Rikki Rogers currently serves as VP of marketing for Curbio, a tech-enabled startup that renovates homes before they are listed and waits until settlement to be paid. Last year, she helped Curbio triple the number of markets in which the company operates in less than nine months, as well as led Curbio to beat the competition at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) iOi Summit last August.
Under her guidance, Curbio's "renovate now, pay at settlement" model allows sellers to flip their own home and cash in on their investment, instead of letting an investor or wholesaler profit. Rogers made a strategic decision early on to exclusively market to agents and require sellers to have an agent in order to work with Curbio.
Here, Rogers explains Curbio's selling process and what led to the decision early on to work exclusively with agents:
RISMedia's Real Estate Newsmakers honors were created to recognize the people who are raising the standards of professionalism in the real estate industry. What does it mean to you to be named among this year's 300 honorees?
RISMedia is a legacy publication and sets the gold standard for residential real estate news. I'm honored to be recognized on the Real Estate Newsmakers list alongside so many brilliant industry professionals. As a woman, it's especially meaningful to be included as representation in the real estate and technology space.
You were selected as a Newsmaker within the Futurists category, which is dedicated to the forward thinkers within our industry. Could you tell us a little bit about how Curbio got started?
The initial idea behind Curbio came when our Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Matthew Siegal, was approached by a neighbor who was desperate to sell her home, but couldn't make the necessary home improvements before listing without a loan. This interaction inspired Curbio's pay-at-close model.
Since then, Curbio has reinvented the pre-sale renovation process. Our technology increases the sale price, expedites the renovation process and enhances communication—providing a better overall renovation experience for agents, brokerages and their clients.
What is Curbio's mission?
Curbio's mission is simple: help agents and their clients sell homes for the best possible price without the stress of project management.
We're giving agents a competitive edge in this changing landscape and helping them fight against new challenges like rising expectations, aging housing inventory and iBuyers.
Why did you make the decision early on to exclusively market to agents and require sellers to have an agent?
We've always understood the importance of agents and believe they should remain at the center of the home sale. Their local expertise and market experience is crucial for buying and selling homes and invaluable when strategizing renovation plans.
However, agents shouldn't be burdened with executing home improvements. That's why Curbio is the licensed and insured general contractor on every project and handles the entire renovation from initial estimate to completion.
What's the biggest misconception agents have about Curbio?
The biggest misconception agents have about Curbio is that we're the same as "concierge" services. Unlike the "concierge" options some brokerages offer for pre-sale home improvements, Curbio doesn't just cover upfront expenses for renovations and leave the rest to the agent and homeowner. We're actually doing the renovations and—unlike a regular general contractor—bringing pre-sale expertise to the table. We specialize in renovations that increase return on investment, and that's a much more complex task than simply deferring payment.