Founded in 2015, digital real estate brokerage startup Virgent Realty has rebranded to Properly. The refresh is in tandem with the startup’s close of $1.5 million equity seed round, led by NextView Ventures and Lerer Hippeau, and expansion plans to Charlotte in January.
“Our rebrand is a culmination of what we’ve learned over the past three years, from living in Atlanta and talking to our clients about how they want to go through the process of selling their home and what makes the process seamless for them,” CEO Ben Kubic tells Hypepotamus. “We didn’t think our old brand was capturing all that.”
Properly’s cloud-based real estate platform streamlines the home selling process, helping users sell their home three times faster with full transparency and without high commission fees. The homeowner follows the entire transaction on the platform — from listing their home based on pricing recommendations to expert photo staging recommendations and finally tracking and confirming showings.
After each showing, the platform automatically asks for feedback from potential buyers, helps users negotiate any incoming offers and lets them accept an offer with the click of a button, all for a flat fee. Homes listed through Properly spend a total of 18 days on the market versus the 72-day industry average.
The startup’s original name, Virgent Realty, was a merge of “virtual agent.” Kubic, along with his co-founder Jude Rasmus, realized that their offerings had grown beyond just a virtual real estate agency. “We built software that makes you not just make the sales process easier, but really help the homeowner go through the process the right way, the proper way — from pricing your home, to getting your home ready for photos to how to negotiate your offers.”
With the addition of new funds, Properly has also added on new technology upgrades, including comparative algorithms that help users price their home as close to market value as possible.
“We have collected data over the last three years from thousands of homes sold and hundreds of offers and we’re using that to take the guesswork out of the process. It goes beyond the agent’s gut reaction; we’re applying rigorous data science to this to produce better results and help you sell your home faster,” says Kubic.
In the last few years, the real estate tech industry has exploded with newcomers, whom Kubic welcomes. He doesn’t see them as competition, but instead as collaborators in the industry that are targeting different users on the spectrum. For example, he says selling platforms like Opendoor target a different kind of customer.
“[Those options] can be attractive to those that need to move quickly, but most homeowners can’t afford to leave that much equity on the table, sometimes up to 10 percent of their home’s value,” he says.
“We work with the sellers that aren’t willing to give up much of their net worth, but don’t have time to deal with the traditional process.”
It’s a market with plenty of room for multiple players to grow — over $30 billion is spent annually on residential listing commissions by U.S. homeowners, according to Properly.
Kubic shares that beyond the funding news, he’s most proud of the milestones the startup has accomplished — Atlanta home sellers have saved over $1 million in total commissions by using the platform. “Both a results level and product outcomes level, we have really improved lives. With many people moving to Atlanta now, we’re excited to continue to grow those numbers,” says Kubic.
The Properly team will be expanding to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2019 to test the model beyond Atlanta.
Featured image by Johnathon Kelso