Discount real estate brokerage and IBuyer Redfin has rolled out automated-showing technology to let home shoppers tour company-owned homes without an agent.
The Direct Access service allows home shoppers to unlock the front door of any Redfin listing through the Redfin buyers app.
Home security vendor ADT provides 24/7 video monitoring for Direct Access homes along with smart locks and sensors to protect the safety of would-be buyers and to inform sellers who enter and exit the property.
Redfin launched Direct Access for customer-owned homes last year, and is just now rolling it out for homes bought and sold through its IBuyer division, RedfinNow.
Redfin says homes equipped with Direct Access are toured twice as often as those without, which allows customers to get more offers and better selling prices.
“In this hot market, more than a third of homes are finding a buyer within the first week and buyers are hustling to see new homes as quickly as possible,” Redfin chief technology officer Bridget Frey wrote in an announcement. “Direct Access makes it simple to tour our sellers’ homes conveniently and safely without having to coordinate with an agent to schedule a showing, driving double the foot traffic that leads to offers for our sellers.”
As an IBuyer, Redfin is late in rolling out self-touring technology. The biggest IBuyers, including Opendoor, Zillow and Offerpad, have been offering similar technology for at least the past two years.
While the technology makes showings more convenient and cost effective, it’s also vulnerable to tech-savvy squatters who can download the app and access homes under false pretenses.
Primarily a brokerage, Redfin has put much less emphasis on its IBuying operation compared to the other big players. For Q2 2021, home sales by the publicly traded IBuyers broke down as follows: