Real Estate

Opendoor Reveals Ambitious Expansion Plans

The company wants to double its total markets in 2021, but is eyeing a much bigger goal.

Opendoor revealed ambitious short- and long-term expansion plans during its first investor earnings call since becoming a publicly-traded company.

Eric Wu | Photo credit: Opendoor

Opendoor CEO Eric Wu told investors on the call that he planned to bring the company’s direct-to-consumer homebuying and selling platform to 42 markets in 2021, in service of the company’s goal to “be the best place to sell a home online and seamlessly move.”

“Our operational systems, pricing models and launch playbook have been tested at scale and are underpinned by a technology platform that automates and centralizes the transaction,” Wu said. “Thus, we are positioned to rapidly and profitably expand nationwide.”

The company already announced plans to launch operations in San Diego and Asheville, North Carolina, and will open in a total of six new markets in the first quarter of 2021. By the end of the year, the company will have doubled its total presence.

Opendoor isn’t stopping there — Wu said the company is eventually eyeing 100 total markets and serving more than 70 percent of total homes in the United States.

Additionally, the company is focused on driving increasing market share of sellers in its existing markets. Wu reported the company’s offer acceptance rate is currently the highest it has been in Opendoor history and the company is receiving 50 percent more seller requests than this time last year.

Opendoor increased its “buy box” — essentially the parameters a home needs to meet to be considered for a sale — by 35 percent in the fourth quarter. The company did this by increasing its coverage of price, ZIP codes within current markets and home type.

“This buy box improvement, plus increasing offer requests, plus record high conversions give us confidence in our ability to achieve a historical market share level,” Wu said.

The third component of Opendoor’s expansion is an effort to build out its “digital one-stop-shop.” Opendoor was launched as an iBuyer but has added a number of different services over the year, including a home loans division and acquiring a closing services company, as well as offering more traditional brokerage services.

“We’ve already enabled homeowners to sell online in a few minutes and provide tech-enabled title insurance, escrow and mortgage services,” Wu said. “Yes, we know that two-thirds of sellers are also buyers so we are building a one-tap buying experience so customers can buy and sell seamlessly.”

In pursuit of that goal, the company debuted a cash-backed offers platform, where buyers will be able to present a seller with an offer backed by Opendoor’s cash reserves.

“We know the market is competitive, we know buyers want to improve their chances of getting their dream home and we know sellers want certainty,” Wu said. “This feature and more to come, demonstrate our ability to move quickly based on what we’re seeing in the market and leverage our expertise, technology, pricing and operations.”

The revelation of the company’s future plans comes just months after Opendoor went public via a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

In the wake of that public debut — which raised net proceeds of $980 million — the company additionally completed a follow-on public equity offering of $860 million in February, giving it a massive war chest to expand.

Email Patrick Kearns

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