Catch Up On The Latest In the World of iBuying During COVID-19
When the real estate industry was first introduced to iBuying back in 2014, Opendoor championed a new idea catered to a niche market: iBuying. With the rise of contactless customer service on the rise pre-coronavirus, the idea of a customer base that didn’t want any personal interaction was beginning to take shape.
“We’re working to take the pain and hassle out of the conventional home transaction,” said Beatrice de Jong, a consumer trends expert for Opendoor.
If consumer trends shift more towards a model of fast and contactless transactions, then many iBuying companies will need to rethink their models as well. Currently, most iBuying company’s markets are wealthier individuals, who don’t have the time to always see a home in person. These individuals also do not mind to miss out on potential money from a home transaction, whereas most homeowners are looking to capitalize on home renovations for a higher ROI.
iBuying Forecast Through COVID-19
As we all figure out a new normal way of living with social distancing guidelines, the idea of iBuying seems more relevant than ever. But will it catch on? Major players in the iBuying scene are doubling down on their initial investment after a brief hiatus due to COVID-19. Opendoor, Redfin, Zillow, and Offerpad have all announced that they will resume offering cash to homeowners looking to sell their homes quickly and without stress. With homeowner activity rekindling throughout the country, a fast and hassle-free home sale might be the deal many are looking for. This resurgence of interest in iBuying is largely backed by homeowners’ desperation to sell and move, possibly due to unemployment or other COVID-19-related issues.
Many within the real estate industry are eager for this surge to settle and for normal real estate activity to continue. The CEO of Zillow, Rich Barton, led the company’s quarterly earnings call this week and said he sees this as just the beginning. "This is a tectonic shift that we expect to play out for years to come."
What Does This Mean for Arizona iBuying?
Phoenix continues to be the top market for iBuying throughout the country. Don’t expect to see iBuying fizzle out as real estate business begins to resume. For instance, Offerpad has recently worked with HealthyVerity, a service that develops health and safety protocols for businesses, to create new procedures to reduce the risk of transmission in the home-shopping process. Offerpad is also rolling out virtual and video chat tours of its homes. In cases where a buyer needs to tour a home in person, Offerpad-owned homes will be sanitized and vacant, the company said.
Ultimately, iBuying companies need to show their relevance to homeowners now more than ever. By listening to their wants and needs and breaking the stereotype of serving a wealthy niche market, iBuying can take advantage of a newfound opportunity.
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