Real estate in the 2020s marks a shift from fear and disruption to embracing opportunities based on both competition and collaboration. iBuying is the leading example.
Brokerages shouldn’t fear iBuyers; they should embrace them. Savvy brokerages understand the opportunities that iBuyers provide agents. By offering all options to agents’ selling clients, they are giving sellers what they want and remaining at the center of the transaction.
iBuyers are “unsticking” homeowners who would not have sold otherwise. At a conservative 5 percent marketshare, iBuying will generate a $3 billion gross commission income (GCI) opportunity.
That’s because while two in five homeowners say they would “consider” an iBuyer offer, almost all of them (92 percent) still want to be represented by a REALTOR®, according to a study by the Houston Association of REALTORS®.
The $3 billion opportunity doesn’t include the additional business that iBuying will generate. Remember, the vast majority of homeowners who request an iBuyer offer are choosing to sell on the open market.
How do you, as a brokerage, get in the iBuyer game?
Agents Need More Than a Script
Let’s be clear: Providing your agents with scripts is not an iBuyer strategy.
I can speak to this firsthand as a broker/owner of 8z Real Estate in Colorado, which did more than $1 billion in transactions last year with a team of 150 agents. Arming your agents with talking points that are defensive against iBuying will erode the trust your clients have in you and your agents.
The best strategy in real estate is always to give your clients what they want. Instead of fighting iBuying, 8z co-opted it. We grew our business by 19 percent year-over-year, even though transaction sides in our market fell by 3 percent. We know from our own experience that the iBuyer opportunity is huge.
That’s why zavvie, the technology firm we spun off from our 8z real estate experience, created the industry’s first iBuyer platform for brokerages. zavvie is the middleware that links iBuyers and brokerages, connecting agents with their clients. We are the unbiased facilitator at the center of the iBuyer-brokerage/agent-consumer relationship.
zavvie’s growth is exploding—we have quadrupled the number of agents we serve in the last six months, and now have more than 25,000 agents on custom broker-branded versions of our platform. zavvie is helping leading brokerages around the country, from the top-ranked brokerages in the Carolinas, Tampa, Houston, Dallas and Nashville to the fastest-growing residential real estate brokerages in Northern California, Nevada, Jacksonville and San Antonio, roll out their iBuyer solution.
Welcome to Real Estate 2.0 and the Dawn of the First-Time Seller
iBuying is at the heart of real estate 2.0. Real estate 1.0 was all about search and display to generate internet buyer leads. These were nice-to-have features for brokerages, not a make-or-break.
Real estate 2.0 is about sellers. Today, about nine in 10 sellers hire professional real estate agents, more than when the internet began impacting our industry.
iBuying is fueling the hottest opportunity ahead: serving the first-time seller. We will have record numbers of first-time sellers—boomers, Gen Xers and millennials—coming into the market in this decade.
The zavvie iBuyer platform serves this market perfectly. It is a full solution designed to allow agents to do what they do best: present all selling options to clients and be the professional advisor and advocate that sellers need and want.
zavvie does the heavy lifting, with a blend of people and technology that delivers an iBuyer strategy for savvy brokers. If you are a broker/owner looking to expand your market opportunity, let’s connect. Learn more at zavvie.com.
Lane Hornung is a founder of zavvie and broker/owner of 8z Real Estate in Colorado. A Stanford engineer, early internet pioneer and former agent, Hornung flew Cobra helicopters in the USMC, was a “Good to Great” (Jim Collins) researcher, and is a RE/MAX Hall of Famer.