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What a “buy now” button will mean for the new construction real estate industry

Colored apartments by Pierre-Yves Babelon on

Recently it has been in the news that – the new construction real estate site – will be launching a “buy now” feature in the new year (2016).

This will allow people to buy condos and homes online with their credit card, which means that people will be able to pay the $5,000 deposit online and process all the paperwork that today happens within a sales office.

This is huge.

If you’re somebody who has used a computer and the internet before, the process today feels archaic. Typically you go online to register for a project and then somebody will call you to arrange an appointment. If you ask them to email you the price sheet and floor plans ahead of time, they’ll almost always tell you that they can’t do that and that you’ll need to come into the sales office for an appointment. 

But what about if you end not liking the floor plans and you’re about to waste a few hours of your time? Too bad. The sales funnel requires you to be present in person. This is nothing against the many talented sales professionals working in new construction; it’s just that if I can design and price out a car online and if Mark Cuban can buy a $40 million jet online, then I should be able to shop for a new condo online.

BuzzBuzzHome has been chipping away at the current model for years and they’ve managed to get a lot more information online than was previously available. When Matthew and Cliff first launched BuzzBuzzHome in the late 2000s it was almost unheard of for developers to put any sort of pricing and floor plans online. Now they at least have some of that on their site. I’m glad they stuck with it.

Because what’s equally exciting about what BuzzBuzzHome is doing is that in order to offer a “buy now” feature, they also need to have an accurate account of all developer inventory on hand. And so alongside this “buy now” feature they’re also building out a full cloud-based inventory management system for developers. 

This means that BuzzBuzzHome will soon be managing the supply-side of the new construction marketplace. Think of the data and analytics you can extract from a platform like this. It’s going to bring much greater transparency to this industry.

But if your business is in any way connected to the new construction real estate market, I would take this morning and think about how the above innovations could impact your business model. I can think of a few winners and losers.

Some of you might be thinking that people aren’t going to make the biggest purchase of their life online. But I would bet the farm that many people will. I know I would.

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