Are You an iAgent? How to be an Innovative Agent in the Age of iBuyers

Blockbuster

Toys R' Us

Blackberry

Amazon

Netflix

What do those names mean to you?  



In a conversation on innovation, you may recognize Amazon's and Netflix's innovation to make life easier for consumers.  Remember when we had to mail videos to Netflix before streaming?  I am so thankful for their continued innovation, Honey!  With Amazon, notice how 1-day delivery (now including even groceries) is spoiling us.  I know some of you cannot remember the last time you physically went to a store because I sure do not.  Whereas, with Blockbuster, Blackberry and Toys R' Us you may recognize they were too little, too late to the innovation party.

Can that happen to real estate agents and traditional firms?  Honestly, we should be too busy focused on innovating to worry about extinction.  Fearing the future can actually stymie our growth and thereby existence more than simply focusing on taking better care of our clients.

So in an iBuyer ("i" standing for "instant" not "internet", y'all) world, how can we take better care of our valued buyers and sellers since there is a growing need for speed?  I am glad you asked!  Let's pull back the curtain of just two companies and what they are doing to help agents put customer wants first (there are many I know but this is not supposed to be a graduate dissertation tee-hee).





IN-HOUSE INNOVATOR EXAMPLE

Since the summer, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE) Metro Brokers has been fusing their well-known name  with the individual personalization offered by traditional real estate agents (because sometimes real estate buyers and sellers just need and want hand-holding) and the instant, guaranteed offers of the iBuyer models, which is relevant when cash fast matters more than losing equity.   Examples of needing money quick include medical bills, divorces, job transitions/lose, custody battles, and the like.  And if a client is embarrassed, that client may not readily divulge this, making the anonymity of an online website giving an instant offer so very attractive.

Knowing these customer dynamics, Craig McClelland, vice-president and COO of BHGRE Metro Brokers, decided:

 ...to become an iBuyer aggregator. We have tools and resources to educate the consumer on how selling to Zillow, OpenDoor or OfferPad would look. (We) have a CMA tool for the agent and a submission platform. Once submitted by the agent, my staff generate(s) the offers for my agents. Agents present the offer to the seller, keeping the agent in control.  We started two months ago and have generated over 500 offers. We now automatically generate offers on every listing that qualifies for an offer. #GiveTheCustomerService!


Did you catch that McClelland said, "keeping the agent in control"?  That's it!  Make no mistake -- it is not about controlling people (no cults here) but it is about ensuring our voices are not muted as this trend catches on more through emotionally appealing marketing that may undermine the sage wisdom real estate professionals bring to conversations.  We are the Yodas of real estate and we should absolutely stay in front of this conversation.
A peak at the door-knockers BHGRE Metro Broker's uses to promote Instant Move



A peak inside of BHGRE Metro Broker's Instant Move


A peak inside of BHGRE Metro Broker's Instant Move


Well, that is easy!  Is your firm doing something similar?  You may need to ask to find out because there are several firms that see the "handwriting on the wall" and are making money moves to provide an edge for you.







EXTERNAL INNOVATOR EXAMPLE


If you have confirmed your firm has not yet embraced iBuying yet, then there are external tools that can be used to supplement the great resources you know, love, and use at your current firm.  One such site is the recently launched OfferBarn.com.


OfferBarn.com Website Screenshot


OfferBarn is self-described as:



A concierge service available to real estate agents at any brokerage that helps them obtain offers for their clients' homes from the iBuyers that work with agents. In today's market, iBuyers are giving sellers many new choices. In order to stay relevant and truly represent their clients, agents need to acknowledge all of the options that are available to their sellers. That's why we built OfferBarn -- to help agents gather that information, build relationships, and give their clients all the options to consider in one convenient, simple place. Everyone wins. Most clients still choose to list their homes, but many of them are investigating iBuyer options before making that decision.



Notice OfferBarn said, "...many of them are investigating iBuyer options..."  To make this more real for you, 40% of sellers in the Phoenix market (which is where iBuying was birthed 5 years ago) seek out and opt for iBuyer quotes.  I repeat -- in 5 years of iBuying being in a market, 40% of sellers WANT at least a quote from iBuyers.  That is huge in terms of lead generation and being the information gatekeepers.  Do not fixate on the stat that less than 7% of closed transactions include an iBuyer company because that number does not reflect referrals from them to their partner agents (again, notice who is keeping the information) nor the realty firms that have embraced the iBuyer model or something similar with guaranteed offers.   



OfferBarn's leadership (experienced real estate pros Doug Adams, Scott Martineau, and Lisa Rakestraw) hopes to help keep you in this lead funnel that has an obvious growing demand.  And if you are in any market outside of Phoenix (where this trend is even newer) you truly have an opportunity to be a frontrunner in gaining market share.  Translation this equals leads, leads and more leads.



Adams of OfferBarn explained, "As agents, we took our initial frustrations at the iBuyer trend and have channeled it into a product that we think will truly help agents stay relevant, better serve their clients, and generate more business."



Adams summarized OfferBarn's key differentiator, "Designed by experienced agents for all agents to use".  Don't miss that: iBuying FOR agents BY agents.  Game CHANGED!



Curious about OfferBarn? Since this is one of my newest, favorite things and 'tis the season for giving, in my Orpah voice, I proclaim "you get a week and you get a week... you all get a week!" Get a free 7-day trial by emailing support@offerbarn.com and mention you are a #LearnWithDrLee Reader.  As always, no kickbacks to me just the satisfaction of knowing you are winning.  And if you try it out, please comment below or message me and share how it is helping you.  



Here's to your success!





Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or by visiting LearnWithDrLee.com.  



Want more of the best practices of our nation's top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality and, the classic, 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Or, get your "training on" with these on-demand classes.  #LearnWithDrLee
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