One of the most anticipated sessions at our sister publication Houston Agent magazine’s inaugural Accelerate Summit, held on Oct. 2 at the Sawmill Lake Club in Missouri City, addressed a trend that has not necessarily been met with open arms by the real estate community: the era of the iBuyer. But like it or not, tech companies have entered the real estate game, and they’re offering something that many sellers find appealing: fast, automated cash offers on real estate listings.

It is in some ways a natural progression, said Chris Crocker, vice president at HomeLight Agent Network, a tech company that aggregates iBuyer offers, similar to what Kayak does with airline tickets.

“I have instant gratification on my phone right now for almost everything in my life — why not real estate too?” In many ways, that’s what iBuyers are offering – convenience along with speed and certainty. “Our data shows that people using our services prioritize convenience,” Crocker said. “And if an iBuyer can offer them 94 percent [of their home value], it would be irrational for them to hire you.”

Welcome to the rise of house flipping, Silicon Valley-style. While the iBuyer concept is currently the most mature in Phoenix, where …

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