Inside Onboard: Meet Simona Burbacki

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A new year means new goals and challenges for your company, but our new Senior Relationship Manager, Simona Burbacki, is here to help you meet these opportunities head-on. In the latest edition to the Inside Onboard series, find out more about what the advertising and financial services veteran is doing to help you get the most out of Onboard's products and services, as well as how she still finds a way to play pranks on people with her sister.

OB: Where are you from and where do you live now? SB: I am originally from the southern tip of Brooklyn, NY and grew up around Coney Island and then Manhattan Beach. (If you don’t know where that is I just usually say the Russian part of Brooklyn and New Yorkers instantly place it!) After living in Tel Aviv, Israel for a few years I recently returned to NY and currently live in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

OB: How's your Onboard experience been so far? SB: So far so good! The experience here has been great. It’s been a good learning experience to see how technology is used in the real estate world and how that differs from the areas I’ve worked in in the past (financial and ad serving software).  As a Senior Relationship Manager, my role is to partner with my clients and make sure that they are getting the most out of our services. It’s been really interesting for me to see how I can help support their current needs but also challenge myself to anticipate their future needs as well, even before my clients identify it themselves! The unique position that Onboard has in this marketplace allows for a wider view of what’s happening across competitors and it’s great to be able to provide unique insight to customers that might otherwise not have much access to it. The Onboard team is made up of a lot of great, smart  people who are very committed and focused, but still know how to have fun. It’s been a fun experience getting to know my new colleagues and clients.

OB: Any striking first impressions of the industries your clients compete in? SB: As a solution specialist/product manager in my previous roles I was very much challenged by demands from financial institutions and media/creative agencies. The advanced level of technology used in both of these industries seems to be much more widely adopted than what I’m initially seeing in the real estate industry. Certainly many of the clients I work with now are very advanced and mindful of the technological requirements they need to compete and differentiate themselves, both from a data/content perspective but also in terms of user and site experience. Nonetheless there seems to be a slower pace of adoption of new, innovative approaches in this industry. There are certainly nuances here to consider before making a big technology investment that you might not have to deal with in other sectors, but the slow moving pace of technology adoption/innovation was certainly new to me.

OB: What is something people may be surprised to learn about you? SB: People might be surprised to find I have an identical twin sister who looks just like me. That definitely made growing up a special experience for us, and we still find opportunities to trick people when we can!

OB: You have a background in advertising and financial services. What lessons carry over to your current role? SB: I think in a relationship manager role at any technology  company, many of the same lessons ring true across industries. As a valued partner and provider of services that help your clients excel in their business, you have to really understand the various pain points that not only they are going through, but those of their clients, and of their clients’ clients! We only succeed if our clients succeed and that takes more than just satisfying the minimum requirements of a legal contract.

I found that a lot of recent market trends and adoptions of industry standards in the digital advertising world are very relevant for real estate. For example, before I joined Onboard I was finishing up a GA launch of an analytics tool that tracked “viewability” of digital ads. Up until recently, advertisers would track impressions, which really told you nothing other than the fact that an ad was served to a possible user that happened upon that site. Companies would pay premiums for ad space on sites without really understanding if the ads were actually seen by a potential consumer and who that consumer might be! Now they are waking up to the idea that only those ads that are truly viewable (whether that means that it places above the fold or that the user scrolled down to see it) are worth the investment. I think that for real estate companies that are truly trying to engage potential buyers on their own or on third party sites, they should consider the placement of listings, widgets and all important items that seek to keep eyeballs on their site for as long as possible. Tracking viewability metrics could really help them make cost effective decisions about how they advertise.

OB: What is something you can’t live without as part of your daily routine? SB: I’d say my family. We are all very close and even though I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, I check in with 5 family members at least once a day, even when I was living abroad (talk about crazy phone bills!). Beyond that, I’d find it pretty difficult to function without a daily piece of good chocolate, which does nothing for my already failed New Year’s resolution!