Pre-sale renovation startup Curbio announced a new strategic partnership with Coldwell Banker Bain Thursday, which will allow the latter’s agents to integrate Cubio’s platform into their existing resources.
Coldwell Banker Bain, in the Pacific Northwest, is the first participating brokerage for Curbio’s Strategic Alliance Program, which is aimed at freeing agents and consumers from of the task of arranging for pre-sale home improvements, and instead, letting Curbio handle all of the work.
“We rolled out this program basically to empower brokerages to create their own turnkey presale renovation solution without having to take on all of the risk and the overhead and the logistical management of trying to create it on their own,” Rikki Rogers, the vice president of marketing at Curbio said. “We created this solution so brokerages could spin up their own concierge service really quickly without all of the additional work.”
Curbio has been doing pre-sale renovations since 2017 and strictly operates in partnerships with real estate agents. The company only renovates homes that are about to be sold and only renovates homes with homeowners who are represented by a real estate agent.
But with the rise of concierge programs — Keller Williams, Compass, Realogy and Redfin are among the firms offering the service — Curbio was getting more and more interest from brokerages that wanted to partner with the company to give their agents access to the pre-sale renovation service for their clients.
“All of these brokerages are eager to compete and offer this pre-sale renovation services,” Rogers said.
Rogers was quick to point out that Curbio does differ from other concierge services, as Curbio is the licensed and insured general contractor on all of the renovation projects. Other concierge programs allow homeowners to defer payment, essentially meaning that the brokerage is paying vendors on behalf of the client, but still having the homeowner procure their own labor
“Most of these other concierge programs are deferring payment, so the brokerage is paying vendors on behalf of the client and then collecting the payment after the home sells through different methods,” Rogers said. “And then they are matching homeowners to renovation companies or allowing the homeowner to go out and procure their own labor.”
“That model, I think, is a great model for small projects, but for large projects that are really going to add value, there’s some key pieces missing,” Rogers added.
Most general contractors, she explained, are not experts in pre-sale renovation, rather they are experts in doing what the client tells them to do. It’s the opposite of what you want, when you’re trying to sell a home, according to Rogers.
Curbio also completely manages the project, using its curated supply chain and portfolio of materials.
“It’s a completely hands-off process for the seller and that agent,” Rogers said.
Curbio started working on the program earlier this year and had met representatives from Coldwell Banker Bain at the National Association of Realtors pitch battle — which Curbio won. After talking with Coldwell Banker Bain for a time, Curbio decided the brokerage would be the perfect first partner.
“They have a really strong footprint in two of our markets and their leadership has a really strong vision and understands how important pre-sale renovation can be both for homeowners and a competitive asset for their team,” Rogers said.
Curbio is aiming to be in 25 cities by the end of the year and is looking for partners in all those markets, although the company has set criteria about the brokerages it will work with — brokerages need to have the right marketing budget, for example.
“As we speak, we’re talking to many more brokerages across the country,” Rogers said.