With iBuyers accounting for just more than 1 percent of the total home sales in 2021, is it safe to say the iBuyer era is official?
Yes and no.
Without knowing what percentage of sales officially kick off an “era,” the industry should at least accept that even despite Zillow’s departure from the sector, it remains a compelling consumer option.
And speaking of options, a number of technology companies have emerged to help buyers and agents understand how an institutional homebuyer fits in among traditional sales. And typically, when third-party innovations surface to support a business niche, it’s usually a good sign that it may soon become more than a niche.
While Inman has talked plenty about iBuying in general, there hasn’t been as much news shared about the tools helping buyers sort through all the new ways they have to sell. So here’s a breakdown of solutions that do just that.
Read the Inman Review
Zoodealio is a cool, creative company blending technical expertise with market savvy to help buyers navigate the menagerie of the modern market. It provides multiple channels for the consumer, but starts the experience with the agent through their own iBuyer landing page.
Agents can walk their sellers through the Multi Offer Dashboard, essentially an illustrative breakdown of cash offer options, including their own buying program, and those from the likes of OpenDoor, OfferPad, etc., alongside traditional deals. Agents need merely to enter a few details to generate a side-by-side look.
Zoodealio can help listing agents win new business and gives them an informed resource for new ways to sell a home.
Price: $88/month; $399/month for teams; $749/month for 50+ users
Read the Inman Review
Reviewed initially under its early brand, OfferBarn, the company now called WyzeGyde, was an early entry, if not first, in this category.
Its approach is more bottom-line driven, and the company markets itself as a net-sheet solution. It centers its value proposition on a very sharp financial breakdown of how much a seller will net after every offer available is considered. I argue that’s all any seller really wants.
Sellers not thrilled with their open market options can activate a tool to retrieve iBuyer offers, it’s called Offer Fetch.
I noted in my review that “users can customize landing pages, which include analytics tools, to help capture seller information with valuations appeals,” and that users “can also populate sharp-looking property detail cards to share on social and personal networks.”
And like Zoodealio, WyzeGyde was founded by agents.
Price: $Free for single users; $19/month for Pro account; call for team pricing
The “Kayak of iBuyers” is quickly working its way into some of the more notable brokerages within the industry.
Zavvie’s Offer Optimizer provides its customers with a white-labeled web interface that lets sellers access offers from popular iBuyers, giving brokerages a better chance at keeping their leads’ business and strengthening their brand by ensuring their sellers are aware of all options.
“This upgraded Offer Optimizer Suite, with its clean user interface and streamlined instant offer generator form, lets home sellers evaluate their options and potential proceeds with the push of a few buttons,” Lane Hornung, CEO and co-founder of zavvie, said in a statement.
Easy Street Offers
Easy Street Offers positions itself as a way to help agents compete with iBuyers. The premise is to use its offers, in a way, against them. It’s not nefarious in any way, it’s actually quite clever. It can become a valuable lead source.
The software encourages potential sellers to submit their information to the agent using Easy Street Offers, who solicits iBuyers for an offer and within a couple of days returns with a formal offer presentation. At no point is the seller pressured to accept; rather, the lower price of most scenarios often leads them to work with a traditional agent. Ultimately, it’s another good way to show to people what today’s innovation-rich market is making possible.
As the Inman Handbook on Making Sense of iBuying states, the market is largely dominated by three players, Opendoor, Offerpad and Redfin.
But a number of big brand and independent brokerages, as well as alternative homebuying platforms, are offering their own programs, as are private investors in various pockets around the country. And don’t forget Power Buyers, which are helping buyers become increasinglybuy more competitive.
Thus, the market is growing muddled, and agents now more than ever need to help their clients know what’s out there.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe