Why Open Marketplace™ Does Not Offer Referrals

Why Open Marketplace Does Not Offer Referrals

Open Marketplace™ is an online real estate media platform that helps consumers receive genuine savings and value in the real world, via competitive network effects online.

On occasion, someone, somewhere, confuses HomeOpenly with a broker referral service or asks us to give them a broker referral. HomeOpenly is a marketplace for valuable information, but we do not pretend to make the right decision for someone, and we do not steer consumers in self-interest. Simply put, HomeOpenly is not a referral service, and we do not offer referrals to anyone.

Steering consumers in exchange for blanket referral fees is an act of consumer brokering, disguised as a service. Real estate referral services, a.k.a. “paper” brokers, are developed entirely to cut themselves into consumers’ transactions in scale and secretly take billions USD in hidden kickbacks from the largest number of transactions possible.

In the broken real estate brokerage industry, “paper” brokers that operate subject to blanket referral fee agreements with random agents, operate in a violation of RESPA and antitrust laws.

HomeOpenly does the exact opposite. Instead of looking to profit from kickbacks in the broken US housing industry, we want to help improve consumer experiences organically with good and unbiased information.

Here are five excellent reasons why HomeOpenly is not a referral service.

1. HomeOpenly helps our users to improve an experience

Marketplaces exist for one reason: to improve commerce in their addressable market. Consumers and vendors demand that marketplaces offer them an unbiased, safe, and open medium of exchange for one thing or another. Fair and efficient marketplaces often help facilitate some of the most difficult transactions due to the added trust and the added network effects that benefit both sides in those transactions.

At HomeOpenly, our mission is to improve the biggest and one of the most risk-averse experiences in people’s lives – homeownership. This mission requires us to build trust and network effects. This mission does not allow us to sell someone, to anyone we can find, for our benefit. Our mission requires HomeOpenly to always improve the quality of our information, entirely for user benefit.

2. HomeOpenly is a savings platform

Excellent marketplaces strive to find a perfect balance between value and savings. We seek new ways to aggregate savings. We offer terms to our users that encourage valuable service providers to participate. We organically promote the best value that someone else delivers.

If one is to call a newspaper an information platform for current events and journalism, a marketplace is an information platform for savings and value-added services. Just like your favorite newspaper, HomeOpenly benefits from the greater readership and all our content must be fair and balanced.

HomeOpenly aggregates local savings for 130,000,000 homes reaching almost every homeowner and homebuyer in the United States with relevant and unbiased information. We don’t make up minds for our users, instead, we offer unbiased information that helps our users make up their minds, in their best interests.

3. HomeOpenly is an antitrust-compliant platform

As of March of 2021, the United States housing industry is still very much corrupt and broken.

Standard commissions, standard referral fees, brokers working for free, off-market listings, listing commissions price-fixing, market allocation between brokers, consumer brokering schemes, and lots and lots of hidden junk fees and clever kickbacks.

At HomeOpenly we cannot help fix these problems if we allow ourselves to engage, or in any way to contribute to them. Antitrust laws and regulatory agencies help HomeOpenly because sufficient enforcement of consumer protection regulations also protects open markets, as well as consumer wellbeing.

It is often much easier for brokers to collude than to compete, but our platform organically attracts honest professionals who proactively want to compete. Competition and honesty are highly contagious habits. Competition is what all consumers truly need.

4. HomeOpenly is a privacy-focused platform

User privacy is a highly complex and loudly-debated issue. What is it and how do we value the concept of privacy? At HomeOpenly, we have found that we do not have to make these decisions, to begin with. All principles behind Privacy by Design policies closely align with our mission to improve the homeownership experience.

Privacy by Design is an incredibly difficult concept to meet for any Internet platform because it often involves trade-offs with revenue. However, this is not necessarily the case for an open and scalable platform like HomeOpenly. Our mission to improve your homeownership experience requires us to surrender any idea of being able to trade privacy for profit. To trust us, our users must know that their privacy is always protected.

Privacy by Design policies requires HomeOpenly to focus on scaling our services to serve a larger user base, instead of secretly looking for a way to exploit our existing users.

Referral services, on the other hand, are entirely motivated by the idea of maximum privacy exploitation. Within hours or minutes of mistakenly offering their data to some broker referral services, consumers are already wishing that they could change their phone numbers.

HomeOpenly is fixing this dynamic by allowing consumers to make sound choices on our platform. Consumers actively select service providers on the HomeOpenly platform, and we never share anyone’s information without their expressed permission.

The added trust behind our exceptional Privacy by Design policy far outweighs the headache and the harassment a consumer typically receives from a random referral service.

5. HomeOpenly is an open systems platform

Open systems are of highly advanced Engineering because this methodology allows information to be correctly sourced, allocated, and applied from multiple sources into a single highly inclusive product.

Open systems in e-commerce are highly interactive digital products that exhibit interoperability, portability, and open software standards. Some of the most successful technology services on the planet all utilize open systems designs – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft all gained relevance due to unprecedented inclusivity by almost anyone who chooses to use these products (ignoring the ongoing antitrust allegations such as paid Google search engine preference on iOS devices, price parity clauses with Amazon Marketplace, App Store payment channel tying, self-preference search, etc.)

Open systems have a wide range of applications in many fields of science and commerce. HomeOpenly is the first product in online real estate to explore these principles of design against a high-risk avoidance transaction. We are throwing the full weight of open systems against a self-serving industry that is used to kickbacks and flawed business practices.

HomeOpenly allows almost any real estate agent in the United States to use our platform to offer savings while being able to deliver this information granularly across 130,000,000 homes directly to consumers.

Even as a startup, HomeOpenly already offers consumers more savings and much wider choices than Redfin Partner Program, Zillow Flex, HomeLight and Realtor ReadyConnect Concierge (Opcity) all combined. Why? Simple. We don’t care who specifically consumers choose to work with, as long as consumers are making good decisions based on reliable data.

Referral services are, by definition, closed systems, or black boxes. To make a referral, a closed system must mute other options available to consumers and steer you toward some choice that is unlikely to be the best. Referral services are biased by the mere definition.

Open systems incorporate a sustainable purpose, meaningful reflections, open negotiations, critical feedback, real-life situation awareness, and organic user engagement that guide our Engineering efforts in synergy to deliver a superior digital product for all our users.

Referral services, on the other hand, are just that – biased, closed-minded, expensive, harassing, and plain illegal pay-to-play schemes. Referral services exist solely due to the clever Art of Deceit.

HomeOpenly is an Open Marketplace™ that strictly operates by the principles of Open Systems and Privacy by Design to gain an organic competitive advantage. It is never appropriate to call HomeOpenly a referral service.

What does HomeOpenly offer?

The short answer is: HomeOpenly offers all our users the best possible savings when buying or selling a home in the United States due to the added power of network effects.

Real estate professionals advertise their savings competitively on HomeOpenly, for free, and our platform does not take any kickbacks from anyone ever. This means that every agent on our platform is motivated to offer their true rates to each consumer because all competitive agents are shown to a lot of consumers side-by-side, all at once. This also means that consumers are always in the driver seat, making decisions about their best options.

Consumers, in effect, benefit from platform's savings as a larger group. Real estate professionals on our platform benefit too because we don't set rates for anyone - agents set their competitive rates individually and we do not encourage anyone to cut corners and compete on price alone. HomeOpenly advocates all service providers to offer competitive rates for their best service.

In this open environment, consumers find some of the best possible agents locally and walk away with much better outcomes compared to negotiations and search for agents on an individual basis. HomeOpenly is an Open Marketplace™ that offers consumers genuine leverage as a group to hire competitive agents.

Related to: UX, Internet, Open Marketplace, Open Systems, Affordable Homes

Your feedback is incredibly valuable. Please tell us what is important to you about your homeownership experience, what you look for in a trust-focused platform and how we can better serve you as our user.

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Feel free to contact us if you need further assistance. At HomeOpenly we aim to make the opportunity of homeownership transparent, affordable and an open experience.

Last updated: March 16, 2021
First published: March 16, 2021