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It’s no secret that the guy with the “We Buy Ugly Houses” sign has moved from the busy street corner in your town to the screen on your TV, phone and laptop and billboards along the freeways. Like it or not, iBuyers are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Disruptions in the market happen—but the bigger question your team should be asking is, “How do we get in front of this disruptor and still stay in business?” It’s not a simple answer, but it is a starting place. We need to elevate our conversations.

This has two major components: how to work with the iBuyers; and how to still represent your clients.

Most teams look at these companies as competition, or a threat, but perhaps we should be looking at them for what they are: a direct buyer. In the right scenario, an offer from an iBuyer might be the best solution for your client’s immediate needs. Do your homework. Research these types of services in your market and ask questions. Most of them have agent-friendly websites and will cooperate with you, meaning you can still represent your client (and get paid). It warrants repeating: Do your homework. Putting your head in the sand in hopes that iBuyers will just go away is not a profitable solution.

The second component is your client. I see too many teams move on from a sale and never follow up to continue the relationship that was established during the listing and selling process. They are not only leaving future commission dollars on the table; they are losing relationships to the disruptors in the marketplace. If you want to stay vital and profitable, you need to elevate your conversations.

Educate your team’s database, past clients and spheres of influence so they know the facts about selling a home to a direct buyer verses the open market (Multiple Listing Service). Your clients need you to provide them the support and guidance they need to make an informed decision with all the facts presented to them. As a REALTOR®, your job is to watch out for what is in the client’s best interest. Sometimes, that is not about netting the highest dollar amount.

My personal goal as a real estate professional is to be my client’s go-to for all things real estate-related. I want them calling me for a recommendation to anything they need when it comes to their home—which covers a lot of areas in a person’s life. As a REALTOR® and member of a real estate team, you have a unique and privileged opportunity to impact someone’s life in a very positive way that transcends just buying or selling a home. We change people’s lives. Your primary goal should be an intentional focus on creating lifelong relationships that extend to family and friends. It’s the only way to protect your clients from disruptors in the market and keep you in business.

Sarah Michelle Bliss is a coach with Workman Success Systems. She has been in the real estate industry since 1995 and is an original founder at RE/MAX Professionals, where she has been a part of the Nate Martinez Team since 1997. Over the past 20 years, she has taught locally and nationally, and coached and influenced her peers through team management, agent development and training. Bliss is currently the director of Agent Development for RE/MAX Professionals in Glendale, Ariz. For more information, please visit