Real estate brokerages are now fighting for customers in the same ways that airlines and hotels have been doing so via their respective loyalty perks for years. OpenDoor and Realology’s relocation firm, Cartus, and others offer commission refunds and credits for services when their customers “stay” with their respective firm through the transaction close
The newest entrant to real estate “loyalty” programs is Realtor.com and its lead generating platform Opcity. Rather than credits and refunds, however, Realtor.com is offering its customers who “stay with the agent found for them” by Opcity will receive cash rewards.
The dollar amount of that cash reward to the consumer is determined by the price of the property being transacted. For example, based on a sliding scale, a property priced at $150,000 would generate $400 cash back to the buyer; a property priced at $4M would generate $12,000 cash back to the buyer.
Realtor.com’s chief marketing officer Nate Johnson told Inman News, “…(this program) really helps keep (the consumer) motivated to stick with and close with the agent that we connected them.”
According to Opcity CEO Ben Rubenstein, “Opcity has always been about connecting the right consumer to the right agent at the right time…so both sides have a wonderful experience. If we can give an extra cherry on top of that to the consumer, they’re going to be more likely to be happy with this entire experience because they’re getting some money back to work with the agent partner that we’ve connected them with.”
This cash back program will cost agents “slightly” more, according to Opcity. How much more? The cost to the agent is based upon the price of the property plus the referral fee charged at the close of the transaction by Opcity for making the referral to the pre-vetted consumer in the first place.
How much that referral fee is no one knows (because Opcity) doesn’t disclose that fee) but Mike DelPrete, a real estate tech advisor, estimates the Opcity fee to be approximately 30%-35% of the buyer’s agent commission.
Are agents happy with this new cash back program to consumers? Mixed reviews so far but it looks from here that the agent’s commission is becoming smaller and smaller with each and every “benefit” offered.