Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Redfin and Opendoor – Wonder Twins Activate!

Teke Wiggin for Inman News:

“Hi-tech residential real estate brokerage Redfin is partnering with Opendoor, the private Silicon Valley startup that makes cash offers on homes directly over the internet, in a move that is likely to raise the eyebrows of many competitors in both the traditional real estate and fast-growing online cash offer (or “iBuying”) space.”

So smart. I just love these kind of partnerships. To me it also represents Opendoor fully embracing agents. And I hope it will help more agents to consider what a great tool/option iBuying can be for them and their clients.

“Redfin, which maintains a highly-trafficked home search portal that includes for-sale listings from numerous other brokerages, will also offer special marketing perks on the homes listed for sale by Opendoor that appear on Redfin’s site and apps. The companies will evaluate expanding the partnership to other markets outside of Phoenix and Atlanta.

The partnership looks like a bid by Redfin and Opendoor to jointly counter Zillow Offers, Zillow Group’s iBuyer program, which also lets customers request all-cash offers on their homes over the internet.”

I’ve written about this before. The war between Zillow and Opendoor is one of workflow vs. lead flow. Zillow is obviously winning on lead flow and catching up on workflow. This move by Opendoor (and I expect others) helps them on both sides. Lead flow by putting Opendoor’s “Get a Cash Offer” button on listings (lead flow), and “special marketing” for Opendoor’s own listings on Redfin’s site (work flow – getting homes sold quicker).

“Its integration with Opendoor, however, lets the high-tech brokerage extend instant offers to many sellers whose homes Redfin Now isn’t prepared to buy yet.

Opendoor operates in 20 markets nationwide, while Redfin Now is available in only a fraction as many. For example, Redfin Now currently isn’t buying any homes in Phoenix and Atlanta, the two markets where the Redfin-Opendoor partnership is going into effect.

“Just as traditional agents are our partner for brokered sales our own agents can’t handle, Opendoor is our partner for giving customers reliable, competitive offers on homes we ourselves can’t buy,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman in a statement.”

Simpatico baby! Redfin also wins by expanding iBuying services in areas it doesn’t currently cover. I also think that by expanding the number of properties it can extend a cash offer helps them with seller leads as well.

“The partnership demonstrates striking synergies between Opendoor and Redfin that a merger could fully consummate.
Opendoor CEO Eric Wu had kind words for Redfin and wouldn’t rule out a future marriage.

“What I can share is that I’ve known Glenn for years, and I have a great deal of respect for him, and from my perspective, I’m a fan of the product, use the product that’s built, and so in this chapter, we’re focused on the success of this partnership, and we’ll look for ways to deepen our relationship if it’s successful,” he said.”

Inman News was really baiting both Kelman and Wu on this merger question. In my opinion I don’t think a merger would ever happen. We are all still in the first inning of this game.

As I said in the beginning, this to me is the first real deal representing iBuying going “main stream” in organized real estate. While Redfin isn’t your typical broker, it could be the sign of things to come.

The worry I would have at Redfin is if this move would jeopardize any current relationships, à la the RE/MAX kerfuffle around Redfin Direct.

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