The Real Deal New York

How Nestio plans to persuade landlords to ditch StreetEasy and others

Startup offering consumer-facing custom websites with scheduling tool
By E.B. Solomont | July 11, 2017 07:30AM

Landing page for Nestio and  CEO Caren Maio

Nestio, the six-year-old startup whose platform allows property owners to manage and track their rental portfolios online, is now offering custom websites for clients so that potential renters can go straight to the source for listings without the help of StreetEasy or other third-party aggregators.

A key component to the Nestio-powered websites will be a scheduling tool that allows renters book appointments on a date and time of their choosing.

“Think OpenTable for real estate,” said Nestio co-founder and CEO Caren Maio. “As a consumer, when I look for an apartment, it’s nine o’clock at night in my pajamas with a glass of wine.”

The new service has been in the works since the beginning of the year, Maio said, but it comes as the city’s residential agents and StreetEasy battle over who controls listings. The Zillow-owned company announced last month that it would start charging rental agents $3 per day to host each listing, and the city’s brokerages quickly responded by saying they would syndicate their listings exclusively through the Real Estate Board of New York. That’s opened the door for competitors to step in, including Apartments.com, Leasebreak, Flip and now, Nestio.

In Nestio’s case, the impetus to create a consumer-facing product for its landlord clients was the discovery that more than half the traffic to landlords’ websites was taking place outside normal business hours when leasing offices are closed. “As a landlord, management company or broker with exclusives, it gives you the ability to more effectively brand yourself and capture a consumer directly,” Maio said.

The sites will be fully integrated with the Nestio’s back-end software, which property owners and managers use to manage listings and track the performance of their portfolio. Maio said Nestio is offering everything from a la carte services like search engine optimization (SEO) editing and mobile responsiveness to a soup-to-nuts option that includes designing, launching, hosting and maintaining a website.

Nestio, which launched in 2011, has raised $11.85 million from investors to date, including an $8 million round led by Trinity Ventures that closed in December 2015.

Nestio’s clients including property managers like Instrata, Buchbinder & Warren and Reliance Property Management as well as brokerages including Mirador Real Estate, Halstead Property and MySpace NYC.