Will Opendoor Revolutionize Real Estate Buying?

Will Opendoor Revolutionize Real Estate Buying?

A new, Phoenix-based real estate tech start-up is making its mark in real estate trends for 2016. Making “instant offers,” Opendoor is snapping up homes in a matter of days, then turning around to flip the properties for profit.

How does it work?
Opendoor touts its simplification of the home selling process, leaving behind the repeated cleanings, showings, and strangers traipsing through your home with a typical sale. But their biggest advantage is time savings. Fill out a fast, free survey listing the unique facets of your home, and Opendoor will send you a competitive offer based on this and a comparative market analysis. If you accept, they confirm with a free home inspection, then you choose your move-out date, anywhere from 3-60 days following contract. Opendoor even arranges escrow.

What do customers think?
Opendoor’s website is packed with positive customer reviews, including an AAA “A-rating” and an impressive 4.1 of 5 stars in Google reviews.

Is it making any money?
According to Wall Street Journal, the company made $80 million in October in a third funding round led by Access Industries owner and billionaire Len Blavatnik. Valued by the investor at roughly $580 million, as of mid-December, Opendoor had purchased and sold more than 200 homes at an estimated profit of between $10,000-15,000 per home. This includes the approximately 9% in fees earned from sellers, less the costs of reselling the home.

Where is it opening its doors to home sellers?
After a successful launch in Phoenix, Opendoor is now live in its second market: Dallas, with plans to expand as its funds allow. Will the company move beyond real estate trends for 2016 in their quest to take-on additional markets? Only time will tell.

Don’t let real estate trends for 2016 take you by surprise. Prepare yourself with the help of Properties Online. Contact us today.

Hot New Home or Hot New Pokemon?

Gotta Catch ’em All – Pokémon Go and the Real Estate Market

Pokémon Go seems to be taking over the world. But the real estate market? Really? It’s no joke. The app is taking over real estate trends for 2016. Back from the late 90s like a bad sweater vest, the game is now larger than life, sending overgrown children everywhere out in search of Pokémon, everywhere from their backyard to public venues.

Lost already?
You’re not alone, but the 4-1-1 is that the game is a resurgence of an old Japanese anime cartoon in which people lived in a magical world where they captured and trained the cutely named fictional little beasts, each with their own unique characteristics for battle. Millennials then grew up (sort of) and moved on to more adult entertainment, no longer zoning out to cartoons but social media and gazillions of smart device-driven apps.

How on earth are people integrating Pokémon Go into real estate trends for 2016?

  • Get a buyer… Or get a life?
    Sellers are cashing in on the game, boasting about area Pokémon training gyms and neighborhood PokéStops in home descriptions.
  • Brilliant agent architecture… Or maddening misrepresentation?
    Agents are also capitalizing on the trend, using the game to draw potential buyers to open houses. (Want in? Beware of copyright infringement to avoid a PokéSuit.)
  • Craigslist crackpot… Or marketing mastermind?
    One Craigslist user even tried to attract roommates with walkable PokéStops.

Stop the insanity?
I guess that depends on if you’re the one profiting. Android and iOS versions of the game challenge players to (gasp) leave the couch and battle trainers at other locations. Like the closest home listing conveniently located between 2 Pokémon Gyms with 6 Pokéstops. Players are taking the prodding to heart, engaging in our 43 minutes per day in play (later Instagram!).

Bowled over by the latest real estate trends for 2016? “Catch” the latest on Properties Online today.

On The Go Searching is the Future!

Beacon Technology Delivers the Information Your Buyers Want Immediately

Real estate trends for 2016 are constantly boasting about technology designed to make businesses better. Typically, however, the ones that don’t fall flat are those offering a smoother home buying experience for the customers and allowing agents to build more customer-centered services.

What is the current customer experience?
An online search, followed by an awkward walk-through or open house, fragmented by sign-in sheets, unanswered questions, doubts on who to trust or turn to, a wrinkled show sheet, and a frustrating ride home. The sale? A wildcard based on customer/agent information gathering.

What if that experience could result in more?
Buyers find an open house on their phone or mobile device. Walking in, the mobile device prompts them to register. On consent, their info is delivered to the agent’s inbox. As buyers look around, property details and agent information are automatically delivered via smartphone. After visiting, agents can collect data on whether the information was viewed or deleted, allowing them to classify leads/data. Overall a seamless, elegant, modern experience. The best part? Everyone gets what they need.

Beacon technology makes it possible
Small wireless sensors that emit data to smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), beacons easily allow for this kind of micro-location, mobile and location-based marketing. Using far less power than previous generations of Bluetooth, it no longer drains phone batteries. Going beyond real estate trends for 2016, its integration by big-name retail venues have made it familiar to consumers, particularly Millennial real estate up-and-comers.

An investment in the future
From May 2013 to July 2014, web usage grew 30%, mobile 81%, and mobile queries for open houses 36%. On-the-go searches are the future. Are you looking ahead?

Real estate trends for 2016 are prepping you for the next generation of home buyers. Find the tech you need to meet their needs, only at Properties Online today.

Zillow Introduces Snaphouse

Zillow Introduces Snaphouse – Could This be Your Future Sales Tool?

Taking advantage of Snapchat and its biggest Snap-Stars, Zillow is seeking out the Millennial market with new, reality-TV-like real estate listings via YouTube. One of the more interesting real estate trends for 2016, Zillow attempts to make home ownership look cool to a generation who’s been dragging their feet on entering the market.

Welcome to a strange marketing technique
Hosted by “A Cereal Production” founder Harris Markowitz, whose content is geared toward the social media genre, the “Welcome to Snaphouse” video introduces the concept with copious Malibu Snap-House home footage pre-intro. The premise: “Zillow wanted to know what would happen if five of the biggest and best creators on Snapchat were put together in a crazy awesome house for 24 hours with one mission: To create.”

Cut – and cut – and cut
In the first 60 seconds, the video is broken up by 10 cuts. House-specific footage is silent with subtitles, a stark contrast to the overly animated voices of Snap-Stars through the nearly 5-minute video. Probably fine for socially-inclined Gen-Y and Z, but annoyingly choppy for X-ers and Boomers, who generally don’t get the concept.

Home listing? Or “reality” show?
Following the intro and copious silent home footage, Snap-Stars discuss their idea of a dream home, favorite rooms… and lots of other extraneous information. If Snapchat and socially-addicted, over-sharing individuals didn’t annoy you before, they will now.

To be continued…
Follow-up videos in the SnapHouse are shorter, approximately 1-minute clips of SnapStars being creative, telling their professional selfie-taking stories, and filming it within the house. With a paltry 14,000 views and videos that don’t rank in Google searches, it remains to be seen if this will be one of the real estate trends for 2016 that sticks around.

What real estate trends for 2016 are here to stay? Find out – on Properties Online today.

Zillow Surpasses "Real Estate" on Google Searches

Did Your Buyers “Zillow It”? Zillow Becomes the Google for Real Estate

Following in the steps of gargantuan goliath Google, Zillow is rising to the top of real estate trends for 2016. With a staggering 63% market share of the online and mobile real estate audience, the search for “Zillow” now surpasses the term “real estate” in Google searches.

Redefining its identity
Fresh out of a $130 million settlement with Move.com, Zillow is resolving its legal troubles, its past divisive reputation being smoothed over by management moves. With Amy Bohutinsky at the helm as COO and Kathleen Philips as CFO, the previous “boys club” has been broken up with new faces stepping forward to shine. Errol Samuelson, dubbed “the Buddha of real estate” and Zillow’s chief of industry relations, is smoothing the way.

Sleeper cell
Now quietly rising to the top of real estate trends for 2016, Zillow appears to be driven by a desire to become a top producing hybrid brokerage, though it is flying under the radar, quietly reducing its advertiser count and shifting its focus to quality agents. With the company’s 90,000 advertisers, however, there’s not much difference between it and a franchise or a brokerage – save semantics.

What’s in a word?
Charging brokers an “advertising” fee versus the typical franchise fee, Zillow is in the process of building up a gigantic team of independent brokers alongside teams of agents who silently represent Zillow, paying the company monthly fees that are higher than those of the typical franchise. This effectively cuts out low-spending agents who often wash out in favor of higher spending agents who are far better for Zillow’s long-term profitability and reduced selling costs. Many are left to wonder what’s on the horizon for this real estate marketing monolith.

What’s next for your real estate career? Chart your path with the latest real estate trends for 2016 and the award-winning services of Properties Online today.