New site aims for easier broker-client meet-ups

By Amy Tennery | June 01, 2010 07:00PM

Move over, BlackBerry. A new website called Nelbee, which plans to launch later this month, will coordinate broker and client schedules in real time online, perhaps ending the flurry of texts, phone calls and e-mails required to arrange a simple showing.

The site, started by New York Law School students Mike McGrath and Edward Valenti, will allow registered renters and buyers to connect directly to brokers on listings, without having to access the brokers’ page. The software allows people to connect through what is essentially an online appointment service.

While the site will work for both sales and rental listings, McGrath said he suspects renters will use it more.

“The rental market moves very fast. People are in more of a rush,” McGrath explained.

McGrath said he’s already solicited feedback from agents at some of the city’s biggest brokerages, including the Corcoran Group, Prudential Douglas Elliman and Warburg Realty. So far, most agents are enthusiastic about the program, he said.

“Initially we’re providing a very basic product of scheduling,” McGrath said of the program’s appeal to brokers. “We would just let them know there is a ready, able and willing buyer [or tenant] available.”

While Nelbee, an amalgamation of McGrath’s daughter’s nickname, “Nellie Bean,” will launch in New York City only, the pair of founders plans to expand nationwide once they’re up and running. They have spent $70,000 so far on the start-up.