How COVID-19 sparked a Real Estate Revolution
Jun 16, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the foundation of day-to-day living across dozens of industries. From the widespread adoption of remote work to the emergence of home food delivery, COVID-19 forced the world to see what was truly essential to modern life and what was not. For the Real Estate industry, which is known for its tedious processes and archaic practices, COVID-19 forced the hand of all parties involved to cut the fat and embrace modern technology. And since then, the world has witnessed a domino effect, starting with the most prolific seller’s market in history, moving to the rapid growth of institutional buyers (also known as iBuyers), and ending with a real estate technology revolution.
“COVID forced the industry to transform,” Black said. “Escrow and title and notary — things that seemed like the smallest part of the transaction — nobody was motivated to change those before. Banks wanted wet signatures, but COVID forced their hands.” ^1
With housing inventory at a record low, home buyers during the pandemic have been in the precarious position of trying to sweeten their offers while trying to remain safe while selling their own homes. This unique problem led to an opportunity – for iBuyers. They enticed homeowners with promises of a quick, hassle-free sale process with an all-cash offer. The top iBuyers raised $100Ms of capital combined with no sign of slowing down.
This growth was incredible for iBuyers and sellers, but for consumer-level home buyers, it was the opposite. They needed a way to compete with these contingency-free cash offers, or they risked losing out. Enter the next domino to fall – Bridge Buyers.
Bridge Buyers like Ribbon and Knock made it possible for a consumer to have the power of an iBuyer. These Modern bridge programs allow homeowners to put in a non-contingent cash offer on the home they want before ever listing their current home on the market. Ribbon’s Shaival Shah had this to say:
“We guarantee the closing,” Shah said. “That allows the two sides to transact smoothly. I think what Tim and I are effectively trying to do to help empower the Realtor community is, we’re turning every single consumer into effectively an iBuyer.” ^2
So far, the pandemic has forced everyone to think outside the box, leading to a revolution in the way people buy and sell homes. But through this progress, what happens to the real estate brokerage and agent? With the fear of getting pushed out of the entire transaction looming, brokerages and agents face a daunting challenge.
The solution? zavvie. The first end-to-end, agent-centric marketplace platform has arrived, and it is keeping agents at the center of the transaction. Lane Hornung, zavvie CEO & Founder, had this to say about zavvie:
“With so many selling options available to consumers, it’s more important than ever that they can rely on an agent as a trusted advisor. The zavvie marketplace helps top brokerages empower the modern agent to co-opt these new selling solutions and keep their commission.”
With this revolutionary technology, modern brokerages no longer have to fear iBuyers and others taking deals from them. Instead, they can place these solutions under their umbrella and present all options without fear.
COVID-19 impacted many parts of life – how people work and how they entertain themselves – but its impact on the real estate industry is enormous and still unfolding. It may have taken a pandemic, but the industry has finally caught up to the modern age.