Technology has made a real estate broker’s job easier than ever and they still charge exorbitantly high prices. If you want to save on broker fees and have an easier experience as a renter, NestApple is for you. Operating in 39 states, NestApple was created to give you your rebate on commissions that brokers would have otherwise kept. The disruptive real-estate platform provides 24/7 service and places an offer on your behalf in seconds. Integrated with Streeteasy, Zillow and Trulia, NestApple in the smartest want to rent or buy your next home.
AlleyWatch chatted with cofounder and CEO Georges Benoliel about the Startup and how they pledge a percentage of their earnings to charity.
Tell us about the product or service.
NestApple is a licensed real estate broker providing whoever is looking to buy (or rent) an apartment in New York (and another 38 states), an innovative service to save on broker fees and get a 2% discount on the purchase price. We believe that technology has greatly diminished the role of full service real estate brokers by making it easy to search for homes. NestApple pays back two thirds of the traditional broker fee back to the buyer while providing full brokerage services. Payout to clients averages $22,000. As a New York startup we’re invested locally and we’ve partnered with the South Bronx Educational Foundation to which we donate a portion of our fee on every transaction.
How is it different?
NestApple is a platform dedicated to giving commission rebates. This practice is not only legal, as declared by the US Department of Justice, but also encouraged by the New York Attorney General in order to increase competition for the benefits of customers. Currently the sector remains largely concentrated among the large traditional brokerage firms, which still apply a pricing matrix from the nineties. We help buyers get through the process seamlessly from placing the offer to taking care of all the paperwork and administrative processes with the added value of giving them money back at the end of the transaction.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’re targeting everyone who buys and rents in New York City and beyond. Cash back rebates are legal in 40 of the 50 States including Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, California, Colorado and Michigan. We’re targeting individuals who feel that broker fees are too high and have access to technology to outsmart the Real Estate Market. Just in Manhattan, the amount paid in broker fees is north of $2 billion. Opportunities for growth and scaling are endless (sellers, management company, commercial real estate). By using NestApple, our users have an edge in the market as the money they save on broker fees can be used to place a higher offer or renovate their brand-new dream pad.
What is the business model?
NestApple’s revenue model is commission based. We keep 1% of the 6% of the commission involved in every transaction.
What inspired the business?
The founders of the business started to buy real estate in 2011 and bought a few properties without a buyer’s agent. In every deal, the seller’s agent was earning 6%. As a result, they thought there was a way to monetize this percentage, which was too high for the amount of work completed.
Why will your company succeed when many others have not when attacking this same problem?
The large companies won’t reduce their commission structure as they do not want to reduce their profitability.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
50 closings in Manhattan!
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Get your company incorporated in Delaware, not in New York
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
The president of Douglas Elliman; the leading real estate firm in NY to get his impression and feedback on a new approach to conducting real estate business in the city.
Why did you launch in New York?
We live in West Chelsea, Manhattan, we know the market, we own real estate there, we know the buyer’s psychology. In New York the 6% fee model has remained largely unchanged and is the highest percentage in the world so this is where the opportunity to launch really is.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
The Oyster Bar in Grand Central.