From experiencing a 50 percent drop in revenue to finally going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the past year has been a rollercoaster for Opendoor. However, the SoftBank-backed iBuyer has spent the first quarter of 2021 putting the pedal to the metal with a string of c-suite hires, market expansions and increased homebuying capabilities.
As the company navigates a topsy-turvy real estate market marred by booming home price growth, dangerously low inventory and COVID restrictions, here are the five movers and shakers keeping Opendoor on the path to profitability and iBuyer domination:
Angeline Vuong, head of buyer product
Angeline Vuong is the mastermind behind Opendoor’s buyer product strategy, which includes their flagship ‘Buy with Opendoor’ services and the March launch of Opendoor Cash-Backed Offers, a program that enables homebuyers to navigate an über-competitive market with an all-cash offer.
Vuong came to Opendoor during the 2018 acquisition of Open Listings, where she served as the all-in-one homebuying service’s vice president of marketing. After the acquisition, Vuong became the head of buyer growth, where she created Opendoor’s innovation and optimization strategy for their homebuyer services.
“Angeline is a unicorn, a teammate who contributes to every aspect of Opendoor’s homebuyer product, operations, marketing, strategy and business,” Opendoor General Manager Judd Schoenholtz told Inman in an emailed statement. “She’s both hands-on — talking to customers, testing home signage, training partner agents — and a visionary, running design sprints, building strategic visions, and planning with the team.”
“While she currently leads Opendoor’s homebuyer product, you can see her imprint on everything the team has launched to date,” he added.
In February, Vuong was promoted to head of buyer product, where she’ll oversee the development and launch of more buyer-focused products. “There aren’t many places where you can talk to customers, come up with a bold idea, and turn it into a real product with the speed at which we operate,” she said. “That ability to go from ‘dream idea’ to ‘real idea’ quickly is important to fostering a culture of customer-centricity and innovation.”
Looking forward, Vuong said she wants to increase Opendoor’s visibility with homebuyers and create more products that will help them purchase the home of their dreams.
“As the homebuying market gets increasingly competitive for buyers and housing prices continue to rise, we want to do everything in our power to ensure our customers can afford and make the winning offer on the home of their dreams,” she added.
Annie Tang, senior product design manager
While Vuong is leading Opendoor’s homebuyer efforts, Senior Product Design Manager Annie Tang is handling the wants and needs of homesellers. Tang is one of the luminaries behind List with Opendoor, Opendoor’s Trade-In program, Opendoor Home Loans and Home Reserve services.
She’s also behind Opendoor’s COVID response, which included launching virtual home assessments, preliminary offers and unifying Opendoor’s web experience into a single dashboard.
“Every day, I am inspired by the innovation and customer-obsession my coworkers bring to solving these tough problems,” Tang told Inman. “There is a future where buying and selling a home is just as simple as trading in a used car for a new one, and I’m energized to realize that vision.”
“Few have shaped the design of Opendoor’s core product more than Annie,” Head of Design Paul Smith added. “First as a designer and now as the design manager who leads the homeseller design team, Annie has set, and realized, our vision of a simple and seamless way to sell a home.”
Brad Bonney, vice president of operations
Brad Bonney is Opendoor’s jack of all trades. A former Navy submarine officer and Airbnb exec, Bonney is the leader behind the company’s trust and safety processes for “touch-to-unlock” self-tours, home renovation and repair services, vendor management, and new market launches.
“In addition to spending the past four years building Opendoor’s technology-backed operations from the ground up, in just the past year Brad has built an expansion machine that marries technology and on-the-ground insight to bring our moving products to customers around the country at record speed,” Chief Customer Officer Megan Meyer Toolson said.
During the pandemic, Bonney developed Opendoor’s virtual repair assessment tool and optimized field operations structure and processes for a faster consumer experience. He’s also behind the company’s rapid expansion during the first quarter of 2021, where the company went from 21 to 30 markets.
“Opendoor is transforming a process that has remained unchanged, and resisted change, for decades,” Bonney said. “As we continue to demonstrate our leadership in creative, innovative, technology-driven advances for real estate, I’m personally excited to bring a seamless, end-to-end, fully digital selling experience to home sellers nationwide.”
Mike Wendell, senior manager of customer experience
As the senior manager of customer experience, Mike Wendell is in charge of optimizing Opendoor’s end-to-end experience for consumers and team members alike. During his three-year tenure, which included a stint as a regional manager, Wendell pushed Opendoor’s net promoter score (NPS) to an all-time high, doubled the sales team’s size, and helped jumpstart sales after last year’s initial COVID lockdown.
“Working for Opendoor has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” Wendell told Inman. “I have the opportunity to develop employees to reach their potential and simplify the biggest transaction of customers’ lives. I am lucky to get to do it alongside my amazing team.”
For 2021, Wendell’s main task is helping Opendoor reach 42 markets by the end of the year. The company has already launched its services in nine markets, with St. Louis, Missouri; Greenville, South Carolina; and Corpus Christi, Texas, being the latest additions.
“From working with customers at every step of their moving journey to building a management team that is best in class, Mike has always been on the front lines of creating seamless experiences for our customers at Opendoor,” Head of Sales & Brokerage Kerry Melcher said. “As we serve more and more customers across the country, Mike is that person bringing clarity to his team and magic to our customers.”
Reema Batta, head of marketing
Reema Batta is the person behind Opendoor’s transformation to a household name. During her four-year tenure, Batta has spearheaded the company’s marketing efforts as they’ve expanded from two markets to 30.
Before Opendoor, Batta held executive marketing positions at India-based babyhugz.com, HotelTonight, Expedia Group and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
“Reema is an amazing marketing executive with years of experience driving performance marketing for eCommerce technology companies. She’s been the core driver of the Opendoor growth engine,” Chief Product Officer Tom Willerer said. “But not only is she a terrific performance marketer, she’s a compassionate and driven people leader. Her teams have high performance and drive results.”
Much like her other co-workers, Batta said her main objective is helping Opendoor build a solid presence in every new market they enter this year. “Opendoor is the long-overdue answer to the problem and pain of traditional real estate,” she said. “Our mission is to enable every homeowner with the freedom to move seamlessly. My goal is to further this mission every day.”