iBuyers continue expanding across the country, and there’s one silver lining for real estate agents: It gives you a tangible way to prove your value to prospects and clients.
Instant might be great for oats and noodles, but it isn’t in sellers’ best interest. As a market expert and real estate pro, you already know this — but what you might not know is the best way to educate clients and prospects about the downsides of selling to an iBuyer, and why working with you is in their best interest.
There are multiple ways you can approach the topic. The most important thing, though, is that you don’t stay quiet and assume that sellers won’t be interested in iBuyers. More than 70% of sellers reported that they would consider using an iBuyer, so you need to be ready with a talk track that clearly explains why you are irreplaceable.
Be proactive and use our recommendations to ensure your sellers stick with you.
1. Address iBuyers in your listing presentation
You need to consider iBuyers your competition and treat them as such. Discussing the pros and cons of iBuyers during your listing presentation allows you to lead the conversation instead of being put in a reactive, defensive position.
To make this pitch successful, you need to do your homework and thoroughly understand the competition. You can’t very well dissuade sellers if you can’t speak confidently about the issues or answer their questions. Find out which iBuyers are operating in your area, how their process works, what the fee structure is, the average variation between local iBuyer offers and agent-negotiated sale prices, and any other public information you can get your hands on.
2. Be clear on the benefits of working with you
A guaranteed all-cash offer is pretty compelling, wouldn’t you agree? But the iBuyer experience is akin to selling a valuable piece of art to the corner gallery for less than it’s worth because it’s convenient, instead of soliciting quotes from multiple interested collectors and maximizing your return on investment.
Review all your services with prospects so they understand how working with you will net them better results. Will you provide a home assessment and recommendations of simple repairs and upgrades that could increase the sale price? Can you offer a thorough, tech-forward marketing plan that maximizes the number of eyes on your listings? Do you have a track record of impressive negotiation skills? Help your sellers see that by accepting an iBuyer offer, they’ll be settling for a significantly lower sale price on their home.
3. Put your network of industry contacts to work
In addition to getting your sellers the best possible sale price, you can also show your value by leveraging your network of industry-related contacts. Share your referral list with prospects and clients so they know how well-connected you are, and then make introductions when they’re needed.
Get your sellers in the door with your go-to inspectors, appraisers, lenders, and contractors. Facilitate communication with movers, handymen, cleaners, painters, and any other third-party services they may need. Making the experience easier for your sellers is part of what they’re paying you to do, and it’s something iBuyers can’t replicate, so ensure you’re showing your value every step of the way.
4. Boost your marketing
How well does your marketing and online reputation reflect your real estate experience? Sellers’ perceptions of your abilities could either persuade them to work with you or make them question their decision. So much of marketing is helping your audience form a particular opinion about you and your services. If you are consistently running ads on the most powerful networks—namely Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Waze—then you’re able to get in front of your audience more often and shape their opinion of you as an experienced, trustworthy agent.
Make sure your ads spotlight your experience, abilities, and successes. Show that an iBuyer algorithm is no match for your earned expertise. Build up reviews and star ratings on your Google business profile so prospects can read testimonials from the past clients you went above and beyond for, which will undoubtedly make them excited to work with you.
Finally, beat iBuyers at their own game. They’re constantly touting how easy it is to use their service. It’s easy to work with you, too, right? Highlight the services you provide that remove hassle and headaches from the selling and post-sale experiences — and why you’re able to do it better than your competition, whether sentient or digital.