Before joining Opendoor, I served in the United States Navy as a submarine officer for seven years. The Navy Ethos serves as a guiding light for its service men and women: “Integrity is the foundation of our conduct; respect for others is fundamental to our character; decisive leadership is crucial to our success.”
I’ve carried those beliefs and ideals with me throughout my career, and have brought them here to Opendoor. Part of the reason I joined Opendoor nearly 4 years ago was because I saw these values in practice, even early in the company’s life. I strive to continue to reinforce them daily, as they help define how we approach Trust and Safety for our community. In 2019, that meant supporting over 1.5 million home visits in neighborhoods across America.
Keeping our community safe
If there’s anywhere in the world you should feel safest, it’s at home. At Opendoor, Trust and Safety are a top priority, and, whether you’re a customer, agent partner, or vendor, we want you to feel comfortable and protected in each Opendoor home you visit. We aim to provide a world-class home viewing experience and have taken necessary steps to provide a safe environment for our visitors. In turn, this helps ensure the safety of the neighborhoods you visit as well. But we know there’s always more to do.
In fact, the unpredictable nature of this past year has driven us to think about how we can do even more to enhance Trust & Safety. There’s no question that the spread of COVID-19 influenced us to provide a new level of safety in our products and experiences. We introduced contact-free ways to instantly sell your home to Opendoor, virtual touring, and e-notaries. While these experiences were necessary amidst the pandemic, we’ve listened to your positive feedback and intend to keep these changes in place moving forward.
Products and policies put in place
At Opendoor, Trust and Safety starts before you reach the front door, and it continues throughout the entire home visit. Here are a few of our latest products and policies we’ve put in place, which can also be found on our safety page:
- Visitor Code of Conduct: We ask anyone visiting our homes to accept our Visitor Code of Conduct, which, like the Navy, outlines key principles, such as following the law and being respectful of neighbors and property. All visitors must agree to the Code of Conduct in order to enter the home.
- Visitor verification: To access our homes, we request information to ensure you are who you say you are. This includes providing basic information like your email and phone number, as well as critical identification verification.
- In-app safety messaging: We want to help make sure you know what to expect when you walk into a home for the first time so that you can stay safe. This includes letting you know about home features like sunken living rooms so you can watch your step.
- Incident response team: The best offense is a good defense. We’ve combined our technology, customer experience advocates, and Trust & Safety team members to detect, assess, and address in-home issues. We continuously invest in: 1) monitoring systems, which monitor the property and help detect whether a home has been left unsecured; 2) expert customer support that is available by phone throughout open house hours; and 3) nightly patrol, where a home may be visited by a professional, third-party security company if we’ve received reports of safety issues.
- Safety tips: Whether it’s your first home visit or your fifth, we outline several safety tips for touring our homes—as well as how to avoid tricky rental scams. Find out more at our safety page.
Trust and Safety will always be a top priority for Opendoor. We’ll continue to invest in the things that bring you more protection. We will continue to develop and leverage technology to have the best real-time information on home conditions and safety. We’ll continue to partner with security leaders and local law enforcement to help keep communities safe. And we will continue to work to make the entire process even more streamlined to provide a great shopping experience that is safe and comfortable for our customers.
Our mission is to empower people to move. An important part of that work is delivering a safe, secure experience for our customers, partners, and neighbors. We look forward to continuing and building on this work into the future.
Brad Bonney is the head of market operations at Opendoor.