Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Lead flow vs. Workflow in the iBuyer race

In a GQ article back in early 2013 Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos made the following comment about their drive for original content.

“The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”


To me that quote defines the iBuyer race. I was lucky enough to catch Mike Delprete’s presentation at the recent Clareity/Corelogic MLS Executive Workshop (which was great BTW) where he showed a lot of data suggesting that while Zillow is good great at acquiring leads (lead flow), Opendoor is still more efficient at selling the homes they bought (workflow) .

That’s the entire game. Is Zillow going to get better at workflow, before Opendoor figures gets better at lead flow.

A few things can happen here. Zillow could pull a Trulia and acquire Opendoor. Which I think would be smart. And I think it’s going to be very tough for Opendoor to increase lead flow, so perhaps an acquisition of portal like Homes.com might make sense.

Make no mistake, Opendoor is going to have to do something. Because the Zillow guys are freaking ruthless. They have learned, when you have your foot on someone’s neck, you snap it. Case in point, Zillow is dropping a few new commercials this week, here’s one of them….

If I’m working at Opendoor, I went home for lunch today, because I just shit in my pants.

  1. The race to get into a niche market, while the market is shifting no less. That’s right, a niche market. Not a majority market as I heard some bonehead VC guy state. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with a niche market.

    But, as days on market increase and values moderate, it will be a tougher slog to flip a house for a good margin. So the question becomes, do you go for volume and cut your margins?

    Zillow is a public company. So, will investors go along for the ride? We’ll see. There is more to this than just whether one company can best the other at their own game. This ain’t streaming TV.

  2. Pingback: Zillow airs first iBuyer ads, touts name recognition | Maureen Mengel

  3. Pingback: Phoenix Association of REALTORS┬« » Zillow airs first iBuyer ads, touts name recognition

  4. Zillow is ruthless but they are also ridiculously smart at a level unseen in this industry. Every successful company has a team of very smart people but Zillow has an army. I’d wager that ZG has more Top Tier/A+ employees than Opendoor has employees (I know they have 1,000+ people). ZG probably has at least 500 employees who said, “TBH unicorn pancakes really aren’t that hard to make, i mean its more of a crepe and anyone with a little eye hand coordination can food color a rainbow horse.”

Sponsored By Giant Steps Advisors