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It’s no secret that technology has changed the way homes are bought and sold. One of the biggest tech transformations has been the emergence of iBuyers – an investor or group of investors that instantly agrees to buy a house based on an algorithm. This has brought new opportunities to sellers, albeit at a price – namely, the homeowner’s hard-earned equity. The instant cash offer nature has also impacted the livelihoods of real estate agents, who are typically cut out of iBuyer deals.

Zoodealio puts the agent back in the transaction. The Gilbert-Ariz.-based independent iBuyer platform not only allows an agent to act as an iBuyer, ensuring they have a seat at the table and retain their market share, but it provides sellers more options, putting the power back in their hands.

Making an Informed Choice

With one out of every 20 homes sold in 2021 going to an iBuyer, per Zoodealio’s research, it’s crucial for agents to remain relevant. And competitive.

“Technology has changed everything for agents,” says Noah Neighbors, vice president of strategic partnerships and product at Zoodealio. “Their previous advertisements could tell a seller to contact them to find out what their home is worth. Now, you can do that for free on sites like Zillow. Agents have to provide a lot more value to obtain a lead because so many companies offer these services for free.”

Kala Laos, the company’s CEO, knows all about the changes agents are up against. As the owner and broker for JK Realty in Gilbert, she’s seen how technology has changed the home-selling process, but not necessarily the real estate agent. She created Zoodealio in 2020 as a way for agents to stay in the game and evolve with technology, not be left behind because of it.

Zoodealio allows them to do just that. Its interactive offer dashboard can provide an agent’s client or prospect with numerous selling scenarios. These include a cash offer, a “click to list” option that lets the agent list the home at a suggested sales price, a “sell now move later” feature where the homeowner can sell their house for cash and rent it back for up to a year and a “fix it then list it” strategy where they can renovate their house, then sell it at a higher price and pay the renovation costs at closing.

Sellers can then compare all their options based on what’s important to them, be it price, timeline or convenience. The agent will also receive compensation if the instant cash offer is selected. With multiple options – and offers – the seller remains empowered while the agent remains a part of the conversation.

“Our unique selling solution is a way for agents to have that same power as large tech conglomerates,” Neighbors says. “Zoodealio is the disruptor disrupting the disruptors on behalf of those who’ve been disrupted.”

Thriving in a New Market

Zoodealio’s iBuyer technology and creative selling products were inherently advantageous to agents and homeowners during the recent housing boom. They’ve been even more beneficial, however, in the new real estate environment.

“With homes sitting longer, the interest rate hike and a lack of inventory, Zoodealio has provided homeowners with some certainty that’s lacking in the current marketplace,” Neighbors adds. “There’s a concern that your home won’t sell for a certain price, or you’ve secured your new home but haven’t sold your current one. Since the homeowner has a back-up solution with the cash offer, they’re happy to see what the agent can do above that in an open market.”

Zoodealio’s low barrier to entry is another perk for homeowners. All they have to do is plug their address into the agent’s digital storefront and the platform does the rest. No registering, signing in or credit card required.

“We can autofill the home and market data, providing confidence to the consumer,” Neighbors continues. “This personalized approach shows them, ‘hey, this site knows my property. It knows my neighborhood, and it’s giving me instant offer solutions without asking anything of me.’ This allows the agent to provide value upfront using data.”

Zoodealio leverages ATTOM’s robust property data, automated valuation models and population data to create the best-selling options for an agent’s client. In comparison, most traditional iBuyers only use an algorithm without considering the ins and outs of the local market.

The problem is that selling a home is part art and part science. The algorithm may have the science part covered, but an agent’s human touch, local market knowledge and ability to strategically market a home to the right audiences is an art computers simply can’t touch. When this crucial aspect is removed from the equation, the seller can receive an instant offer, yes, but at the cost of more equity (aka a lower price and higher fees than an agent would traditionally charge).

By adding other variables and data points into Zoodealio’s iBuyer algorithm, ATTOM has allowed the company to bring more competitive offers to the table. These offers can increase in value as the seller adds more information on their home.

Neighbors believes diverse, sophisticated, accurate property data has been a huge differentiator between Zoodealio and the iBuyer industry, particularly as times have changed.

“Data plays a really important part for Zoodealio,” he says. “Agents are really feeling the impact from Zoodealio as the market has stagnated a bit. They’re looking to tools that can help them retain and gain market share. That’s the key factor that’s allowed Zoodealio to have the growth it’s had: data. It’s the one thing we’ve done differently, and that data’s powered by ATTOM.”

In the end, ATTOM’s products have helped Zoodealio serve three separate populations: sellers who need a home sold quickly and efficiently, investors who need to buy homes that fit their business model, and agents who need solid marketing and lead generation options to survive and thrive.

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