I have been a marketer in the real estate industry for five years. One of my main marketing objectives has been to market the services of hundreds of real estate agents and those of my company, a Florida brokerage. Over the past few years, the iBuyer trend has been heavily influencing the public perception of the industry, and this industry trend has affected the distribution approach to marketing in the industry.
iBuyers are companies such as Open Door and Zillow that offer to buy a home from a seller directly, thus cutting out the need for real estate services. These companies and others like them have been increasing their marketing efforts across all channels in recent years. In the past week, I have seen Open Door ads everywhere from my Facebook feed to streaming ads while watching Hulu.
I know several top agents who have told me they have lost significant income in 2021 from the loss of their listings to Zillow. Luckily Zillow has recently halted their iBuyer program but companies like Open Door have only increased their efforts to enter the market in their place.
As a marketer in the industry, it has been my job to help launch campaigns to increase the customer value of real estate services and combat the misconceptions projected by advertising from iBuyers. One of my goals as a marketer in the industry is to communicate the true cost to the customer as it relates to real estate services.
I have had to use facts that support the argument that real estate services have distinctive value. I’ve incorporated these facts into my marketing campaigns and I educate my agent clients to do so as well. Most customers aren’t aware that iBuyers charge hidden fees to their sellers at closing, or that iBuyers often give low estimate offers to sellers. Facts such as these and other information which supports hiring a professional realtor, are essential components of the digital marketing campaigns I have run recently.
The real estate industry relies on the value customers place on its services and the only way to keep up with the challenges iBuyers present to the industry is to keep marketing messages focused on the high customer value professional real estate services offer consumers.