The iBuyer space is getting a little more competitive. Following in the steps of real estate disruptors like Zillow, Redfin, Opendoor and Offerpad, Keller Williams is now making its own entrance into the iBuyer space.
“Keller Offers,” the iBuyer division of Keller Williams, is set to debut this May. Launching in the Dallas/Fort Worth market initially, Keller Offers hopes to be in 6-8 major markets by the end of 2019, and the company expects to deploy $100 million via Keller Offers this year.
While Keller Williams recognizes that the market for iBuyers is relatively small—10 percent of the overall market, according to Keller Williams spokesperson Darryl Frost—the company says it is “an important additional option for KW agents to be able to offer their sellers.”
The overall goal of Keller Offers? To minimize the cost to the consumer, Keller Williams says. The biggest reported differentiator for this specific program, however, is the agent involvement. Keller Williams is keeping the real estate agent at the center of the transaction. Fiduciaries, or Keller Williams real estate agents, will be “serving [consumers] as a trusted advocate and working in their best interest while selling their home.”
“We feel very passionately that the consumer needs an advocate in their corner with all the changes going on in the industry right now,” Gayln Ziegler, director of Operations at Keller Offers, tells RISMedia. “Currently, with many instant offers programs, consumers don’t have the assurance that someone is looking out for their best interests. With Keller Offers, we will offer the convenience and simplicity that’s inherent with instant offers and a fiduciary in the process.”
According to MarketWatch, the Keller Williams initiative follows Opendoor’s recent announcement of its new Opendoor Agent Partner Program, which will allow consumers to choose if they want to work with an agent, or build a partnership with home builders.
“We’re looking to partner with highly-rated, trusted agents who we can pair with homebuyers and sellers when it is the customer’s best option,” Opendoor said in a statement. “To start, when someone requests an offer on their home from Opendoor but it’s outside of our buy criteria, our brokerage will refer them to one of our Agent Partners. Not only will this give homeowners peace of mind knowing they are in good hands, but it will provide a new way for agents to build their businesses with high-intent, high-converting buyers and sellers.”
As more iBuyers enter the space and expand, such as with the Zillow Offers program, the competition will begin to stack up, forcing them to shift their value proposition to compete with new models. How many of today’s brokerages will be looking to implement their own instant offers programs in order to increase their competitive advantage?
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.