Welcome to today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, the Agent Grad School Podcast. I’m your host, Jennifer Myers, founder of agent grad school. Thank you for being here. I have a special guest on today’s episode, but before I introduce her, I want to explain why I’m having her on right now. Here’s what’s happening right now in the real estate market. Sellers are hearing everywhere that it’s a seller’s market. Their home will sell quickly and for a lot of money, and I’m seeing some real estate agents and definitely sellers, but real estate agents too, forgetting that the goal of selling a home or selling your property 90%.
So the time needs to be especially and even in a hot seller’s market. The goal is not just to get the home sold. It’s not to sell a home quickly. The goal is to get the money, a property, to sell it for the very most money possible. And just because it’s a hot seller’s market doesn’t mean you skip what’s necessary to get a home, to sell for the very most part of it, getting a home to sell or getting a home to sell fast is not a value proposition you should be using right now. All of your conversations with sellers and with your clients and in your newsletters and on your website and anywhere you market yourself, and any marketing you do. Wherever that is. If you are talking to sellers right now, your messaging has to be something along the lines of it’s easy to sell a house right now. Anyone can sell a house right now, but it’s crucial to get the very most money possible out of your home in this hot seller’s market. Let me show you how I can help you take advantage of the seller’s market and get the very most money out of it, your home. Okay. So now that we’ve established that you are a value proposition in this market is not to sell a house, and it’s not to sell a home quickly.
The value proposition right now is to sell a home for the most money possible, right? That’s always the goal, but this is where the messaging really needs to come in because we always have to be thinking, why should somebody choose as you are? And why should somebody choose? Do you also mean kind of convincing them that they should use an agent at all? And then that is a good time to sell. And if it is for them and they should use an agent, and it should be you. Okay? So that is the message to get there. So now, you know, we’ve established that the other thing you need to keep in mind right now is that this is a seller’s market in this hot sellers.
Want to get it is yours. Your job is not a lot to convince people who have no in selling their home. And your job also is to be sure that it is. If it is not in your seller’s best interest to sell their home right now, you’re not trying to convince those people to use you either. Your job is to find people who want to sell their homes right now and have them choose you. And one of the very best ways to do this is what’s called direct marketing to people who have a certain problem and tell them how you solve that problem.
Okay? The problem is not to skip the home solve. The problem is not to sell it quickly, right? But there are people out there who want to sell their home and feel like they can’t even right now. So we’re in agent grad school right now. We are focusing on many ways to do that right now. And I’m going to share with you just one of those ways that you can add value to your seller’s lives; even in a hot market, you’ve still got to add value. In fact, I would, I would, I would actually argue, you need to add even more value. So there are many, many problems that sellers are having right now, a perfect example.
And one reason people who want to sell their home aren’t selling their home. This is just one reason is because they don’t know where to go, right? What if I sell my home? And I don’t know where to go, right? That is not the problem we’re solving in today’s episode. But that is a problem that we talk a lot about inside Asian Grad school. And we have a plan to help sellers solve that problem. Right? But remember, no matter whether the market is hot, whether it’s crashing, whatever the market is doing is over there, right? It’s going to do whatever it is going to do, but some people want to buy and sell at any moment. And some of those people who actually want to move feel like they can’t for one reason or another.
And our job is to find those people and then truly help them get unstuck, remove obstacles where move any problems that they’re going through that are standing in their way, and communicate that we can solve that problem for them. Okay. So as I always say, and I’ve said so many times on this podcast, getting clients is about becoming known for who you help and how you help them. But to have clients coming to you, you not only need to be known for who you help and how you help them, but you need to do these three things. Also, number one, you have to have tools that your clients, whether they’re a buyer or seller, don’t already know about that answers the question, why haven’t they bought or sold already?
Okay, for people who want to move or buy a home, who in their heart of hearts really do want to do that, but nothing is stopping them. Your job is to have tools in your toolbox to solve the reasons they aren’t moving forward. There’s a reason there’s an obstacle in their way, and your job is to have a tool to solve it. So that’s number one. Number two is you need to clearly communicate that you understand whatever the problem is, whatever standing in their way, that you understand why they are in that situation. And you have a way to solve it. That feels like a no-brainer reason for them to do it move forward.
Like why wouldn’t somebody use this tool to make what they want to happen in their life happen? And why wouldn’t they? Because you have the tool, and you’re introducing it to them and marketing to them. Why wouldn’t someone choose you? Okay. That’s how clear your marketing needs to be. And then, of course, number three, you have to add, actually solve the problem. And that person does, in fact, become your client. And you need to have them enjoy every step of the process. Now you’ve heard me talk about this concept. It’s a lot, but I’ve never on this podcast, but I’ve never really broken it down in those three steps.
So in the example that I give you personally all the time, right? My first-time homebuyer, right? I had tools to help my first-time homebuyers overcome whatever obstacle was in their way. And for most people that I don’t have enough for a down payment, or I don’t feel like I can afford it. Right. And you’ve heard me talk about this before. The tools I used in that were a down payment assistance program or tax abatement programs and all of these tools that I could pull from, depending on who I was talking to them, what their, what their obstacle was, right. It was always like first-time home buyers. In this example, I’m giving you, you know, and I had tools to pull.
If somebody said, why are you? I don’t have enough money for a down payment, or I’m, I’m worried I can’t afford it. Well, then the down payment assistance would help them also. Right? And then I was able to clearly communicate that I understood every week in my newsletter and in my, on my website, I was clearly able to understand it. And from article to article, everything that I did was about, you can buy a home. Even if you have student loan debt, you can buy your first home, right? How to buy a home in your, in the location that you want. Right? All these obstacles I was removing every single week. And then, of course, when they actually did become my clients, I did, in fact, give them the truth tools, solve their problems, help them move forward.
I opened that up for them, went with their timeline, and did my very best to help them enjoy the process by using even more tools that I developed to help them enjoy the process. And when you learn to do that in your real estate, you become unstoppable. You’ll have clients coming to you every day, ’cause you add true value to people’s lives. And then they go and tell everyone they know about how you did it for them and how they can’t believe how great it all was and how surprised they were that they could actually do the thing they want it to do. And that is when that is the moment in your business. When your lead generation can be put on autopilot, and the clients come to you without you having to do much of any lead generation at all because they are spreading the word about you.
And you have clients coming to you that, you know, do you have no idea? Like, you know, there’s no way you could have like, found that or retraced there coming to you. Okay? Because you become known as somebody who can help a certain person with a certain problem, you have the tools, you clearly communicate it. And then, of course, you actually do what you say you can do, and you make it enjoyable. That is the secret to having clients coming to you and putting your lead generation on autopilot, and the client’s come to you without you having to do much of anything. And then that is the moment. When you have an asset, you have a hugely profitable, unstoppable, hugely sustainable, hugely consistent, and scalable real estate business.
You literally cannot stop the leads coming to you. That is the moment. Life becomes really good as a real estate agent. Okay? So This is the theory. And I want to give you one example, we’ll have a brass tactic that you can use with your sellers. This, this is also a company you can use with your buyers, but because I think listings and sellers are on people’s minds so much, you know, I think that’s where we can talk a lot about it today. So this is, there’s a company called Curbio C U R B I O. They are a national home improvement company, and they only work with real estate agents.
They do not work directly with homeowners. They work through you with your clients. They work exclusively with real estate agents who manage and execute the renovations needed before a home is put on the market. So your seller can get the very most for their property as quickly as possible. They use project management systems and technology. So you don’t have to be the project manager. And so the seller is always in the know about what is happening when, and the best part is your sellers don’t have to pay for any repairs until settlement. There are no hidden fees. There are no project minimums or maximums, and there are no interest charges.
And if you needed or even wanted to stage a property, they will work with yours or pair you with one of theirs. And your client does not have to pay for staging until settlement either, which is awesome. Okay. So you might be thinking in this market houses can sell without fixing them up. And of course, they can do that is not the goal, right? Then, they will get more, your sellers will be happier and get more profit and be able to move on if they look even better. So do not skip this step in the process of selling a home, even though the market is hot. Okay. If you do that, you are doing a disservice to your seller clients. So one conversation you’ll need to have with all of your seller clients is, do you want the most money possible out of your home?
Here’s how we do that. Otherwise, you can still sell your home, and maybe you’re going for ease or just like, let’s get it done, but make sure it’s clear. There are two different roads that lead to different places. Now, what I also love about Curbio is it can also help your buyer clients. They can work with your buyer clients to freshen up a home before they move in, which is super helpful in a market like this. Or maybe you will have buyers who have been outbid. And so they end up getting a home that maybe needs a little bit of work. So it stays within budget. Okay. Curbio can also work quickly to get that home move-in ready for your buyers and that you can plan it all so that the word Curbio can start the day after settlement and then delay payment until after the work is done, which is especially helpful for your clients who are buying and selling it at the same time, who may be just like, haven’t quite sold. Maybe their house is in contract, but they can’t pay for them to work on a new house until they sell.
And it’s a timing thing, right? And maybe they just don’t have the funds, right? This second, as long as their house sells before the renovation on the new house is done, then they have the money to do that from the sale of their house. Okay. So what types of clients is Curbio good for? This is not, it’s not good for every single client. For example, I would not recommend this option for your investor clients because the investors typically have a crew who is super cheap for them, or maybe you are an agent who’s been doing this a long time, and you have like your go-to contractor on call who’s who you have been working with for years?
And maybe they have an unbeatable price and right. I’m not talking to those clients. And I’m not talking to those agents. I’m talking to the agents who maybe your contractor is busy and can’t start a project for weeks and weeks and weeks, or maybe you’re an agent in a new market. You just moved there, and you don’t know anybody, and you don’t have that go-to contractor. So Curbio, it was great for our clients who have lived in their homes. I think a perfect example that a lot of our students are using it for is for clients. Who’ve lived in their home for a long time, and maybe they have a lot of equity in their home and they don’t have a lot of cash outside of their home until that home sells.
Right? One of our agents uses this car uses Curbio to help people move out of their long time home and downsize into a condo, for example, and uses Curbio to help that buyer or that seller get the very most money for their home without paying for any repairs, until settlement. Because her clients tend to not have a lot of money outside of the equity of their house. So how do you fix up a house and get the most money for it? If they don’t have money outside the house? Yes, you could refinance. You could do a home equity line of credit, but sometimes that takes a while. Sometimes, especially if people are on a fixed income or something like that, and their older years, you might not have the income to qualify for that.
And so Curbio is a good option, a good tool for those clients.
Another, you know, again, if you’re right now, contractors are booked and can’t start a job for weeks, but let’s say your seller wants to sound. You just, you don’t have any auction. You can’t find anybody to do the work Curbio to the Rescue ’cause they can start right away. And they say they get projects fat finished 58% faster than the typical contractor. So those are just some examples of who Curbio, what type of agent, or what type of client would be a perfect fit for Curbio.
Now you might be thinking, I wonder if this was more expensive Curbio does not charge interest or have any like up-charges or anything like that. But their pricing is pretty typical for like the average contractor in your area, right? They’re not the cheapest. They are not the most expensive. They’re kind of like the average pricing. So know that going in. And so, yeah, just know that going at, but the benefits of using them are they remove you from being the project manager. They become the project manager, and they have this awesome app that communicates with between their team, you, and your client.
So that saves you a ton of time. They get the job done quickly. And the best part is your clients don’t pay a penny until settlement until their house sells, which obviously is helpful for so many reasons. So those are just some of the benefits of Curbio. And I wanted to introduce this as just one tool of the many tools that we’re talking about right now in Agent Grad School to add value to your client’s lives and help them get unstuck. So I interviewed Curbio, his director of marketing, Olivia Mariani, to talk more about Curbio. And there’s a lesson in that conversation so that you can learn more about what they offer, how you can use them in your business, and how to market yourself with this program to your client.
So you can not only service the clients that are already coming to you but also use this program as a way to bring more clients to you as well. Because as you can see, there are so many ways that you could solve a certain client, a certain type of seller, a certain type of buyer’s problems using Curbio. So here is my conversation with Olivia.
Hey, thanks for having me, Jennifer.
Sure. One reason I really appreciate you being here, and one reason I wanted to have you on the show and introduce our listeners to your company is because Curbio is very pro-agent. Your client is the real estate agent.
You don’t work directly with buyers or sellers. You only work directly with agents. And I love that because there are so many companies these days out there trying to kind of circumvent the agent or replace the agent. And I just think it’s so important that we, as agents, support and work with companies that support us. So I just want to say thank you for creating a company that actually helps real estate agents do their job better and makes us look better. I really appreciate that. That is your mentality. How did, how did that come to be? Can you talk a little about how Curbio came to be and how you decided that agents only were your clients?
Absolutely. So from the beginning, Curbio decided to create a business model where we work through the realtor. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. Number one is that we firmly believe that real estate agents provide immense value to their clients. And they are a critical resource for helping clients navigate the waters of buying or selling a home. You know, pretty much 10 out of 10 times, working with an agent is going to help the client achieve top dollar and get to market faster. And, you know, the realtor usually knows which updates are necessary to achieve a seller’s desired price.
They just don’t always have the expertise or a go-to contractor that was purpose-built for real estate. So since our expertise is in smart, value-driven home updates, combining that with the agent’s expertise of the market really allows us to deliver a uniquely superior solution. And there is a lot of talk about the role of the agent with the rise of I buying and all of the disruption in the value chain and home buying and selling. But we believe that agents will always have a place for, like I said, helping to navigate one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. On top of that, you know, Curbio is, like I said, working to get home market-ready.
It’s not a dream home makeover with custom finishes where, you know, you might be waiting weeks for the perfect materials. Are there any of those things? So naturally, I think there’s a lot of interest overall from the consumer when they hear that we defer all payment until closing. That can spark a lot of interest in, you know, home improvement in general. So when there’s a listing agreement in place, then it says that the home is actually going to be listed. So from a business efficiency standpoint, working through the realtor keeps our deals moving forward. Yeah. And for those agents who are listening that may have never heard of Curbio. Can you give, give everyone just like a little bit of information about exactly what Curbio does and how you work with an agent to help their clients, the agent’s clients sell their house for the most money possible?
Absolutely. So home improvements are now virtually part of every single transaction, whether it’s on the sell-side or buy-side. You know, there was a real need in the market for a solution that is purpose-built specifically for real estate because the old-fashioned industry, it just doesn’t work for real estate. So we’ve created a hassle-free, fast, turnkey process for getting homes ready for market or move in. And we defer all payments until closing. So agents love working with us because we actually take care of all project management and execution. So we are the licensed and insured general contractor, which is what differentiates us from a concierge service.
So agents no longer have to spend time coordinating projects or chasing down contractors, visiting the property multiple times. They just, you know, they hand it off to Curbio, and we get the job done. But on top of that, like we understand that in real estate, reputation is everything. And so we’ve really focused on handpicking and selecting our contractors, focusing on speed and getting it done faster than the traditional GC. Again, it is just a process with the realtors’ goals in mind because it ultimately drives a better experience for their clients. Yeah. And I love this for so many reasons.
Number one that you understand your job is to make us look better but also to our clients that you’re helping us build our reputation, but also that you understand that things like we need to go to market quickly, you know, that we can’t wait weeks and weeks for, you know, the perfect countertop ’cause it, just needs to be the countertop that’s gonna sell the house. Right. So the fact that you already get like how to. I think you also eliminate some of the options. You know, you guys kind of know like here’s the five things that like is going to sell the house as you either get this color or this color. And I think that also helps not only with speed, but also reducing overwhelm for, for clients.
And to say like, here are the options, let’s pick this one and go.
You know, we’re all about simplicity. And like you said, selecting from a curated menu of options that are going to move the property quickly. And you also have an app that helps with communication. Cause that’s one thing as a real estate agent, that’s like really slows us down and kind of exhausts us sometimes is managing the communication between certain parties, you know. So tell us a little bit about how you help agents with that aspect of the business also with your app.
Definitely, so our all-in-one app is central to the simplicity of the Curbio process. When an agent gets started with a project, they get access to our app. And so do the homeowner and the project manager that you’re working with. And all updates go through the app. So there are photo, text, and video updates on the status of the project. You can see timelines, you know, exactly when a car is showing up so that you can give your client a heads up. People can work around it. And you know, it ultimately results in a faster streamlined project, less communication, errors, more efficiency. And for the agent, you know, a lot of project management time saved because, in many cases, they barely even have to visit the physical property.
Yeah. Which is a huge time saver. And then the coordination between the clients, because the clients get access to the app too. And they can see when things are happening or scheduled, which is awesome. It’s just an amazing value add. And I think especially, you know, what I always teach our real estate agents is, you know, you’ve got to differentiate yourself, why should somebody, why should a buyer or seller choose you and having Curbio in your corner is a huge way to talk about how you can help sellers not only sell your house for more money, but more quickly because of the streamlined process, but also the fact that you can delay payment.
A lot of sellers don’t have the money to pay for the renovations before they sell their house. So that’s a huge benefit too. Can you talk a little bit about that piece? Because I think that’s such an important piece in addition to the fact that you have an app, then it saves time in addition to what you guys have, you know, project managers and this all goes smoothly, but as such a huge factor, is clients not having to pay for this until settlement? Can you talk more about that aspect?
Yes, Absolutely. And it, it, certainly that piece specifically does help the realtor immensely and differentiating when going into those listing presentations, it’s just one less objection that they have to overcome.
And so, you know, how it works is really simple. All of the work that is done to get the home market-ready, including any additional services that you might wanna recommend to your clients like staging or moving services. We defer all of the payment until settlement with zero interest fees, time to sell, or other restrictions. And there really is no catch to that. We do it for simplicity because at the end of the day, like I said, we’re, we’re trying to remove the hassle, stress and, you know, all of the problems traditionally associated with home improvement for the clients.
So deferring payment until closing makes that easy, and there really is nothing more to it.
That’s awesome. That’s so awesome. And so did I hear you right? Cause I don’t think we’ve talked about this before. You can, we can include things like staging and the pay is the settlement.
Absolutely. So, yeah, Curbio is able to work with any stager, you know, a homeowner or realtors often have a go-to stager if they don’t, we’ll match you with someone. But again, that service can be wrapped into the end as well.
Oh my gosh. That is so huge because that’s a big sticking point for a lot of sellers, especially sellers who are buying and selling it at the same time and money height, because you just bought a house and you haven’t sold your house and you’re paying two mortgages.
So this is such a huge benefit for people. What do you recommend or what do you see your agents as far as cause you’re, you know, the director of marketing. So how do you recommend that agents use this, you know, Curbio as a resource in their marketing? What have you seen? That’s been really effective.
There’s so many creative things. Jennifer, we have a marketing tool kit on our website actually where agents can customize flyers, listing presentation, slides, templates, and they can co-brand it. So it’s, you know, under their brands, and they’re adding the value.
So, you know, we’ve seen a lot of really awesome applications of that through advertising or outreach to their sphere. And I would say the biggest differentiator for agents when using Curbio is going into every single listing presentation with a quote in their back pocket, having seen the property, like kind of having a general sense for what updates or repairs might help it achieve that the target listing price and being able to say, Hey, like I actually know exactly a ballpark cost of all of these updates. No worries. You won’t have to pay anything until closing, and guarantee that you will get this list price.
If we put in these, you know, refreshes or updates. And I think that gives that that’s a lot of value because you know, homeowners hear this all the time. You have to do XYZ. Why do I have to do that? My, my property’s great. And so it’s just another tool, you know, we give free same-day estimates. So agents often go to a website or through the app to have to be prepared for those listing conversations. That’s awesome. Yeah. And I think, especially in this market, what I’m telling all our students is, it’s not about whether the house can sell ’cause in this crazy market like anything can sell. What you really have to be talking about in your marketing is how to get your house to sell for the most money possible in this unprecedented seller’s market?
You know, that’s not about getting the house to sell. It’s about getting it to look as good as possible so that it can sell for the most amount of money possible. Right. In some cases, it’s like, let’s have it sell in the first five minutes instead of the first week. Right. Right. Which is not, I don’t think, a good benefit necessarily if you want to give it full market exposure, which excludes, you know, giving it as wide of an audience as possible. So the better our property looks, the more likely you’re going to sell it for the most. And that is what the selling proposition should be. These days when you’re talking to a seller it’s, not can the house sell, but it’s how can the house sell for the most amount of money?
And I think you have a couple examples, Olivia that’s you, you go over D can you go through like one example of how much? Cause one thing that goes through my mind is, well, this must be expensive. It must cost a lot more money than your typical renovation company because you give so much value. Can you talk a little bit about whether there is a markup on pricing and whether or not this is kind of a loan, and then you add the interest at the time of settlement. Can you talk a little bit about the costs?
Sure, absolutely. So the first thing to know is there’s absolutely zero interest, zero fees, or premiums for the, you know, payment deferred to closing. That’s just something we’re able to do as a national company.
And like I said, it, we really do find, it helps with simplicity and speed. We make our money on volume. So we are a national company with scaled operations and multiple cities. We work with great vendors that we’re able to get good rates on for all of our materials and work. And so, at the end of the day, like we’re not taking any additional profit from the sale of the property. All of that additional profit goes back to the cellar. And in fact, we’re actually pretty affordable. In most cases, our pricing is competitive, and we do offer a price match guarantee just in case someone wants to get a comparable quote.
And often we’ll come in cheaper because our pricing is also consistent across each market. Whereas a local GC might mark it up based on the zip code or their workload with Curbio always have a consistent quote, like a seven-by-five hall bathroom is always going to be the same price in your city. And so that’s another value to the agent. And our goal really is to be every realtor’s go-to contractor for projects, big and small. And so, in order to achieve that, we know that we need to offer competitive pricing. Yeah. In the fact that you don’t Mark it up or make it more expensive. I know that there are other companies out there that do that, and I’ve always avoided them because I’m like, well, this isn’t a good deal for my client.
I can’t in good conscience tell my client to do those when suddenly it’s like, you know, thousands of dollars more than it should cost. So I love that aspect of Curbio.
Can you give just a few examples and I know that it’ll change, it will be different from city to city, but maybe if, could you give a couple examples of what a renovation or a project that you did cost and then how much value that added to the property, just so people can see like, you know, with real numbers, what this actually equates to. Yes. So I’m just, I’ll first say that Curbio has no minimum or maximum.
So the spectrum of work really does vary. Like we’ll do simple projects under 5k all the way to over 500 K. So I’ll choose one. That’s kind of a very typical type of project. So we recently did for a client some deferred maintenance. So some of that under the hood stuff that doesn’t always show in a before and after photo, but it is so important for avoiding any hiccups at inspection. And it also really does drive up the value of the home. So we did things like replacing the HVAC and electrical, doing some water remediation, we replaced the hot water heater, and then we also re refinished the entire basement.
And that’s a really great project for the right home to just simply finish the basement. And it really adds value. So that combined with all of the deferred maintenance was around 34,000, and it increased with this.
I’m sorry. Whoa.
Yes. And you can go to our website and see the photos. It looks great. It has drywall and carpet. Everything is exactly what a buyer would want.
Yeah, that’s a great price. It really is pretty competitive.
I mean, we’re not only doing the smart home improvements that will drive up the value. So, you know, you’re not going to get custom finishes. It’ll just be, it will show, well, it’s what, you know, bright, airy, light, what buyers want. So yeah, 34 K investment, but then it increased the list price by 125,000. So I think that’s a great story of just using Curbio to get those necessary repairs done at any value-driven updates. And then, you know, all of our properties truly do end up seeing that increase in less price because all of these updates are specifically to sell the home.
And, you know, we also did another one recently for a home that was pretty dated and well lived in, and it also needed a new roof, which I know is a big rub point. A lot of people are like, am I going to have to replace my roof? But it really does help to get that done. You’re leaving money on the table if you don’t get it done. And so for this particular property, it was in more of an upmarket area. We updated the bathrooms, installed new luxury title in the kitchen. So we did not do any sort of full renovation. Often people think they have to replace everything. And all of that was also around 35, and that caused the home to sell for nearly 260,000 over as is.
So these are all on our case studies of our website if anyone’s curious and wants a visual, but it’s true that you can get quite a bit of work done for an affordable price and see that increase in the list price. Well, and then I love that you remove, the hurdle that would cause somebody to say no to that, which is, which is money, right? Not everybody has $35,000 cash to do all that. And the fact that you were saying, no, you don’t want to have to worry about paying it until you settle when you have the money. That’s huge. Yeah. And it makes it accessible for all of them on top of that. Like, even if you do have the money again, you’re not paying a premium to defer it. There’s no catch there.
So why not even people who do have the cash love that. And also the time issue, you know, as I said, we’ve been built for speed. So maybe you can get that kind of pricing from a local GC, but they’re definitely not going to be able to get started the day after closing. And they’re definitely not going to get it done as fast as we do. So you, as you said, it’s really time. It’s risk, and it’s speed that are all traditionally barriers to doing the necessary home updates.
When you said the day after closing, what do you mean by that?
No, sorry. I did not. That was the buyers-side. We do pre-move-in projects as well for buyers, and I mixed it up. But I mean of the day that we can get started, like the day after giving you a quote.
So a lot of times, you know, I’m sure you’re familiar with this Jennifer like you’ll call your local person, and they might take a week to get you a detailed proposal. And then maybe they can start in a couple of weeks, especially in today’s market where projects are through the roof. And the value of working with Curbio is we are always staffed up and ready to go when you are. So as soon as you want to get started, we’re there.
That’s amazing. But yeah. So you mentioned the buy-side. So we’ve been talking to this whole time about how to prepare listings, which is a huge, you know, advantage. And this is something where, you know, all of the real estate agents listening, you want to talk about this program. You wouldn’t necessarily market it necessarily as, you know, we use Curbio, but you would say like, I can help you, you know, sell your house for the most money possible.
You don’t even have to pay it for fix-ups until settlement, that kind of thing. And then when you were at the listing appointment, then you talk about how you have this team at Curbio, who can help you make this happen.
So we’ve talked about the listing side, but talk, talk to me about the buying side.
Yes. So it works very similarly, except the payment is due at the completion of the work. So, clients that use us for the buying side, it’s often, you know, we can do any type of work needed, but it’s often those refreshes or kind of, you know, lipstick as I like to call it, making everything look a little bit better, more modernized up-to-date.
And a lot of times in this hot market where there’s such low inventory, there’s not a lot of options. And so having Curbio in your back pocket, a very reliable, fast contractor that your clients can use to do those necessary updates before moving in, is a real value add. And I think, again, that’s when we can get started the day after closing and collect payment upon completion. So no deposits or progress payments, all one, some, and that’s how buyers are you using us? And it’s the worst kind of varies. But I would say the most common are kitchen updates and bath updates.
Not necessarily a total gut, although we can do that. But often we find buyers are thinking down the line, they’ll do something more intensive, but to get moving ready, it’s kind of those cosmetic updates.
Yeah. Yeah, totally. Well, and what’s nice about that again is, you know, I keep thinking like, how can you use this to solve your client’s problems?
So in this market that we’re in right now, it’s great because often, you know, your buyers get outbid, and they have to start looking at different properties. And maybe they need to look at properties that need work, and they don’t want to coordinate the work, or they don’t want to have, you know, to manage that. And so the fact that Curbio can kind of remove that obstacle and make a house that maybe your buyers wouldn’t have looked at and the actual option is huge.
And so being able to remove that obstacle and say, look, I know you don’t want to do a renovation, but I’ve got this company who can do it for this price in this amount of time. Cause if you can get that so quickly is huge. Yeah. And you know, you’re talking about value-added real estate, like we’re seeing a trend there. I think like the realtors that work off of referrals exclusively, their job doesn’t end when the transaction is closed. They do that follow-up post-purchase or post-sale. And I think being able to have vendors in your back pocket that not even just vendors, but like School, you know, information on schools or helpful, you know, maybe someone loves yoga and you have a great local spot.
Like I think just being that resource for all things around the lifestyle for your clients is something we’re seeing. And a lot of really smart realtors are doing that. So Curbio is just one more example, even though you won’t be involved anymore, once you know, you move on; knowing that you can recommend a trusted contractor is great.
Well, I want to talk a little bit, if you don’t mind, about the marketing aspect of things. I think one reason I love Curbio is I think you were a perfect example. I always tell our students, pick a niche, don’t be everything to everybody, and you can get more volume, as you say when you have a very targeted audience.
And so, you know, I think you’re a perfect example of doing everything, even though I’m trying to help real estate agents realize that you can be there, you can be, they’re a partner in helping them increase the number of listings. They get, help them get buyers, more homes, and really help their business. I also think you’re a shining example of the kind of business that I am trying to advocate that real estate agents build, which is, you know, I always think, you know, there are all sorts of ways about it. Still, you know, niching picking a very targeted audience. So you don’t work. For example, you don’t work with homeowners. You only work through real estate agents, for example, right?
You’re the first contractor I’ve ever heard whose only client is the real estate agent. I think that’s amazing. And the fact that you then built your business plan and built what you offer us real estate agents, and that the way that your sole mission is to remove obstacles and help us do our jobs better for our clients, make what you guys do so targeted. So, so perfect. Like you’re, you’re fixing all the problems that we have, you know, with the app and making things happen quickly with, you know, having only a certain number of renovation options, which helps everybody do things quickly then removing the obstacle of the payment.
And so when you start to niche down, you are able to solve the problems for your client and become like an obvious choice to the point where it’s like, this really is too good to be true. Why wouldn’t I want to use Curbio, you know? And so that’s the kind of business that like. I know you’re well versed in marketing, and you’re the director of marketing at Curbio, but anything you want to add about how, you know, real estate agents, even if they can’t work with Curbio if you are not in the market where they serve, how they might be able to kind of take a lesson from this podcast and what you do to apply to their own business?
Yes, definitely. I’ve been thinking about that. I mean, we look forward to the day that we’re in every city in the U.S., but if that’s not the case today, and we’re not in your area, there are some really great ways to kind of try to take this on like DIY style. Well, I don’t want to say DIY cause you’re going to need some people to help you do it. But what I would recommend is number one. I love what you said, Jennifer, about niching. I think figuring out a sweet spot, like for example, maybe it’s people that have been in their home like 40 or more years and you suspect it’s a well lived-in home that just needs some cosmetic updates to get, to get it to show well, so you kind of hone in on one of those audiences and then in terms of like getting it done, I think absolutely number one is to seek out a trusted team of contractors and if possible, ones that have proven expertise in the real estate industry or working on projects to get home specifically bought and sold.
I don’t think it’s enough to find someone that does quality work like we spoke about in the beginning. They need to value getting to market quickly as much as you do. And there’s a lot of risks involved in keeping the transaction moving smoothly. So number one is critical. Find your team of painters, repeat, you know, trades, people that have experience specifically in real estate referrals are great. Maybe you could try putting out feelers and ads again, specifically asking for that real estate experience. And then two is to have a team member manage the projects for you and kind of be your in-house GC.
I think a lot of agents are doing this already, and it’s super smart. I’m the reason it keeps all of that project management burden off of your plate. So you can go out and focus on your clients, better give them that white-glove service with more listings, maybe even get more work-life balance. You know, it’s, it’s one of those things that everyone should if they can think about, you know, hiring a team member to help manage. And then three is the tech piece. Definitely try to get some sort of project management system to help manage the projects. And so, you know, Curbio, we have our all-in-one app, but there are many affordable, if not free tools out there to keep everything on track, moving smoothly.
Some tools I like are Asana and Base Camp. These are project management tools that I think will be perfect for trying to do this in-house. And then the next tip I would have is to keep projects to the basics with an emphasis on smart home improvements that drive up the value no matter what. So start small, you know, I think most agents don’t necessarily want to take on a 100K renovation, even if their seller has the cash to do that. I think, you know, start out with the basic kitchen refreshes, like repainting the cabinets, interior, painting, landscaping, and deep cleaning of the carpets. All of those things show so well and really do provide a return.
And then if you can, and I know this is not an option for everyone, especially if you’re first starting out, but consider providing pay at closing up to a certain amount. Sometimes it does come out of your own pocket, but it more than pays for itself because you’re helping add additional value to your clients. And I have seen a bunch of real estate agents starting to do this kind of like standing up their own concierge program. Yeah, I think so too. I’ll say for w what markets are you currently in? Just so people know where they can and can’t use you. And then, I’ll give an example of how I use to do this before I knew that Curbio even existed.
Oh yeah. That’d be awesome. So we’re in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Orlando, Philadelphia in South Jersey, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, South Florida, and Tampa. So quite a few of the major markets in the U.S. And we plan to expand to more later this year.
And when you say, for example, in Seattle or Chicago, do you include the suburbs in those? Or is it just the city?
Oh yes. Yes. The suburbs as well. Generally, we worked within a 40-mile radius of all of those areas.
Awesome. So suburbs covered too.
And then expanding, continuing to grow, or will this will be kind of it for a while? Or what are your expansion plans?
There are some expansion plans for next quarter, and we are always keeping in touch with realtors who want Curbio in their area. So feel free to contact us if you really want us to be in your area. We definitely keep track of those inquiries.
So, yep. Definitely planning to expand. Don’t have specific concrete dates at this time, but the best way is to follow us on social because we’ll definitely announce it there. Yeah. Okay. And I’ll link in the show notes for everybody, I’ll link to your website, I’ll link to your social media, any place else you want me to link for people? Most places are great. I think maybe giving everyone a link to the estimate, if they’re like, Oh, I have a project I really could use Curbio for it.
Let’s just make it easy for them and give them the link. Okay. I’ll put that in there as well. And I’ll just give everybody an example. So if you’re not in one of those markets, here’s what I did in my business.
How old is Curbio, by the way? Cause I feel like I’ve only heard about you over the last year.
We’re about four years old at this point.
Okay. Yeah. So before Curbio existed, what I used to do is I offered this. So I have what’s called a loyalty program, and I offered essentially what Curbio kind of offers to my past clients as part of my loyalty program. So for me, in order to quote-unquote qualify for what I would offer is that they didn’t have to pay my past clients wouldn’t have to pay for the fix-up. I would always say, look, I know you’re buying and selling at the same time, money is tight. So if you want me to pay for the contractor or pay for the stager until settlement, I’m more than happy to do that.
And nine times out of 10 clients would be like, no, we’re fine, but it really did help the ones who needed it and they were so relieved. I have that couple of thousand dollars that they didn’t have to, you know, shell out in cash when they were trying to buy and sell and all this stuff. And what I did was I had like my three contractors, I had my general contractor and then I had my flooring guy, and then I had my stager. It was like, we were like clockwork, and they knew exactly what color paint I wanted, what color carpet I wanted. And so we, we just kind of had this formula. And every time we walked through a house together, they knew exactly what to do.
And so when I heard about Curbio, it was like, wow, it’s like, they’re doing exactly that, but doing it on such a larger scale, we’re more agents can have access to a team of people that they can trust and that things will go smoothly and quickly, and they wouldn’t necessarily need to front the money if that wasn’t an option for them. So I think you’ve done such an amazing job at supporting us agents, which, you know, gives us an opportunity to grow our businesses. And I just think you’re an amazing company, and I would love to support you guys as much as possible. That’s why I wanted you guys on the show to tell more agents about how you can help them grow their business.
So, I really appreciate it, everything that you are doing and the fact that you do believe in real estate agents, and the value we provide our clients. So thank you so much.
Thank you so much for the sweet words. I’m glad you recognize, you know, the value, and we’re happy to work with any of your listeners and really appreciate the opportunity.
Thank you so much.
And for everybody listening, you can go AgentGradSchool.com. Go to podcast, and I will link to Curbi’s website, to their social media, and to the place where you can start getting your estimates in the cities that they work in. So thank you, Olivia, for your time today. Is there anything else you want to add or anything else you want agents to know before we close out?
No, I think we had a pretty thorough discussion, but I’m happy to answer any questions. I guess I will leave with one note is like with one word of advice. If you’re not doing pre-listing updates, someone else is, so definitely just try to think through how you can help clients maximize value, whether it’s with Curbio with your own in-house team.
Awesome advice. Thanks, Olivia.
Thanks, Jennifer. Talk soon.
I love everything they are doing at Curbio, and I love that their focus is on helping real estate agents.
They are a pro real estate agent company in a world where it feels like so many new companies coming out are trying to suck up to real estate agents. So that is one huge reason why I wanted to present this option to you because I think it’s important to support companies in our industry who support us. And I know a lot of money is going to other companies who don’t necessarily have that mindset. And so this is one huge reason why I hope that you’ll consider and look into using Curbio in your business.
Are they the perfect solution for every single client? Every single time?
That’s not at all what I’m saying. Still, it’s your job to know when to pull the Curbio tool out of your toolbox for certain clients and whether you’re an agent that Curbio will work for and whether or not they can create a win-win for both you and your buyer and seller clients. For so many agents listening and so many clients of yours, or if somebody is listening, who has a client that this would be beneficial for now, Curbio is just one example of the types of tools you need to have in your toolbox to be competitive in today’s market. And when I say the word competitive in this sentence, I don’t mean your client’s competing.
I mean, you are competing for clients because right now, it’s really tough to get clients because there are so many disruptors in our industry. And there are so few houses that are coming on the market. So many buyers are feeling like they’re not going to win the offer. So really, our job right now as real estate agents needs to be asking, Do you want to buy, or you want to sell? And here’s the way to do it without having to pay all cash. That is, even if your market is highly competitive market is highly competitive. As it has been competitive for a long time with cash offers can be competing with cash offers and hundreds of thousands over, right?
But there are clients out there who feel overwhelmed, for example, by the process of selling their house or buyers who are like, Ugh, all the houses in this certain price range, where I feel like I’m not going to get outbid, or I’m not going to blow my budget. It feels like they need work, right? Curbio could be a helpful option for those clients. So inside Agent Grad School recently, and pretty much all year long, we have been talking about the tools that you can use to help you solve this, help solve your client’s problems in this market. And how do you use those tools in your marketing to bring clients to you, solutions-based marketing?
And it’s not just marketing. It’s actually like actually solving your client’s problems when they come to you. So our students have created entire programs and marketing communication plans in their businesses based on who they want to help and how they want to help them and what they want to become known for, and how they use tools like Curbio to solve their client’s problems, add value, and bring clients to them. You know, for example, let’s say you want to target sellers. Here’s an example of a marketing message that you can send to sellers to get their attention and have them coming to you, knowing that you have Curbio or a Curbio like program that you put together on your business of Curbio is not in your market. Here’s a type of marketing message that could work.
So it goes, Want to sell your home, but have projects? You need to first hand me the keys, and I’ll get them done for you before we put your home on the market so that you can get the very most money out of your home. And the best news of all, you don’t have to pay a dime until settlement. Now, obviously, your marketing message would go on to explain that a little bit more, but that is kind of the gist. And there are sellers out there right now who would perk up when they see that, who would come to you because they would say something like, I want to move, but I feel overwhelmed by this project, and I don’t want to have to pay for it. So this sounds too good to be true.
And so you would continually market that and show them different ways, show them examples, right? There’s a whole way that you can start to say to a client it’s not too good to be true. This actually happens. And here’s examples of it, right? There’s a whole marketing plan behind that, but that’s generally the message for each one of those.
Okay, just know that this is the kind of stuff that we talk about when we execute inside Agent Grad School every single week. So, if your interested in learning how to do this in your business, if you’re interested in learning other tools that we’re using right now, like Curbio think about becoming a student., You can to AgentGradSchool.com/enroll to learn more and start getting the tools you need to grow your business in this market and learn how to market yourself with these tools that brings clients to you.
Notice in my marketing message, I didn’t necessarily use the word Curbio.
Once I have the listing appointment, then I introduced Curbio and Curbio has an awesome marketing toolkit to help you co-brand and explain it to your sellers. They have videos. They have really cool postcards. It’s great. So they can even help you with the marketing in this example.
And if you’re not ready to become a student, no problem. We have got something for you to join—the Agent Grad School Inner Circle, which is totally free. And I share more than I can share here on this podcast with my inner circle members in an email or two every week, no spam, just one or two emails a week of the things that actually help you build a better business, help with your marketing, help you look a different look at things differently, and hopefully save you time or bring you clients or save you money.
So if that interests you, you go to AgentGradSchool.com/innercircle to learn more about that option. I’ve got lots of free stuff planned for our inner circle members this month. So if you aren’t already a member, I would highly recommend joining because it’s free.
So, I hope this episode today not only has introduced you to Curbio, but also kind of has you thinking about what other tools can I use right now in my business to solve my clients’ problems, my buyers’ problems, my seller’s problems, and that is our goal. As real estate agents. We want to be problem solvers. We want to not just be order takers. We do not want to wait for somebody to just be like, Hey, here’s my house to sell on a silver platter.
That makes it very difficult to have, to give people a reason to choose you. And so you want to give them reasons to choose you and having Curbio in your back pocket for certain clients in certain situations gives people a reason to choose you. Okay? I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. I loved talking to Olivia. I think Curbio is a great company who can help you look into them. I will link in the show notes to this episode, to their website, to their free estimate program, and a little bit more about how it works. So go to agent grad school.com go to the podcast. And this one is called Curbio to the Rescue, and there’s a direct link there to them.
I can’t wait to see you next time. On another episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, see you next week. Thank you for listening to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, we purposely keep this podcast sponsor and commercial-free so we can focus solely on providing real estate agents with the content that we’ll help them grow their real estate business. And how about life? They love outside of the business to what we need your help to get this podcast in the hands of other real estate agents. So please, if you liked this episode, leave a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening, and also tell your agent friends to listen in to thank you so much for supporting the show for being a listener and supporting other agents along your way to success.
That’s what this is all about to see you next time on another episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. And until then, come hang with me over at AgentGradSchool.com. See you there.
Agent Grad School is the best online business school for modern real estate agents. We teach a proven system to have a successful real estate career using smart, unconventional strategies and modern marketing methods to attract clients.
about your instructor
Hi, I'm Jennifer!
I'm a real estate agent, creator of Agent Grad School and host of the podcast Confessions of A Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I teach real estate agents the exact steps I used to become one of the top 1% of agents in the US using online marketing and modern, out-of-the-box business strategies.
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