Home-flipping tech startups like Opendoor, and expanding real estate platforms like Zillow are using algorithms to consolidate and streamline the homebuying and selling process into an all-in-one experience.
Even though iBuyer transactions, (real estate transactions where the tech company makes an algorithmically-determined “fair market" cash offer to the home seller who can then take the money and move out and into a new home in their own time), have roughly a 5 percent market share of all home sales where they operate, bigger players like Zillow and Redfin are rapidly working to bring similar functionality into their offerings to compete, Curbed reports.
With glossy marketing, aggressive PR campaigns, and billions in VC cash to burn, iBuyers have been expanding steadily. Since launching in 2014, Opendoor has spread to 20 major real estate markets in the United States. Offerpad entered its 13th and 14th markets—San Antonio and Austin—just this week.
Perhaps the most striking evidence of iBuyers’ influence on the real estate industry came from Keller Williams CEO Gary Keller in January. When discussing the company’s intent to launch an iBuyer program later this year, Keller told Inman “I feel like I have no choice now.”