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First Person: iBuyers Are Here to Stay So What’s Next?

Just as the housing market evolves, so too does the actual business of real estate—and fueling its rapid development are the ever-changing demands of consumers. Convenience is king in our increasingly digital world. As technology becomes more commonplace in our everyday lives, it has the distinct ability to shape people’s expectations and behavior.

We quickly go from regarding innovation with skepticism to later relying upon it to simplify our lives. Online dating was once considered taboo—today, as much as 40% of US couples first meet online. iBuyers were initially dismissed as a novelty—today, these companies are responsible for a burgeoning share of nationwide home sales, illuminating their staying power. As consumers become more fluent with technology, standards change—companies that don’t adapt risk being left behind.

Real estate’s technological makeover was simply a matter of time. Prominent real estate professionals including Brian Bair—Offerpad’s founder and CEO—could sense a seismic shift happening in the industry. Citing common pain points like preparing their home to sell and constantly accommodating open houses, a growing population of consumers sought an alternative to the traditional constructs of real estate. iBuyers stepped in to provide the answer.

Though met with some uncertainty upon their arrival, iBuyers have since grown to become a mainstay of the real estate industry—having been around for half a decade. These companies helped diversify buying and selling solutions for consumers, providing modern benefits in the process—advantages like instant cash offers and flexible closing dates proved popular, giving the iBuying model credibility. Now rapidly expanding into new markets worldwide, this modern approach to real estate has established a foothold in the market. The word is out—consumers who value an efficient and convenient experience are turning to these companies as a viable means to an end.

Having established themselves in the industry, iBuyers are beginning to demonstrate the next logical phase in their evolution: strategic partnerships. In recent years, iBuyers have made headlines for forging tactical relationships with vanguards of the industry—renowned real estate, mortgage, title & warranty companies. Long-established companies embracing iBuyers helped further validate the model they pioneered, indicating their innovative approach to real estate would remain part of the conversation going forward. Buying or selling a home online is no longer a novelty—for many, it’s the best solution available for their unique selling situation.

Complacency in an industry rife with innovation generally leads to lost opportunity—worst case, to obsolescence. Looking to provide consumers more convenience, iBuyers are working to expand their existing portfolios by creating additional consumer-centric solutions by leveraging their proprietary technology. In recent months, Chandler, AZ-based Offerpad unveiled various products including Buyer Boost, Instant Own, and a robust home customization tool—in essence, these offerings are designed to grant consumers more buying power and flexibility when purchasing a home. For this company and other iBuyers, innovating new ways to add value and dimensions to their core offering ensures they continue to have a seat at the table of relevance in real estate.

What does the future hold for the industry as a whole? No matter where it takes us next, rest assured, the road traveled runs parallel with iBuyers.

Dan Mayes is Chief of Tactical Real Estate Operations for Offerpad.

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