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Akuansa Graham shares how Opendoor can change the real estate industry and homeownership. He recently spoke with rolling out to discuss the benefits and impact.

How and when did the idea of Opendoor come about?

The initial idea behind Opendoor came about more than a decade ago when Opendoor’s executive chairman, Keith Rabois, realized selling a home should be as easy as trading in a car. Rabois, pitched Opendoor CEO and real estate entrepreneur, Eric Wu, on the concept in 2010. Wu, who was running another company at the time, saw the potential to dramatically improve the home buying and selling experience by making it simple and instant. The two founded Opendoor in March of 2014.

How has technology played a major role in Opendoor?

Technology is at the heart of everything we do at Opendoor. In fact, our technology is the secret sauce behind the magical Opendoor experience. It starts with using the latest in machine learning and data science to deliver fair market value offers in 24 hours to homeowners. For home buyers, we’ve built a keyless entry system that makes it possible to visit Opendoor homes anytime between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. using our mobile app. Our team of home advisors, who are matched with each customer, also use technologies like DocuSign to enable the vast majority of the transaction to happen online. You’ll continue to see us invest in new technologies to deliver the simplest, most convenient home buying and selling experience. Our brand rating is as high as Apple and BMW and we’re proud of that.

How does Opendoor make the home selling process easier?

Traditionally, it takes an average of 53 days to receive an offer on your home in Atlanta. With Opendoor, homeowners are able to receive a fair market value offer on their home within 24 hours. This eliminates the hassle of getting a home ready to sell and dealing with the inconvenience of countless home showings. Once the offer is accepted, Opendoor lets homeowners close on their schedule to allow them to line up the sale of their existing home with the timing of their next move.

Why should first-time homebuyers decide to use Opendoor?

Buying a home can be overwhelming, especially as a first-time homebuyer. With Opendoor, we take the stress and pressure out of the process. To start, all Opendoor homes can be viewed all day, every day using our mobile app. This allows first-time homebuyers to easily view many homes in different neighborhoods at different times of day to get a sense of what is important to them in their first home. When purchasing an Opendoor home, buyers are also connected with a home advisor who will guide the buyer through every step of the process to ensure everything runs smoothly. First-time homebuyers also have the added assurance of our 30-day money-back guarantee. 

What has been the greatest impact of Opendoor?

Our mission is to empower everyone with the freedom to move, which has also been our greatest impact. We give our customers a simple, convenient way to move on to their next chapter, whether they are getting married and starting a new family, or they want to get into a new school district or be closer to their church, family, or [a] new job. Making those moves possible is what drives us every day.  

How will Opendoor change the face of real estate?

Just like Uber has changed the way we get around and how Amazon changed the way we shop, Opendoor is bringing a simplicity and convenience to home buying and selling that will ultimately increase the number of homes we own in our lifetime. By making it easy to know the price you can sell your home for, and control the timing of when you sell it, the more people will move when they want to, not just when they need to. 

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.