h languished until 2011. That’s when Caren Maio and Mike O Toole launched Nestio to address what Maio described as a “gaping opportunity” to bring modern technology to property owners and brokers who were manually tracking and managing rental listings.
“The incumbent was pen and paper, spreadsheets and people trying to utilize a database that wasn’t built for this segment of the market,” Maio said.
In 2015, Nestio raised an $8 million Series A round led by Trinity Ventures. What started as a tool for tracking rental inventory for landlords and owners now includes data, marketing, website and listing distribution services.
Today, the 30-person firm works out of a 6,000-square-foot Flatiron office where the main conference room doubles as a cantina and a birch-tree wall divides communal space from workspaces.
In July, Nestio began offering custom websites, including a scheduler tool that lets potential renters book an appointment to see an apartment. (On the owner side, clients include Two Trees Management and Olshan Properties, while on the brokerage side Compass, Keller Williams and Mirador Real Estate have signed on.)
Nestio estimates that it works with 10,000 agents citywide. Maio said the landscape in New York has changed, and one of the biggest needle-movers was StreetEasy’s $3-a-day rental charge. That added cost, she said, has prompted landlords and agents to reevaluate tools to help rent apartments most efficiently.
Maio said her clients are clamoring to stay ahead of the competition, which is at an all-time high thanks to the new development boom that dumped thousands of rental units on the market.
Nestio declined to disclose its financials, but like other vendors it derives revenue from subscribers — landlords and brokers — who pay a monthly fee that’s based on which services they use. Brokerages can use Nestio in two ways. Some rely on its listings database to access RLS inventory and input exclusives, which Nestio feeds to the RLS and other aggregators. Others — who may have their own platform — use its marketing and data services to analyze comps or get market information derived from the firm’s listings database.
“Our pitch to big brokerage firms who have their own system is, ‘We have the majority of the rental data on the market. We can pipe it into your database,’” she said.
Maio said the industry is turning a corner. “People are now starting to lean in and say, ‘How do I know if what I’m doing is working?’” she said. “That’s the next level of opportunity for companies like mine to provide insight there to say, ‘This is what’s working.’”
Since its debut last year, Perchwell — which bills itself as a one-stop shop that combines listings, analytics and marketing — has racked up a slew of big-name clients.
In addition to Sotheby’s and Stribling, those clients include CORE, Warburg Realty, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox Residential and Sloane Square.
Founder Brendan Fairbanks, a 31-year-old former investment banker, came up with the idea for Perchwell after an ill-fated apartment search. To date, he’s raised $4 million in seed funding.
According to Fairbanks, StreetEasy and Compass have changed the way NYC residential firms view data and technology, giving Perchwell an opening.
The startup — which only sells subscriptions to firms (not individual agents) — allows clients to created branded market reports on smartphones and then instantly send them to clients. In addition to historical sales, data also included development permits and geospatial data. Fairbanks said he doesn’t consider OLR and RealPlus competitors. “We’re offering a different product,” he said, arguing that Perchwell’s focus is on enhancing data and helping agents interact with clients.
Doug Heddings, CORE’s executive vice president of sales, said he tested the beta version of Perchwell and worked closely with Fairbanks to fine-tune the platform before switching from RealPlus in August.
According to Heddings, agents must often tap multiple platforms — StreetEasy, OLR, RealPlus and even PropertyShark — to search for listings, scrutinize contract activity, crunch the numbers on closed sales and interact with clients. Over the years, he added, some vendors became “complacent” in their offerings. “I don’t want to pretend the market is efficient yet,” Heddings said. “If you compare the New York City real estate market to the rest of the country, we’re archaic.”
But, he said, startups are “definitely moving us in the right direction.”
StreetEasy is best known for being the go-to site for New York City apartment-seekers, but last November, the Zillow-owned portal dipped its toe into the listings-management game when it agreed to build Elliman’s back-end system.
The firm will roll it out this spring, said Elliman President and COO Scott Durkin. “Agents will enter their listing one time only, and it will be sent everywhere in seconds,” he said.
Elliman was in the process of overhauling (or replacing) Limo for somewhere between $2.5 million and $5 million when it opted to partner with StreetEasy, Durkin explained. “Our agents demand instant access in a very quick environment on their mobile devices to make it through their day,” he said. “We could never build what we’re getting.”
He said agents using StreetEasy’s platform will access the same homepage as consumers but will have acces
爱上海同城对对碰 s to several additional folders where they can enter listings, produce comp reports or run market analyses.
StreetEasy — which is run by Susan Daimler in New York — said it has no plans to market its services to other firms. But for Elliman agents, it will also provide stats on how many people viewed their listings (and when) and what properties are trending. “Agents can compare their listing to others in the neighborhood,” Durkin said.
Those tools will rely on historical data that StreetEasy has been collecting since it launched. “We realized that we needed to stay in our lane and sell real estate, and not get distracted with technology and thinking we could build it,” Durkin said. “By the time we’d build it, we’d be obsolete.”
Tags: Residential Real Estate, Stribling Associates, Tech
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