It’s no secret that iBuyers are expanding their reach in the real estate market, often causing agents to worry about their place in the industry. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Anthony Lamacchia shares his secrets for working with iBuyers in “Worried about iBuyers? Well they aren’t going away!”
Lamacchia is the broker/owner and CEO of Lamacchia Companies in Boston, Mass. He also owns Lamacchia Property Management, Lamacchia Development and REAL Training Systems Inc. He is an industry expert and is passionate about advocating for real estate-related issues, from distressed homeownership to tax policies. In 2018, Lamacchia was nominated for an industry award for his REAL Training program and expanding platform of “how-to” videos for agents.
In his Secrets webinar, Lamacchia shows what agents and brokers can do to thrive during the growing iBuyer phenomenon and get a cut of the marketing trend.
Why Get Into iBuyer
Lamacchia tells listeners that creating an iBuyer setup as part of the services you offer can give you a big edge in competition. Currently, there is a big appetite for people who want to sell without listing their homes on the open market. It’s important to move in before the big iBuyer companies get to your area so you can be ahead of them.
What You Need to Become an iBuyer
Organizing an iBuyer setup is not right for everyone. The company will need financial backing to be able to sustain it. One of the first things you need to get started is cash to buy the properties. Lamacchia did this by partnering with a hard-money lender, which started with high interest rates, and they funded 80-90 percent of each home purchase.
To work as an iBuyer, companies would also need access to labor and equipment to do minor repairs on the homes. This means you or someone you hire would need to have building or construction experience, as well as contacts to help with the labor and construction. Overall, though, it helps to provide sellers with an option. Lamacchia says that they’re often more interested in acquiring listings than making a profit from flipping a home.
Who Takes the iBuyer Option
According to Lamacchia, the majority of his iBuyer clients fall into two categories: The first are those who have no financial constraints or are willing to take a lower offer; the second are those who want the money from selling their home before buying a new one. These two groups are often more willing to trade money for the convenience of not having to list their home. From a legal aspect, Lamacchia suggests having a form to show sellers how much they’re receiving and how much they’re giving up if they listed on the open market. This ensures there won’t be any surprises at closing.
While some may expect their iBuyer client base to grow exponentially, Lamacchia says this likely won’t be the case. Instead, he notes that there is a massive desire to sell without listing, but a small percentage of people who are actually willing to follow through with it. These sellers are usually more interested in finding out what their home is worth, rather than looking to sell it immediately for cash.
How to Advertise
While there are a number of ways to advertise in real estate, Lamacchia found that TV was the best form of advertising for them. However, he told listeners that they needed to tread lightly, keeping in mind that they’re a brokerage first. He mentioned that outward advertising should be delicate, as they didn’t want to scare away potential clients who want to list with them. Once an interested seller follows their advertising to a landing page, Lamacchia becomes more direct, since those prospects have already demonstrated their interest in selling their homes for cash.
Benefits for Lead Generation
While some may think creating an iBuyer division in their business will only lead to buying homes for cash, Lamacchia says it’s also a great tool for lead generation. Currently, he says that they’re listing about 40 percent of the homes they don’t buy. Since it’s offered as a way for clients to leave their home as it is, avoid any showings and close when they want, it’s an attractive way to meet with someone to discuss their options. If nothing else, offering an iBuyer option can be a tool to get yourself in the door.
To learn more of Lamacchia’s tips, join the Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group here. For more free real estate education, including best practices, visit the Secrets of Top Selling Agents website.
Joe Sesso is an author and national speaker for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.