So, Keller Williams is jumping into the iBuyer game — but why? Isn’t a brokerage supposed to be all about its agents? Well, yes. It just so happens that there’s a bright future for agents who can offer iBuyer services.
Although no announcement was publicly made by Keller Williams, Inman recently reported that the real estate giant is entering the iBuyer game.
Why? Because Keller Williams fundamentally believes in arming its business partners with the right tools to thrive in the years ahead as the real estate industry continues to shift.
It is very clear that a percent of consumers want an iBuyer program, so Keller Williams has been behind the scenes testing out a viable model for over a year. What they have found is that there is a lot of confusing data and many iBuyer programs to choose from.
Evolve, but remember what you’re dealing with
As consumers look for faster, more seamless service, this expectation is starting to infiltrate all transactions — homes included. The real estate industry must evolve to meet these new expectations, but we can’t overlook the fact that a home is one of the largest purchases most people will make in their lifetime.
Homebuying and selling is not like buying an InstaPot on Amazon. If your InstaPot arrives broken, if it’s the wrong color or if you just change your mind, you can easily pack it back up, print out a return label and get your money back — all in less than three days.
Can we make the process of buying or selling a home just as fast? Perhaps. Homeownership is still one of the most transformational events in a person’s life. Consumers want (and, dare I say, need) a fiduciary market expert guiding them through the process to ensure they are either taking the right steps toward the right home at the right price for themselves and their family, or selling one of their largest assets.
IBuyers are no threat to quality agents
IBuyers simply present another option for agents to master and present to their customers for consideration. Time and time again, when presented with numerous choices and conflicting data, people have looked to the experts and consultants to help figure things out.
The iBuyer model is not going to eliminate agents, but instead will call for well-educated agent fiduciaries to guide consumers through the crowded iBuyer field. Keller Williams has answered the call; and as it continues to provide the technology, tools and training for real estate professionals to be armed to help their consumers during this next evolution in real estate, the iBuyer program becomes another service option for their agent partners to provide.
I continue to believe that the relationship between the agent and consumer will evolve into a one-stop shop within the next five years. I’m not sure how this will happen, but I’m pretty certain that it will.
A real-world scenario
As an example, Consumer Chloe meets with Rowan, her agent from Keller Williams. Chloe will then engage Rowan to sell her house using an iBuyer platform and buy another home four states away using an interactive digital consumer experience.
Using the same technology, Chloe will then secure a mortgage, title insurance, property insurance, someone to sell the furniture she doesn’t want to take with her, a house cleaner and a moving company — all possibly for one fee. Yes. One fee. One bundled fee.
Did we ever think shipping would be free until Amazon? Well, it’s happening. With this vision in mind, it makes perfect sense that Rowan has the iBuyer program in his tool box. He is able to walk Chloe through the entire process, and all of her available options, and advise her on which one makes the most sense based on her current situation — all while she is traveling cross-country writing her travel food blog.
Agents + iBuyers = A match made in real estate heaven
People want expert advice when faced with major decisions, and agents will continue to transform themselves into higher level fiduciaries.
It is clear that someone is going to Amazon, Netflix and Apple the ever-changing real estate industry. It’s exciting, for sure. But the best play is going to be a program that includes the agent as a fiduciary. I believe that will be the program provided by Keller Williams.
The possibilities are endless when we keep the agent and consumer at the top of the list.
Adam Hergenrother is the Founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies, which includes KW Vermont, Hergenrother Realty Group, BlackRock Construction, Adam Hergenrother Training, and Adam Hergenrother Foundation. Follow him on Instagram.