Four brilliant tips to beat iBuyers (Part 2)
Trying to get ahead of the iBuyers? Here are some tips you can use to stay ahead of the competition and beat the dreaded iBuyer.
Recently, we dove into the whole iBuyer thing. For the most part, their “new” concept has been pretty anonymous over the past few years.
Then, Zillow stepped into the fray and the traditional real estate agents started paying attention.
As promised, here are our tips to help you compete against iBuyers.
Right now, add a static page to your site listing the pros and cons of working with iBuyers. Call it something like “Should I sell my house to an iBuyer?” and mention at least the following points:
Remember to keep everything positive – no more fear-based marketing.
Then, on your website’s home page add a short paragraph that makes selling a home with you sound easy, effortless and profitable.
We found this one online at Whittier, California agent Chris Foster’s website:
No, it’s not perfect. He needs to ditch the exclamation points, lose the second paragraph and get rid of the second and fourth questions.
That first paragraph, especially if it were bulleted, combined with the first and third questions below, are right out of the iBuyer playbook.
“FAST” and “INSTANT” stand out brilliantly. And the use of the word “streamlined” is genius.
Make one of these pages. . .or use something like it on your home page.
If you aren’t a marketer, your most important job in the near future is to become one. Because THAT is who you are competing against: Technology companies that understand how to market.
Get some tips in our blog post “3 Steps to Becoming a Better Listing Agent.”
Nurture leads earlier in the funnel and stop chasing after “now” business. The iBuyers are in the “now” business. They have no funnel. They have no leads. They only have deluded, desperate home sellers who need to sell NOW.
Back up into the funnel and pour some love on those leads who aren’t yet ready to transact. Drip all over them with newsletters, birthday and holiday cards, invitations to events, Facebook socializing.
Cement your brand in their minds earlier so that it’s you they think of first when they’re ready to pull the trigger.
I recently listened to a podcast of a group of agents talking about a number of topics. One of them said that agents can only compete against iBuyers if they “add value to the transaction.”
After cleaning up my keyboard from the spat-out coffee (I swear I want to spank whomever started this whole “value” garbage), it hit me that he may just be correct, although my idea of “value” (which probably more closely aligns with that of real estate consumers’) is vastly different from his.
Value, to him it seems, is something that sounds like it’s the same thing other agents offer and may be moderately nifty for the client, but, because it’s typically low cost or free, it is of most value to the agent.
I noticed a couple of years ago that a handful of agents started offering free staging to their listing clients.
In fact, I wrote the website content for a Silicon Valley team that offered not only complimentary staging, but two hours of a professional house cleaner’s time, free handyman services, a free pre-home inspection and a couple of other nice freebies that I can’t seem to remember right now.
THAT is value. Of course, those agents make huge commission checks but they’re not [email protected] bent on miserly hanging on to every last penny.
So, when a potential listing client says he’s toying with the idea of selling his home to an iBuyer and these agents work up the net proceeds sheet for their transaction compared to the iBuyers net proceeds, guess who will net the client more money?
Back to the aforementioned podcast. One of the agents summed up the iBuyer/agent situation better than I ever could:
“We aren’t entitled to Jack Shi#, guys. We need to earn every dollar that we make, going forward. The only reason that we’re in this spot is because we’ve been entitled for over a f’ing decade.”
Actually, we felt entitled when I was selling real estate and that was two decades (at least) ago. But, did he not hit it out of the park?
In a nutshell, to beat iBuyers at YOUR game:
Finally, your net sheet is your power. It represents the biggest value you add to the transaction.
How does Zillow stay on top? In this video, we explore how the biggest force in real estate handles marketing:
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