Keeping up with iBuying Services

With instant-offer home listing services like Opendoor and Redfin part of the mix, you may be considering new ways to integrate technology and ala carte services in your business. Although not every seller will want to use this type of tool, there are sellers who opt for the instantaneous, so it’s best you’re aware of this new trend. Here’s what you need to know about iBuying services.

Getting on Board

You may have seen signs at busy intersections that say, “Sell your house for cash NOW” or commercials about companies that will buy a sellers’ home in any condition. These are tactics that have been around for many years, but more recently companies are utilizing new technologies to leverage them. One notable real estate agency that has tapped into this trend is Austin, Texas-based Keller Williams Realty. Although they are currently launching the “Keller Offers” service only within the Dallas-Fort Worth market, they plan to expand the program to nearly eight other major markets by the end of 2019.

While officials at Keller Williams say the share of sellers who use the iBuyer method is roughly 10 percent of all sellers, it serves as a vital addition for agents to offer this unique service to their sellers.

How to Stand Out

Some services, like Opendoor, utilize their own home valuation analytics software in which an instant offer is made based off the estimation. The Keller Williams service goes a step further, offering an agent to both act as a trusted guide through the process and take into account the characteristics of a house that an analytic home valuation software may miss. This means that not only are agents providing a helping hand in a process that can be confusing for sellers, but also personal touch is key in not only standing out but also creating an agent-seller relationship that may turn into more referrals.

Sellers that use these instant-offers services are often those with an urgent need to move, perhaps prompted by a recent job relocation. Another major group of users of these services are those looking to flip a property.

Agents Are Still Needed

The technology that comes with iBuyer services often utilizes algorithms and local market data as indicators for price points. Although these programs are becoming more prevalent, the role of an agent is still ever-present. Most sellers will need an experts’ advice in the selling process on what is truly a good offer and what is subpar.

In any situation that your seller may be in, having these additional services as a part of your business operations is key in giving your clients a variety of choices. Moreover, the use of more technology is a necessary step in being more tech-savvy and able to open more communication channels with potential clients. To learn more on better serving your sellers, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our “Representing Sellers” course.

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AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. For a 7-day free trial sign up here.

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning.

Opening Your Own Brokerage in 3 Steps

Increased earning potential, financial freedom and control over their vision of business are the main reasons real estate agents start their own brokerage. However, there are a lot of challenges associated with starting and running your own brokerage. It means more work for you, at least at first, and more risk. So, you have to be certain your reasons for hanging your own sign are the right ones.

How Do You Know If You’re Ready?

But if you plan properly and employ the right business model, owning a brokerage may be right for you. In this blog you’ll learn how to determine if you’re ready to open your own brokerage. If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, ‘Are you ready to open your own brokerage?’

Before reviewing the steps of the planning and transition process, think about what you can confidently take on and where you may need some help. These are important things to consider before you decide to go out on your own.

Ask Yourself These Questions

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you understand the financial and personal risks, and are you willing to accept them?
  • Do you feel confident that you can manage and run all aspects of your own business?
  • Have you put your financial plan together? Do you have enough capital to support your efforts?
  • Do you have the right people lined up to join your business? If not, do you have a recruiting plan?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you could be a good candidate to open your own brokerage. But there is a lot that you need to know before you do.

#1. Have an Exit Strategy

Make sure you account for potential practical, political and emotional issues when leaving your current business. You’ll still need a strong professional network once you open your brokerage, so make sure you don’t burn any bridges during the transition.

Along with an exit plan, you’ll need to write up your plan for the new business.

What will the process be? Who do you need to speak with, and when? How will your current brokerage react? How will you handle any sales that are currently in process? Does your brokerage have your database, and do they have the right to use it after you leave? What if other agents want to leave with you? Where will your new office be? Would your new office be in direct competition with your current office? What are your obligations to the brokerage, the managing broker and other agents in the office?

#2. What Will Your Business Model Look Like?  

Begin by deciding on a business model. What specialties will you offer? How many agents will work with your brokerage? How will the brokerage support them?  Outline the roles you will play, as well as any additional responsibilities you’ll have to take on. Figure out which roles you need to hire for. Use technology to help fill in the services you lose by separating from your old brokerage. Draw up a transition plan for your team that details how workflow will continue through the changeover.

#3. Become an Expert on Your Financials

Nothing can happen until all the financial pieces are in place, so you’ll need to be an expert on your budget. Opening your own brokerage will require a financial investment. Can you fund the start-up costs on your own or will you need to borrow capital? What about investors?

Many businesses fail because they are under-capitalized. Make certain that you have enough capital to manage startup costs. Plan to cover operating expenses with savings for at least six months, including rent and utilities. You’ll need to budget for office equipment and marketing expenses. Make sure to include insurance costs for your business, fees for any online services you use, membership fees and other miscellaneous items.

To learn more about the financials needed to launch your own brokerage as well as your next steps, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course titled, ‘Are you ready to open your own brokerage?

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AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. For a 7-day free trial sign up here.

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning.