind the curtain. Here are a few of my riffs. Opendoor shivering in its boots? Hardly Last Friday, oddly enough, I was touring Opendoor’s San Francisco digs with founder Eric Wu at about the time that Inman got wind of the Zillow announcement. I was blown away by some of the stuff Opendoor is working on, like room sensors that track visitors to make tours safe for sellers and agents, but easy for DIY buyers to see homes at any time of day (and part of the night -- their open houses run from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) This company, a hotshot startup infused with Wu’s humility, is hiring supe...