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Real Estate

Opendoor launches… a brokerage?

VC-backed startup is hiring agents in Phoenix to help serve its Home Reserve portal

The line between traditional iBuyer and brokerage is getting ever-so-blurry for venture-backed startup Opendoor.

The company, armed with $4.3 billion in debt and equity funding, is looking to bring aboard real estate agents in Phoenix, Arizona, to support its “Home Reserve” iBuying platform, according to Inman, which spotted a jobs posting Friday morning.

A spokesperson for Opendoor told HousingWire that the company is looking to staff its Home Reserve platform with independent contract agents, not salaried agents. The firm is testing two different models with agents in Phoenix, the spokesperson said.

Home Reserve, launched in May, enables Opendoor to list sellers’ homes while purchasing and reserving their next home with all-cash offers. Under such a model, traditional agents hired by Opendoor will be listing and selling the home.

Opendoor’s agent play comes as iBuyers integrate elements of traditional brokerages, and traditional brokerages begin to incorporate components of iBuying, all in the quest to have a hand in every stage of the real estate transaction.

In its pitch to Phoenix-area agents on the job listing, Opendoor touts a steady feed of deals to help them bank commissions.

“Hanging your license with Opendoor Brokerage as an independent contractor means you are eligible for a consistent, steady stream of highly motivated seller & buyer clients,” the job post reads. “You will be able to service more buyers and sellers every year by being able to offer products no other brokerage can.”

While Opendoor is hiring a yet-to-be-determined number of 1099 agents, it already has an in-house staff to sell scores of homes across the U.S. In 2018, the firm acquired Los Angeles-based discount brokerage Open Listings for an undisclosed sum.

In June, Opendoor competitor Offerpad announced that it would allow users to list their homes with Offerpad’s own agents, in addition to using concierge services.

Meanwhile, Zillow Group quietly became a corporate broker in New York and Arizona. However, Zillow says it doesn’t plan to fashion itself into an iBuying platform with a brokerage arm. In August 2018, the company said it was not looking to cut brokers out of the transaction and would not be using its license to operate as a “traditional brokerage.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Open Listings was Dallas-based; it was based out of Los Angeles.

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