iBuyers, Real Estate Agents and Amrock at Inman Connect 2019
The future of real estate agents was a powerful theme at Inman Connect 2019, a “weeklong exploration of the present and future of the industry,” which took place at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas from July 22 – 26. The word of the event seemed to be “iBuyers” – specifically the rise of these new technology-driven, algorithmic, instant home offers, and where conventional real estate agents fit within this disruptive product.
Eric Kushner, VP of Marketing at Amrock, attended Inman Connect and thinks real estate agents aren’t going anywhere. “A human connection in real estate will always be valuable, especially for buying and selling,” said Kushner. “Agents can find plenty of opportunity to outcompete and be a trustworthy anchor between digital moments.”
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iBuyers’ biggest selling point is convenience; many iBuyers provide cash offers for a seller within 48 hours, no fuss. While some at Inman Connect argued that the buyer and seller lose money in the deal compared to a human touch, the lure of a faster transaction (in an era defined by instant-gratification-as-a-service) makes iBuying a real option for consumers. Real estate agents will have to add iBuyers to their portfolio and reinforce their values to remain competitive.
“Real estate agents can incorporate iBuyer offers into their Comparative Market Analysis and present it as an option for their clients’ consideration as a fiduciary. The agent has their clients’ bottom line as their top priority, and in some cases, that may lead them to an instant offer from an iBuyer,” said Kushner. “That doesn’t eliminate the role of the real estate agent, but it will require some changes to compensation structures.”
Regardless of real estate agents’ specific approach, the only mistake would be to ignore the iBuying wave and hope it goes away. Agents must begin creating a strategy that leverages their advantages while including technology trends. “Inman Connect reminded all of us that it’s important to adapt and tackle industry trends head-on,” said Kushner. “You might be surprised by the success you find.”