New technology in the market is nothing new, and REALTORS® need to stay aware of these potential disruptors. Learn more about OpenDoor and Perch, new to the local market, and be prepared to make yourself irreplaceable to your clients by knowing how best to communicate your value to them.
What is OpenDoor?
OpenDoor is an online company that offers home buyers and sellers the option to sell their home online. The home is never listed, sellers receive a cash offer and the company states sellers can avoid months of stress. Potential sellers can enter some details about their home on the website and get an offer in less than 48 hours. Once an offer is accepted by the seller, OpenDoor promises a free assessment of the home, and then the seller gets paid in a matter of days. If repairs are needed, a seller can do them themselves or deduct the costs and OpenDoor will do the work. Once a person sells to them, OpenDoor will handle the maintenance of the home and find the next buyer.
What is Perch?
Perch is an online company that will offer sellers a market-price in 24 hours with the ability to close at any time the seller chooses over the next 14-60 days. Their website states that a traditional home sale can be a long process over several months including multiple showings that can be an inconvenience, making repairs and improvements, and the potential of having to pay a mortgage on two properties if a seller moves into a new home without having sold the first one.
How can REALTORS® stay relevant among these technologies in the market?
Adhere to the Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics is what sets REALTORS® apart from other agents, and when someone is committed to a high standard of care for their clients, those buyers and sellers will want to work with such a professional.
Be prepared to explain the value of using a REALTOR®, then prove it. Know why a REALTOR® cannot be replaced by a website. Be ready to explain clearly the intricacies of home buying and selling, including how a REALTOR® is of value even years after the sale. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases someone can make, and being able to talk with an advocate who has their best interests in mind, and is a local expert, cannot be replaced with data and technology. A REALTOR® will be with a buyer or seller every step of the way, know their highly unique needs, and provide a comfort and objectivity they need when making such a big decision.
Remain educated on the changes in the industry. Make an effort to stay informed of what changes are happening and if there are steps in your personal education you need to take to stay knowledgeable.
Understand that technology is not going away. Regardless of your stance on technology, it’s not going anywhere and people more and more will seek an “easy” way to cut out the stress of home buying and selling. Rather than avoiding it, see if there is a way to incorporate it into your business in a way that makes you more accessible and desirable to your clients.
The bottom line is, it is more important than ever for REALTORS® to be professional, knowledgeable experts in their field. Buyers and sellers will see that value and know that data and technology cannot replace the guidance and objective, emotional support a REALTOR® provides.