Phoenix Valley might not be the first name that comes to mind when it comes to real estate technology and apps, but that might be beginning to change. Recently, two real estate technology firms announced their plans to expand into the Phoenix market. Who are these vendors and how can local real estate agents and homeowners take advantage of their offerings?
Arrive Home – By now pretty much everyone has heard of Uber, the ride-hailing app that lets consumers quickly and easily find a driver to take them where ever they want to go. Now, a Denver-based app called ArriveHome is bringing an on-demand, Uber-like model to the real estate world and they’ve recently expanded into the Phoenix Valley.
How does ArriveHome work? The app displays nearby agents and listings on a map; potential homebuyers can select an agent to answer questions or arrange a showing. The app is free for buyers but agents will pay $29.99 per month to be listed as an ArriveHome agent. The app allows users to either work with individual agents for showings, or to establish an exclusive relationship with a single agent. When using the “exclusive agent” mode, other agents will disappear from the ArriveHome app’s property map.
This could prove to be a great marketing opportunity for agents who are skilled at working with online buyers. The cost is reasonable and the app’s ease of use is likely to appeal to certain categories of buyers – especially millennials and first time buyers. Just remember, the key to working with online buyers is timely response. Those who want to succeed with ArriveHome will need to be flexible and tech-savvy themselves and skilled at educating buyers who are new to the process of buying a home.
Zillow Instant Offers Mention Zillow in real estate circles and you’re almost guaranteed to get an eye-roll. Whether it’s the fact that agents frequently find themselves explaining why a Zestimate isn’t the same as a professionally prepared market analysis or appraisal, or the fact that Zestimates are so often wrong, it often seems there’s little love lost between some real estate professionals and Zillow.
That relationship might be about to get even more contentious, at least for some in the business. Zillow has recently rolled out a new program called “Zillow Instant Offers,” which offers to buy homes directly from sellers for fast cash. After a test in Las Vegas and Orlando, the program is being rolled out to Phoenix and several other markets.
How does it work? Zillow investors will buy a home for cash, pending appraisal and other requirements. The program offers a 21-day escrow so it’s attractive to sellers that need cash quickly. Brokerage requirements in Phoenix will be handled by two main partners: West USA Realty and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties.
What’s Zillow’s angle? It seems to be a way to take advantage of a rapidly rising real estate market. In the pilot test program, Zillow investors purchased the Zillow Instant Offers homes, then turned around and sold them for a premium. It’s likely that will continue to be the case in Phoenix. For agents with the inside track on these deals, and for sellers that need fast cash, the program is likely to be seen as a win.
For agents left out of the loop, however, it could be decidedly less popular. And for buyers, it’s one more factor contributing to rising home prices. How can non-participating agents position themselves to compete against Instant Offers? Remind clients that these transactions are likely to command a lower price than what they could get when working with a traditional agent. After all, the investors are looking to turn a profit quickly. Sellers should ask themselves whether they want more cash or less cash more quickly?
Keeping up with technology in the real estate business can be challenging, but the best approach is to look for ways to take advantage of the opportunities new technology may present. How might your business benefit from these real estate technology offerings being rolled out here in Phoenix?