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Nestigator – Are There Legs in Making Search More Social?

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I spoke with Jerry at Nestigator while I was in San Francisco a couple weeks ago. Their stated value proposition:

Connect
Search
Collaborate

Nestigator lets you build your home searching dream team with your family, friends, and agent so your home search can be a breeze.

A more social search experience. I discussed this topic with a friend in Seattle looking for a home over breakfast a few weeks prior to my conversation with Jerry. He actually doesn’t want his agent privy to his conversations with his wife. Granted, his agent doesn’t really know the area he’s looking in to offer much advice (and my friend just views the agent as the person to do the paperwork once they decide on a home), so maybe he’s an edge case.

I get the agent side of the equation in terms of having more knowledge about what their clients are discussing. In terms of the consumer side, I’m not convinced of the “win” yet. As I learned myself, marketplaces in which only one side thinks there is a problem are very tough businesses to grow.

For the agents/brokers out there, I’m curious your thoughts — do you believe your clients want a more collaborative search experience? Do you feel you could add value for your clients by being part of the discussion?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • What I see clients doing is emailing listings to their significant other with a comment about the listing, when they come across a listing they like.

    As agents we have access to everything our clients view now, however, we don’t get into details too much with them as we do not want to seem like we are spying on them (which we are) nor come across as too pushy. We normally hear from them when they see something they really like and want to see it.

    So right now people share what they want to share already, via email, chat, or in person. I don’t think the demand to improve that sharing experience is huge. If it was Zillow and others would implement it.

    I checked out their website and found the photos in my area are blurry because they change the size to fit their website rather than showing them at the intended size. The number one thing buyers want to see is photos, so with blurry photos they will probably look elsewhere. In addition the property status is wrong. It shows it as still Active when it went into escrow over 2 weeks ago.

    This is a lesson in my opinion for any startup like this. You have to first have a site that people like to use, clear photos, up to date information, etc. Then you can add your special sauce, in this case sharing listings. If you have a site people hate, they will never get to taste your special sauce.

    • Yea, very hard to get those private conversations away from text/email and into some other system such as nestigator.

  • JimWhatley

    The things a good agent can bring to the table can be wrorth 10’s of thousands of dollars. I look at houses all day everyday. I talk to a home inspectors, Termite inspectors, Builders, insurance people, HVAC guys, roofers and Chimney guys everyday. To ignore a guy who does this every day is dumb. There are three things that sell a home location, condition, and price. I deal with these all day every day. If your agent is only capable of doing paper work you ether have the wrong agent or the wrong attitude.

  • Steven Diadoo

    I think it depends on the client. Some want more some want less communication and collaboration. Having options for solutions that bring the client service on the level they want it is always a good thing. No magic pill for everyone. Concierge style is better than McDonalds menu style when working with clients on a higher level.

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