Above: Comey & Shepherd CEO Scott Nelson and Vice President Judy Pogue
When it comes to ensuring that clients are offering properties appropriately spruced-up and ready for maximum marketing appeal, Cincinnati’s Comey & Shepherd REALTORS® is taking an idea that was ahead of its time years ago and creating a more comprehensive service through a newly formed and uniquely branded partnership with Curbio.
According to Comey & Shepherd CEO Scott Nelson and Vice President Judy Pogue, the newly launched Improve & Move initiative leverages Curbio’s turnkey solution by taking care of all sourcing, project management and communication, acting as the licensed, insured general contractor on all projects to help sellers address numerous issues that typically generate measurable ROI at the time of closing.
Nelson and Pogue, a former relocation specialist, met years ago as neighbors and stayed in touch until a meeting over lunch in 2015. At that time, Pogue was invited to work at Comey & Shepherd, a legacy firm serving the region since 1947 through 16 offices employing 650 full-time agents.
According to Nelson, the firm had already organically developed a service that mirrored the Improve & Move program to a smaller degree.
“We previously developed our Comey & Shepherd Home Prep program, which our agents offered to sellers to help make their home market ready,” says Nelson.
While sellers who utilized Comey & Shepherd Home Prep didn’t have to pay for the work until their home sold, the program had some limitations because it primarily focused on cosmetic updates and had a cap on the amount that could be spent.
When the regional rep from Curbio came calling, the pair notes that it was almost serendipitous.
“When Curbio approached Scott, it seemed like the perfect match. Our agents were already embracing the concept, and Curbio was ready to get involved in a broader scope of work,” says Pogue.
“There is no cap, although Curbio is repaid out of the equity the seller receives at closing, and they get involved in all types of repairs, including plumbing, roofing, kitchen and bath remodels. A seller can even request decluttering or landscape refreshing,” adds Nelson.
“Once we were approached by Curbio, our marketing department decided we needed a new name to reflect the broader scope of work Curbio was willing to provide—and so Comey & Shepherd’s Improve & Move Program was born,” explains Nelson.
Curbio representatives traveled to Cincinnati to offer training to 100-plus Comey & Shepherd agents—training Pogue describes as “very comprehensive and easy to understand.”
Primarily virtual and free of charge to the firm’s agents and its sellers, Pogue goes on to explain that obtaining an estimate is easy. From there, it’s up to the seller as to whether they move forward with the work.
“One of our agents who used our program previously recommended that a seller repaint their home, update some light fixtures, replace carpet in several parts of the home, pressure wash several outdoor areas and clean up their landscaping,” recalls Pogue, who can vouch for the fact that making sure a home is market ready will go a long way toward enhancing both the final purchase price and speed of the sale.
“Once the work was completed, the agent (who had initially recommended a list price of $599,900) and the clients decided on a list price of $635,000,” says Nelson. “The property ended up selling in days for $638,000.”
While Comey & Shepherd’s partnership with Curbio is still in its formative stage, Nelson and Pogue are already giving out high grades.
“Curbio representatives have been very responsive to both our corporate team and our agents,” concludes Nelson. “I would give them an A+ on response time.”
For more information, please visit https://curbio.com.