Brokerage

A seller-focused discount cloud brokerage: just a business plan

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Tiny Georgia-based brokerage Virgent Realty claims to be the “first and only cloud-based real estate group.” It has not closed any deals — the firm just launched this month — but a few sellers have signed up for the service.

Read the full survey findings of our hybrid brokerage report — or download the PDF.

What does that mean?

Focused on the home seller, Virgent doesn’t meet its clients in person.

After meeting online, the Virgent licensed agents conduct a home valuation using information from the homeowner, tax records and previous MLS data.

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Left to right: Xi Li, Don Griffin, Jude Rasmus, Kenny Selmon and Kim Pope of Virgent Realty

Left to right: Xi Li, Don Griffin, Jude Rasmus, Kenny Selmon and Kim Pope of Virgent Realty

Using the firm’s online platform, clients then schedule a photographer, review their listing, schedule showings and, with the help of an agent, negotiate offers.

Sellers pay a flat fee of $5,000 at closing. Virgent Realty pays all four of its agents a salary.

The firm focuses solely on sellers because they pay agents on both the list and buy side and thus have the largest incentive to save money and simplify the selling process, Virgent Realty’s founder, Ben Kubic, said.

A newly minted Harvard Business School grad, Kubic, 27, doesn’t have a background in real estate. His partner is Jude Rasmus, a broker with 25 years of real estate experience.

Kubic was inspired by his friends who were frustrated with the homebuying process.

“My generation expects to conduct transactions like this online, and they hate having to manually sign forms and call or visit an agent,” Kubic said. “They also feel that a percentage commission is totally unreasonable because it doesn’t cost an agent more to sell a more expensive house.”

See a comparison chart explaining what each hybrid brokerage model does — and does not — include.

What should you do about hybrid brokerages? Here are 10 suggestions.

A hybrid broker success story: Redfin.

Email Paul Hagey.


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