Zillow's Latest News: Customer Service in Real Estate Just Became More Crucial than Ever
2020 has been an unpredictable year for most markets, and the real estate industry is no exception.
On September 22nd, the industry's number one lead provider, Zillow, announced its new offering, Zillow Homes.
Despite an army of Zillow skeptics, the online real estate giant has stringently denied any intentions to become a real estate brokerage. However, by using licensed Zillow employees to aid in the buying and listing of homes for Zillow Offers, that’s effectively what it becomes.
The icing on the cake?
A month before Zillow's announcement, the venture-backed startup Opendoor also began onboarding real estate agents in Phoenix, Arizona to support its ‘Home Reserve’ iBuying platform. And in June 2020, real estate tech company and iBuyer Offerpad announced that it too had been hiring licensed real estate agents to help with listings, showings and renovations.
The question for real estate team leaders and brokers is, what does this mean for us?
Set Your Sails: The New Reality Is Here
The real estate industry's tried and true process of buying and selling a home is being reordered across the board. But while COVID-19 may have been the catalyst, most of us have seen these changes coming for a while now.
In a 2019 interview with Geekwire, Redfin's CEO Glen Kelman said:
"There's a feeling now among Wall Street investors, and perhaps the general public, that everything's up for grabs, that real estate's really going to change."
That same year, Zillow's CEO Rich Barton echoed Glen's sentiment at an earnings call, saying:
"Our daring plan to transform the real estate transaction for the super-empowered, smartphone-wielding, Uber-ized consumer is, in fact, coming together, or at least it's beginning to come together."
Times are changing, and to safeguard their success, team leads and brokers must come to terms with the Amazonification of real estate as we’ve known it.
Since most of these tech platforms offer the same benefits, one common thread has emerged for teams with continued success in the age of real estate tech:
A heightened focus on customer experience is the only way to differentiate the best from the rest.
New systems may be here to stay, but the value of an unmatched client experience will never fade away. Here’s how to make tech disruption in real estate work for you (and not the other way around).
Staying Relevant in an Algorithm-Driven World
We can all agree that buying or selling a house is a nerve-wracking experience. Clients will have concerns, requests, and a million other questions, and they want their answers now.
A few years ago, prospects might have overlooked a day's delay in response times. Not anymore.
Today’s digital customer demands responsiveness.
Leverage Zillow and other big real estate tech to your advantage by:
Ensuring your prospects see you as a tech partner, not a rival
Building a dependable relationship with new leads and past clients by helping them get the best out of these platforms
Switching your sales nurture and transaction coordination messaging to put the customer first
Improving the client experience is the only surefire way to stand out in an increasingly tech-heavy market.
By reshaping your real estate pipeline to include a greater focus on communication, transparency, and support for your clients, you can deliver more value than any algorithm ever could.
Are you looking to provide your clients with an effortless digital home buying and selling experience?
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