Brokerage

Sound off: Are hybrid real estate brokers breaking new ground or emulating the same old discounters?

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Newly minted Harvard MBA Ben Kubic and 25-year real estate veteran Jude Rasmus are an odd couple. But they share a vision: Turn the traditional real estate business model on its head. They have joined forces to launch a new company, Virgent Realty, which offers a limited-service real estate option for home sellers in Georgia. It promises a “great consumer experience” and it uses technology to make the home-selling process easier.

Kubic says his generation is used to buying insurance online, using TurboTax and engaging in other financial services without speaking to a professional. Millennials are not “emotional” about these types of transactions, like generations before them, according to Kubic, who has a youthful but charming cockiness about changing the real estate industry.

A new gaggle of hybrid brokers is offering an alternative to the traditional broker commission and service model. Their models vary from agent matching, end-to-end technology platforms, discounted seller commissions, rebates to buyers and fixed fees with employees, not independent contractors.

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