How Opendoor is changing the game in real estate - Charlotte Business Journal

How Opendoor is changing the game in real estate – Charlotte Business Journal

When real estate company Opendoor set foot in the Charlotte market almost two months ago, it brought with it a new, technology-driven transaction experience.

Opendoor’s latest offering involves the all-day open house, which allows potential buyers to view a home on their own schedule between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Buyers can sign up on the Opendoor app, and when they are ready to enter a home, the app syncs with a GPS location and sends a code to unlock the door.

Potential buyers must be registered and verify their identity for added safety purposes. Opendoor also invests in security systems to monitor any activity at the home.

"We’re providing the ability for anyone who’s looking to sell their home to do so with incredible convenience and ease. Similarly, for anyone who’s looking to buy a home with our all-day open houses, we’re providing a unique experience," says Mike Henry, general manager of Opendoor in Charlotte.

On the seller side, Opendoor will purchase a home (built in 1960 or later) at a fair market price, so the homeowner can move on to the next house in a timely manner. Homeowners also have the option of allowing Opendoor to perform needed upgrades and renovations.

"We’ll do projects that bring the homes up to today’s standards. That is inclusive of things like roofing maintenance, if the HVAC needs to be replaced," Henry explains. "We’ll also consider what’s happening in the local neighborhood to make sure that the home is comparable to some of the properties that exist within its peer set."

Opendoor was founded in 2014 and operates in nine locations: Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Phoenix, Dallas, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., San Antonio and Nashville, Tenn. So far in the Charlotte market, Opendoor has purchased about 60 homes and expects to outpace its peer market in Raleigh-Durham.

These are the only two markets in the Carolinas as of now, but Opendoor hopes to have a presence in South Carolina by the end of the year, according to Cristin Culver, head of local communications.

Culver says real estate agents are still very much involved in the home-buying process, as they often accompany clients to tour the Opendoor homes. Realtors also have an easier time coordinating tour times without having to navigate the seller’s schedule, she adds.

"Our goals are very much aligned. At the end of the day, what Opendoor can provide is more options to customers," Henry says.

He notes the crux of Opendoor’s market offering is convenience, and it’s the technology that allows the company to offer that.

Opendoor has an office at Regus on North Tryon in uptown Charlotte, and Culver says the company expects to grow out of that office in the next six months to a year. She says Opendoor also plans to have as many as 30 employees in Charlotte by the end of the year — more than doubling its current headcount.

According to Henry, Opendoor already accounts for 2% of the residential market share in Charlotte.

"This market’s hot. The market fundamentals are all there, and so we’ve seen home appreciation of roughly 7% since March of last year. Additionally, 60 people are moving into this market every single day," he says. "What that means is people need options."

Charlotte’s largest residential real estate agencies

Ranked by No. of full-time local licensed agents

Rank Business name No. of full-time local licensed agents 1 Allen Tate Companies 983 2 Wilkinson ERA Real Estate 907 3 Keller Williams Realty-Ballantyne Area Market Center 567 View This List

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