The iBuyer market in the South continues to pick up steam. Most recently, a representative from real estate marketplace Zillow confirms that the company is looking to establish a regional headquarters for its Zillow Offers division in Atlanta.
Zillow Offers is a relatively new service for the real estate tech company. It allows home sellers to sell their house directly to Zillow and get cash upfront to buy a new home. Zillow then prepares the house for sale and lists it, under representation from local brokerages.
The service aims to help the 61 percent of home sellers (according to Zillow’s latest research) who are also looking to buy at the same time. The offering is similar to Atlanta-based Knock, another real estate tech startup that launched in Atlanta as its first market about two years ago. Since then they have served 4,000 customers here, and raised $400 million in equity and debt funding last month to drive further national expansion in 2019.
Opendoor, another fast-growing platform, launched in the south in 2017. Within a year, Opendoor announced that they had chosen Atlanta as the location for their first non-California engineering hub. That hub, now located downtown, continues to expand, with several hundred employees across technology, sales, operations and customer service.
Zillow Offers entered Atlanta in 2018, along with Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Charlotte and Raleigh. The company has already announced plans to bring the service to at least eight new markets in 2019, including nearby Nashville, Orlando and Miami.
The Atlanta office would be the hub for all Southeast activity, according to Zillow spokesperson Viet Shelton. Shelton says that the company has identified the region as one with potential for fast growth.
“The demand has been strong [since launching Zillow Offers], and we’re very pleased,” he tells Hypepotamus.
“Atlanta is an area where the market had indicated a strong demand up front.”
The company is still looking for office space to expand their current operations, which right now is about 50 employees. Shelton says they’d like a space that “will let us grow into a couple of hundred folks.”
They hope to identify a new office by this summer.
“The area checks a lot of our boxes in terms that it is a well-connected part of the region, easily-accessible, and the talent pool is strong for both real estate professionals and tech talent,” Shelton says. “It just makes a lot of sense for a venture like Zillow Offers, which is trying to redefine and make it incredibly seamless for the consumer.”
Zillow has an additional Atlanta presence from a 2016 acquisition of local software company Bridge Interactive.
The Atlanta hub will be led by Aaron Kuney, Zillow Offers Atlanta General Manager.