Opendoor (series): The Cost Of Conveniencevia The Business Journals

Opendoor (series): The Cost Of Convenience

A real estate agent can serve the seller with just as much convenience and more security.

In an evolving age, startups like Opendoor can seem like a balm or a bogeyman, depending on an individual agent’s goals, history, and perspective. These services offer convenience to clients in an era where speed and efficiency are often valued over detail-orientation, quality, and even the human connection of excellent customer service.

So what is the price that consumers are willing to pay for convenience? And how can you compete in a market the commodifies it so readily?

via Many consumers prefer to trade a handshake for the press of a button.


Is Opendoor really a better option?

First, it’s important to learn a bit about what it is that Opendoor offers. This is especially true for its purported advantages over a typical flesh-and-blood agent. It also means investigating how the company makes such claims and why consumers are eager to buy in.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that Opendoor and companies like it are not replacements for real estate agents; they are simply competition. In some cases, they are even business partners.

Coming soon in this series, we will discuss how agents can work with Opendoor. They don’t have to represent a threat. If anything, they represent a challenge to grow. In that way, they are exactly what you need.

Comparison vs. competition

Your first instinct as an agent may be to compare yourself to Opendoor. Yes, they offer convenience, but an agent offers depth, conscientiousness, and a better chance at getting top dollar for your home.

An agent can even help you increase the value of your home. On the other hand, the focus of Opendoor is to sell your home as quickly as possible. It can remove a lot of the daunting grunt work involved in preparing a home for sale.

via Selling a home as-is may mean missing out on higher dollar values.

With Opendoor, there will be no tiresome negotiations on necessary or desired home repairs. The downside to this is that you may end up paying for them. An agent, meanwhile, may be able to make a better deal. Stay tuned in to this series for more on how tangential costs differ between Opendoor and agents.

Opendoor definitely offers something different from the traditional selling experience. No good agent will sell a house sight unseen to a buyer. The process of selling through Opendoor is entirely different: minimal human interaction, minimal hassle, and comparative cost (at least, that is how it’s advertised).

An agent is an open door

But Opendoor and you as an agent do not represent two opposing options. A good agent can be just as convenient as any technology. A good agent can also be counted on to sell a home quickly. Agents are simply do not advertise as prominently for their convenience, because traditionally other values were more important.

If you have always prided yourself, for example, on your negotiation skills, your warm demeanor, or your professional network, the value of these things has not changed. Agents will always be better at keeping sellers’ best interests in mind. But it may be time to reconsider your personal brand.

Convenience within convenience

One of the most convenient things about Opendoor is that they place convenience front and center. In other words, they are the most convenient option for those looking for convenience, because that is the reason they were founded in the first place. It is the primary association consumers have with Opendoor.

They operate on the assumption that most people find selling a home inconvenient, and that there is nothing agents can do about it. In fact, some people are under the impression that working with an agent will be more of a hassle, or at least more of a cost.

If you are trying to compete with emerging technologies, one of the best things you can do is dismantle the assumptions they are based upon. Use your promotional campaigns to emphasize your efficiency, and how it does not come at the cost of quality. Show potential clients that they don’t need to sacrifice a more traditional, secure experience in order to quickly sell their home.