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Inman Connect conference - 2019 -- What is happening?

Real Estate Agent with StepStone Realty, LLC

Reading the information summary of Inman Connect conference is interesting.  I receive news from The Close and Chris Lindsell summarized the meeting into 11 points.   The following is some of the more interesting points for me.


There was a discussion of Zillow 2.0 which didn't have much information. 

I was wanting to see if what I had heard about Zillow's new venture into buying homes was correct.  I had heard that Zillow did not care what they paid for homes as their goal was to make money in the other services such as a new home loan which would be their bread winner. 

 Whereas when you are looking at Opendoor and others, the goal is making a profit on the resale. To do that they have to pay less than market for the houses they buy.   I do have one experience with OpenDoor as one of my clients referred me to her neighborhood friend.  The friend never called me and sold to Open Door.  They put a coming soon in the yard so I called them. Was told the house was not being shown due to some "minor" updates.  Per my friend they did nothing. Since we don't know what they paid this distressed homeseller it is not possible to know their profit margin.  As an investor / agent there is a very good possibility the owner was really stiffed with an investor type offer with no intent to rehab the house. Whereas putting it on the market as an investor opportunity in San Antonio will lead to a sale in that subdivision.   But I cannot say that Opendoor really stiffed her for a fact but my gut thought is they did. 


Now  iBuyer.   The article states this: 

"Many real estate agents who have jumped on the iBuyer bandwagon laud the option as great for consumers and ultimately great for the industry. Yes, an iBuyer transaction has one (and sometimes two) fewer real estate agent in it, but if more sellers will consider selling thanks to extra options, the overall positives should outweigh the negatives. 

On the other hand, some real estate agents are saying that iBuying artificially lowers the market value of property, thus throwing off comps in the area. We also heard passionate reminders when an iBuyer is operating in a transaction, they’re not bound by the NAR code of ethics to represent any fiduciary best interests other than their own. 

If an iBuyer like OpenDoor or Offerpad or even Zillow makes what they call a “fair market offer” to a seller, it is “fair” and “market value” based on the goals of the iBuyer, not the market or consumer at large. "   Should we  say this remark is very accurate? 

This remark is also very true in many facets:  

"John Gafford of Simply Vegas Real Estate went as far as saying “iBuyers steal money from Main Street and deliver it to Wall Street. More than 60% of Americans have no measurable wealth other than the equity in their home, and iBuyers are taking that from them and they don’t even know it.”


Ibuyer has penetrated the market.  After seeing the Opendoor listing my friends' house I looked at their listings in our local market.  At that time they had 125 which is right up there at the top of number of listings per agent.  Not Broker; agent.   


I don't know about any of you but we have ListingSpark here in Texas.  It is a FSBO platform with a daily cost to get MLS exposure plus a few more perks; not much unless you want to pay more. The only thing is the seller/owner is advised to pay a decent buyer's agent commission and of course you do see the ones who do the lower commission rates.   Having just finished 2 FSBOs this year and pulling my hair out by the end of the transaction makes me never want to see one again.  It was a total babysitting experience.  It might be ok IF you didn't have to walk the FSBO through every step.  And not to mention for less commission than a dual sided transaction.  But we rise to our duty to our clients even if the seller has no one to help them.    


The NAR lawsuit could change everything.  


Predictive analysis will be part of an agent's life whether they like it or not. 

While leads come from the same places, predictive analysis is becoming a big factor for all agents as it does help narrow down who is going to buy or sell in the near future.  The more data that is collected about consumers, the smarter the predictive analysis becomes.  


The market has recovered from 2008 but it has changed forever.  Isn't that the truth.


Voice search is becoming more prevalent.  It is predicted that by 2020 50% of google searchs will be by voice and 30% of web browsing will be done without a screen.  But since so much of real estate revolves around pictures that part will probably not affect the real estate industry as much. 


Per  Compass Robert Reffkin  and it is true in a large sense:

“An agent’s most precious resource is time, not leads.” 

He believes that brokerages, service providers, and markets that can provide agents with time and flexibility are going to be the next round of winners.


Big Data Gathering, Interpolating and Modeling Will Drive The Industry For the Next 10 Years.

Chris has a good  point that our MLS have years and years of data and hundreds of data points.  Don't you know that Zillow and others would LOVE to get their hands on that?  Let's not give them any ideas.  NAR has sold so much of our data already.  But one thing  is in some states like Texas' favor.  We are a NON-DISCLOSURE state so Zillow does not have our sales prices and their estimates of Texas values is truly a guess with nothing but offered sales prices as a starting point. 

Tech Stacks vs All in One 

An end solution in one package?   Wouldn't that be helpful?  

They discuss some of the different options but I have to say I am not there yet.  I know I need all my systems in place but there is always so much changing and so many new options that I sometimes feel overwhelmed.   Chris gives his idea of what a good Tech Stack might be. 


What are your thoughts on these points as agents? 


 For all 11 points in more detail: 

  The Close Newsletter - Inman Connect Las Vegas



Posted by

Faye Y.Taylor

StepStone Realty, LLC

210 216-7722

Email Faye


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