When Brian Bair, a REAL Trends The Thousand No. 2 sales associate by transaction sides for 2017, started iBuyer model Offerpad three years ago, he was confident it was a must-needed service for home sellers, but, he says, "I knew it would catch on, but I was pleasantly surprised by the consumer reaction and how quickly it’s caught on." In August 2018, the company saw a 15 percent employee increase and now employs nearly 400, pushing employee growth to about 90 percent in the past 12 months. One of those new employees is Gint Grabauskas as Offerpad’s chief technology officer.
Grabauskas will oversee the company’s engineering and IT teams, including Offerpad’s Instant Access mobile app. “Our technology stack is well-positioned to enable significant growth in the business,” said Grabauskas. “My goal will be to amplify this growth by focusing on a frictionless customer experience, and a world-class, scalable platform.”
ATTOM Data Solutions recently covered Offerpad’s data-fueled disruption in the marketplace. “We’ve been watching Offerpad and others in the industry use technology and data to feed insights into their operations over the recent years. As this new industry is being defined, we believe the companies who focus on technology to align with consumer needs will be the ones that experience brand awareness and growth,” said Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM Data Solutions.
In November, Offerpad will enter its ninth market—Dallas-Fort Worth. "In addition, we've identified six more major metro areas to launch in 2019, according to CEO and Founder Bair. The company will also move to a new nearly 40,000 square foot headquarters building in March 2019. REAL Trends spoke to Brian Bair and Gint Grabauskas, chief technology officer for Offerpad about their future plans. Here's what they had to say.
For our readers who don’t know what Offerpad does, please elaborate.
Offerpad allows home sellers to sell their home easily and efficiently without putting it on the market. We are laser-focused on giving consumers a better experience when selling a home. The misconception is that Offerpad is for people who need to move quickly or have major renovations. The truth is many sellers just don’t want to mess with having a home on the market. And there’s a huge percentage of homeowners with homes that aren’t list-ready. We’re not talking about major renovations, but maybe they have pets and aren’t able to replace the carpet immediately. We can go in, buy the home, do the repairs and put it back on the market in less than 100 days.
Where do you see the most opportunity for Offerpad?
We see a lot of opportunity in growing the platform. It currently serves two consumer segments: the on-demand consumer and the white glove consumer. Both are looking for a seamless and efficient experience in selling their home.
We also see opportunity in the mobile experience. We would like to work with others who want to plug-in to our platform to enable a seamless experience. We did a consumer study with Harris Insights of 1000 consumers and asked how long it should take from start to finish to close a house transaction. The majority said under 30 days and that was shocking to me because you just can’t do that using a traditional process. We can buy a home and the transaction will take 22 days. It’s a misconception that we buy every house that we are offered. There is risk involved so we look at each house on a case-by-case basis.
You’ve received a mixed review from real estate professionals. What do you want the industry to know about Offerpad?
We’re agent friendly. I didn’t set out to disrupt the market I’m just laser-focused on providing the consumer a better experience. I’ve always looked at things differently. If you give them a cool experience, it will lead you to success, For agents, they can upload an offer to Offerpad, and we’ll pay a 1 percent commission, More than that, we’re looking at other high-level initiatives to involve the agent community.
We give real estate professionals and consumers instant access to all the homes we are selling. They don’t have to call to see a home. Access is available between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. We’ve been working to enhance that access and streamline the process with an app.
Offerpad is doing well, but the market is slowing. How do you think that will impact your business?
Since we founded Offerpad three years ago, the market has been in a good place, but our 90-day turnaround time will allow us to provide more services to homeowners because the pain points will be higher.
Brian Bair and Jerry Coleman, co-founders, have been working together for over a decade This is something we’re good at. We know the process and what it takes to be able to offer this service at such a large scale. In any market, this gives the seller control. Our business model can work in any market it will provide a different solution.
Zillow has been expanding its iBuyer model. How do you differentiate yourself from Zillow?
This is one of my hot buttons. In the iBuyer space, there are only two—us and OpenDoor. You have several different startups and companies saying they have an iBuyer model, but most are using it for lead sourcing and lead generation. I feel strongly that there are only two players who really want to buy the homes.
With Zillow, there’s still a lot to be determined about how they’re looking at things. I’m amazed that the real estate community is not up in arms that Zillow got a real estate broker license. No one really knows what their model is.
The difficult part of this model, and makes it so successful, is you have to buy the house and you have to have the capital to do it and the operational skills to renovate the property and put it back on the market. This model is not that easy.
As of today, Offerpad is currently available in seven regional offices outside of Arizona, with a spread of more than 370 U.S. cities. Starting November 1, they will be in Dallas-Fort Worth and available to help homeowners sell their current homes and move for free with their official moving partner Bellhops. This launch will put them in an estimated 441 of cities. In addition, Offerpad has identified six more major metro areas to launch in 2019. According to Offerpad, in business for only three years, they’ve tripled growth year-over-year and is on pace to achieve a $2.5 billion annual run rate in real estate transactions.
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