By Alex Camelio
I recently ran a poll in our Facebook group about iBuyers, and most agents who responded said that direct buyers and iBuyers haven’t made a big difference in their businesses. However, nearly 40 per cent of consumers would consider an iBuyer offer. That means that while you may not be feeling the power of the big money behind iBuyer models, it’s there and those cash offers and quick transactions that iBuyers offer represent a never-before-seen change in the industry.
I’ve talked to quite a few agents about this, and their responses to this change seem to be across the board. From, “They’re going to destroy the industry” at one end of the spectrum all the way to “They’ve helped me make a bunch of money” at the other end and everything in between.
I wanted to find out exactly what’s changing, and what that means for you as a real estate agent, so I went directly to an agent who is working with iBuyers to make himself and his team more money. To help us get the facts straight we have a special interview with Kenny Klaus – a top-performing real estate agent and team leader in Phoenix who has successfully incorporated iBuyers into his business.
Don’t have time for the full interview? Here are five points you shouldn’t miss.
1. iBuyers = cash offers.
At the core, iBuyers give home sellers direct access to cash (or immediate) offers for their home. So treat them just like you have a handful of investors in your back pocket – because you do! Just because a seller can get a cash offer doesn’t mean they want to replace their trusted advisor. If anything, sellers want their trusted advisor to educate them about all of their home-selling options, and that should definitely include an immediate offer, even if it’s not the one they decide to go with. If you don’t tell them this option is available and they find out on their own, you’re going to lose credibility and may even look like you’re hiding something.
2. Get educated.
Kenny made a great comment during our interview: “Don’t let them eat your lunch. Go eat lunch with them.” iBuyers are becoming an important part of the market and it doesn’t look like they’ll be going anywhere anytime soon. Agents that are embracing the change have been able to make more money by working with iBuyers, instead of against them. When you can’t fight ‘em, join them! So take some time to meet any iBuyers who are working in your area.
3. Face it head on.
When Kenny and his agents started bringing up iBuyers in their listing presentations, sellers would often go get the print-out for the immediate offers they had already received online. What’s worse is in some situations we’ve heard about sellers not working with an agent because they had already received an offer online and the agent didn’t even bring it up as an option. Instead of trying to hide iBuyers from consumers, your best bet is to make them part of your process and discuss them directly and honestly (see Takeaway #1).
4. “Offer conversations” instead of listing presentations.
Within Kenny’s team, they’ve changed their approach from using a classic listing presentation to what he calls an “offer conversation.” They’re able to use immediate offers from iBuyers as part of the discussion for selling a home. Then, after presenting the available offers he also discusses the other options for listing the home and what might be best for the seller. This is a great way to both position yourself as an expert and differentiate yourself from other agents in your market.
5. Sellers are buyers.
In many cases, people selling their home also need to purchase another home. Whether or not they’re using an iBuyer to sell their home, you have an opportunity to work with them on multiple deals. Don’t forget that!