Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations Episode 50: An Epic Battle Between Opendoor + Zillow

Opendoor recently announced a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (or SPAC) Social Capital, a venture fund headed by rockstar VC Chamath Palihapitiya. This partnership puts the pioneering iBuyer on the same playing field with Zillow. And the battle between the two will be epic.

On this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are discussing what the competition between Opendoor and Zillow means for consumers, real estate agents, and the industry in general. Rob explains Zillow’s advantages in terms of customer acquisition and monetizing seller leads, and Greg describes Opendoor’s leverage when it comes to operational excellence (otherwise known as ‘eating BPS for breakfast’).

Rob and Greg go on to consider how Opendoor might catch up with Zillow when it comes to lead flow, either through an additional acquisition or by working with the industry. Listen in for insight around how this battle of the market-makers will make it easier to buy and sell houses and lower transaction costs—and how that will impact the real estate industry as a whole.

What’s Discussed: 

The benefits of a merger between Social Capital and Opendoor

What competition between Opendoor and Zillow means for consumers

Zillow’s advantage in terms of consumer audience and monetizing seller leads

Opendoor’s advantage when it comes to operational excellence

Rob’s prediction that Social Capital might also acquire either Redfin or Realtor.com

How Opendoor might work with the industry to generate lead flow

How competition between Opendoor and Zillow is likely to impact real estate as a whole

–Easier to buy and sell houses (mobility)

–Much lower transaction costs

How MLSs might change if transactions double while commissions are cut in half

Greg’s take on why it’s a great time to be a real estate agent

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Email gregrobertson@gmail.com


‘Yelp: Nearly 16,000 Restaurants Have Permanently Closed Due to COVID’ in QSR

Social Capital

The Social Dilemma

Opendoor’s Merger with Social Capital

Rob’s 2014 Blog Post on Opendoor

iBuyer Connect

Stratechery’s Interview with Rich Barton

Social Capital’s 2019 Investor Letter


Opendoor’s September 2020 Investor Presentation

Rob’s Thought Experiment on Real Estate Agents & Productivity

The Art of the CMA by Greg Robertson

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