– Tech and team leaders at Inman Connect New York emphasized the need for agents to think creatively to provide solutions for themselves, their clients, and other agents in the industry.
– Opendoor’s data shows a significant increase in sellers who are prepared to list their property in the next three to 12 months, indicating optimism in the market.
– Opendoor offers instant cash offers to provide certainty in uncertain times and agents can partner with them to provide cash offers for their clients while testing the market for better offers.
– Kurt Carlton of New Western highlighted the option of selling to corporations and institutional investors, particularly for properties that require upgrades.
– Renee Funk of The Funk Collection at eXp Realty urged agents to be curious and reflective about their interactions with others in the industry and emphasized the importance of conversational excellence.
– Funk provided four cornerstones of conversational excellence: thinking before speaking, curiosity, understanding that people act for their own reasons, and the power of asking questions.
– Funk encouraged agents to ask qualifying questions to gain more context in conversations and to seek understanding and serve humans at a high level.
Tech and team leaders at different sessions at Inman Connect New York on Tuesday stressed how agents can think outside the box to provide solutions for themselves, their clients, and other agents in the industry.
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“Call me wagon wheels, I’ve been through it,” Nick Boniakowski, head of agent partnerships at Opendoor, said his broker grandfather used to say about the changing real estate market.
But Boniakowski told Inman Connect New York attendees during a panel entitled “What to Expect from Sellers and Inventory Levels in 2024” that his late grandfather’s saying hadn’t rang true for the past two years. Boniakowski predicted that market uncertainty would persist in 2024, but there was also reason for agents to be optimistic.
According to Opendoor’s data, out of homesellers who are considering selling in next five years, there has been a “massive uptick” in sellers who are prepared to list their property in the next three to 12 months, and all-time high since Opendoor has tracked this data.
“Sellers are getting really eager to sell at any signal,” Boniakowski said.
He added that uncertainty is something on everyone’s mind, which is where Opendoor steps in to provide certainty through an instant cash offer. Boniakowski also pointed out how agents can partner with the iBuyer, and in select markets, can even lock in a cash offer for their clients for 60 days while testing the listing out on the market to see if they can get a better offer.
Oftentimes sellers become interested in a cash offer option after receiving a first, second or even third offer, Boniakowski noted.
“You never know when you’re going to catch the seller into making that move,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kurt Carlton of REI marketplace New Western said that agents and their clients should also remember that corporations and institutional investors are another viable option to sell to, particularly if a property needs upgrades.
A lot of inventory in the U.S. is aging into what Carlton calls “The Great Renovation,” or a period of 20, 30 or 40 years since the property was built. At that age, a home is typically at a prime time for renovation.
“If you’re a listing agent, you’re trying to add value, and there’s a couple ways you can go,” he said.
Carlton said that sellers could put the home directly onto the MLS as-is, but many buyers may be hesitant to buy a home that requires work. Otherwise, an agent could work with their sellers to fix it up before putting it on the market, but sellers may also be unable or unwilling to put the time and money into giving it a rehab before listing it. Therefore, putting the property on a real estate investor marketplace as-is may be ideal instead, since investors are willing to tackle such fixer-upers.
Thinking more about agent survival and thriving during this challenging, transitional market, Renee Funk of The Funk Collection at eXp Realty encouraged agents, brokers and team leaders to be curious and reflective about how their actions impact other agents in the industry during a session entitled “The Last Agents Standing.”
After taking the stage to “We Want the Funk” by American bandleader George Clinton, Funk confronted agents with the fact that their language in everyday interactions can “show up on repeat” and as a result, can sound robotic or transactional.
After attending a couple of real estate mastermind sessions in 2023, at which Funk was hit with separate realizations of how many agents have left the real estate industry in recent years (Realtor membership dropped by more than 26,000 in 2023) and how much agents are starting to rely on AI for communications, that something needed to change with the interpersonal interactions within the industry.
“What could we be doing differently as an industry to help those who didn’t want to leave the industry?” she wondered.
In response, Funk came up with what she calls four cornerstones of conversational excellence:
- The worst time to think about what you’re going to say is in the moment you’re saying it.
- Curiosity is the fuel for great conversations.
- People do things for their own reasons and not yours.
- The person asking questions controls the conversation.
Funk further pointed out that the No. 1 mistake any business owner can make is giving and receiving advice without context, something she said can be “costly on both sides.”
She encouraged audience members to reflect and ask themselves what they could be doing wrong in a conversation to potentially provide misguided advice. Then, she gave the audience a “48-hour, two-question challenge” when speaking with other ICNY attendees in the halls of the Hilton Midtown over the next few days.
“Pause and say, ‘What are two additional qualifying questions I can ask the other individual to add more context to allow us to understand one another at a higher level?’” she challenged.
“The last agent standing will seek to understand and serve humans at the highest level,” she added. “The last agents standing will be the curious agents.”
Property Chomp's Take:
At the Inman Connect New York conference, held on Tuesday, tech and team leaders emphasized the importance of thinking outside the box for real estate agents. The event, which showcased the future of the real estate industry, provided valuable insights for agents to provide innovative solutions for themselves, their clients, and other agents.
One of the key speakers, Nick Boniakowski, head of agent partnerships at Opendoor, shared his late grandfather's saying, "Call me wagon wheels, I've been through it," to highlight the changing real estate market. However, Boniakowski mentioned that his grandfather's saying had not been accurate for the past two years. He predicted that market uncertainty would persist in 2024 but also provided reasons for agents to be optimistic. Opendoor's data indicated a significant increase in sellers who are prepared to list their properties in the next three to 12 months, which is an all-time high since Opendoor started tracking this data. Boniakowski highlighted how agents can partner with Opendoor, offering instant cash offers to provide certainty in uncertain times. Agents can even lock in a cash offer for their clients while testing the market to see if they can get a better offer.
Kurt Carlton of REI marketplace New Western emphasized the option of selling properties to corporations and institutional investors, particularly if the property requires upgrades. Carlton mentioned that many homes in the US are aging and in need of renovation. He suggested that agents could put such properties on the market as-is, but buyers may be hesitant to purchase a home that requires work. Alternatively, agents could work with sellers to renovate the property before listing it, but this may not always be feasible. Carlton proposed putting the property on a real estate investor marketplace as-is, as investors are often willing to tackle fixer-uppers.
Renee Funk, from The Funk Collection at eXp Realty, focused on the importance of interpersonal interactions within the industry. She urged agents, brokers, and team leaders to be curious and reflective about how their actions impact other agents. Funk introduced the concept of conversational excellence and emphasized the need for curiosity in conversations. She also highlighted that people act for their own reasons, not necessarily the reasons agents may assume. Funk encouraged the audience to ask qualifying questions to better understand one another and serve clients at a higher level.
Inman Connect New York provided valuable insights for agents to navigate the changing real estate market. Thinking outside the box, partnering with iBuyers, considering alternative buyers like corporations or institutional investors, and focusing on conversational excellence were key takeaways from the event. Agents were encouraged to be curious, reflective, and adaptable to provide the best solutions for themselves, their clients, and the industry as a whole.