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About Ben Kubic

Ben Kubic is the co-founder and CEO of Virgent Realty, a technology-driven brokerage serving home sellers in Atlanta. In its first month, Virgent was featured in Inman News and Product Hunt, and Ben sat on the Hybrid Broker panel at Inman Connect 2015 in SF. Ben received his MBA at Harvard Business School and his B.A. and B.S. at the University of Maryland.

Millennial Buyers Aren’t Going To Stand For This

by Ben Kubic on 4:59 pm August 4, 2016

My morning routine is to make a cup of coffee and peruse the Inman Headlines in my inbox. This morning, I was intrigued by the lead article: The 6 texts you should send every online lead. I (naively) assumed that the article would cover 6 different types of text messages that are most useful to clients or see the highest engagement. Since we only work with home sellers at Virgent,  we use a lot of automated text messaging to schedule showings, notify people of offers, etc. … Read More »

How A Bot Reduced Our Workload By 80%

by Ben Kubic on 9:00 am April 26, 2016

As both Drew and now Nathan have written, there is a lot of nascent interest in bots for real estate. Most technologists tend to focus on the consumer-facing use cases: helping buyers figure out which homes to look at, answering basic questions about listings, etc. At Virgent, we took a little bit of a different tack. Since we exclusively focus on home sellers, we handle a lot of showing requests from buyers’ agents – in some cases it can be dozens of requests a day. It … Read More »

What’s In Your Database?

by Ben Kubic on 3:48 pm April 18, 2016

Given that Virgent is a technology-driven brokerage (and the fact that we’re all huge data nerds), it should be no surprise that we collect a lot of data about our transactions, on everything from basics about a listing to excruciating details on showing scheduling and offers. We knew abstractly that all of this data was valuable, but it was only recently that we started playing around with it to see what we could learn. The results were fascinating, educational, and, most importantly, told us a … Read More »

AdEspresso: The Best Way To Manage Facebook Ads

by Ben Kubic on 8:38 am March 15, 2016

I post a lot about bad technology – I’m looking at you Zillow and Redfin – so I felt like it was time for a look at some really good software that we’ve started using at Virgent.  We’re big believers in Facebook advertising, and we’ve always struggled with the best way to optimize our ads. The standard Facebook interface just isn’t very good and helping marketers identify which ads are performing poorly and which factors are driving the efficacy of each ad group. Enter AdEspresso. It’s changed the … Read More »

Stop Touching Me, Zillow

by Ben Kubic on 8:49 am March 3, 2016

As the head of a real estate brokerage, at some point I got onto some Zillow Account Manager’s distribution list. While I gloss over most of the pitch email I receive, today’s made me stop what I was doing and write this post. Here’s the email I got: Besides the obvious copy-and-paste job (If you’re going to use a ridiculously large font, at least make the whole email the same size. And check your spelling/grammar. This is just lazy.),  did you notice the line where Zillow … Read More »

The Solved Problems Of Real Estate Tech

by Ben Kubic on 5:15 pm January 18, 2016

Solved Problems in Real Estate Tech

For obvious reasons, this blog tends to focus a lot on the opportunities in real estate technology. This is great food for thought for all the entrepreneurs out there, but I think it’s equally as important to consider the solved problems in real estate. Since I’ve entered this world I’ve talked to and advised many real estate tech entrepreneurs, and I always feel bad when I see excited entrepreneurs tackling “problems” in real estate with solutions only a little bit better, or in some cases exactly the … Read More »

4 Reasons To Ignore SEO In Your Content

by Ben Kubic on 11:46 am January 4, 2016

4 reasons to ignore seo in your content

When it comes to SEO, most agents are focused on getting to the top of the search results for phrases like “Real Estate Agent in X” or “Where To List My Home.” After all, spending time and money on rising in the search rankings will lead to more clients, right? I wholeheartedly disagree. I’d rather see all of my search engine clicks come from searches for “Virgent Realty” rather than “Real Estate Agent in Atlanta,” because that means my clients are interested in working with … Read More »

Everything Wrong With AVMs in Two Pictures

by Ben Kubic on 10:09 am December 22, 2015

My company, Virgent Realty, sold a home in Atlanta’s hot Grant Park neighborhood just under three months ago for $492,500. The home had numerous showings its first weekend, and went under contract 5 days after we put it on the market. This morning, I was greeted with this email from Zillow: Note the $184,942 difference between the most recent sold value and the current Zestimate. After having a good laugh, I decided to give the new Redfin AVM a shot, since they claim to have the  lowest … Read More »

Redfin’s AVM Misfire: 4 Characteristics of a Useful AVM

by Ben Kubic on 9:37 am December 7, 2015

I am a firm believer that someone will create a great AVM that will rapidly replace human input into the valuation process. As we’ve seen with advances like self-driving cars, computers are better at assessing risks, reacting to local conditions, and, in many cases, making judgement calls than humans are. That’s why I was so intrigued by Redfin’s recent AVM launch. To test it out, I looked up the Redfin estimate of my parent’s 2 bedroom suburban Maryland home. Their AVM estimates the home’s value at $573, 414. … Read More »

Open Graph: Improving Social Media Conversions

by Ben Kubic on 6:22 am November 24, 2015

When you post something on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, do you close your eyes and hope that it looks the way you want it to? If so, you should be using Open Graph, the social media protocol designed by Facebook back in 2010. Open Graph is one of those technologies that sounds complicated (probably because it was designed by engineers) but is actually really simple to implement and has a profound impact on the spread of your content. At it’s core, Open Graph is a few … Read More »

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