With a barebones house with no toilet 50 kilometres west of the CBD selling for $350,000 to take out the title of Sydney’s cheapest home in 2016, it’s fair to say that the housing market in Australia’s major cities favours vendors.
However, Perth real estate agency Nesters, founded by Maurice Flores and Yadi Gibson, believes that the selling of property could be made cheaper, and as such blends the traditional selling process with technology in order to offer clients a low commission.
The pair have created an app that works along the idea that no one knows the area and the home better than the owner; as such, sellers take care of things like arranging viewings and answering buyer questions through the app, while agents chase leads and negotiate prices.
Through their work, Flores and Gibson identified a need for more cost-effective property sales that still offer a high level of support, and came up with Nesters: a happy medium between traditional high-commission agents and do it yourself websites where sellers work themselves with no support.
Of course, coming from a real estate background to create an app hasn’t been easy; the pair have made over a thousand changes through the development of the app to ensure it’s user friendly and complies with state regulations around Australia.
“For example, the app in the US allows sellers to go live with their listing and the technology sends the listing to hundreds of informational portals after a quick on-boarding process. In Australia, the owner must have a contract with the real estate company marketing the property before the property is advertised,” the pair explained.
Another issue is the mindset of the target market – it’s highly unusual to sell a property without the help of a traditional agent in Australia.
“While low commission and flat-fee agents have kicked off in the US and UK markets, Australian vendors are much less willing to sell without agent support. Fewer people sell their homes on their own in Australia than overseas. We identified this need early in our launch and have tailored our services to the Aussie market by offering a hybrid model of full service with low commission fees to our clients.”
For sellers, Nester works by first signing up and creating a listing. They are then contacted by a Nesters agent, who will arrange to sign a listing authority and qualify and identify the seller, with the agent also then arranging for professional photographers to go to the home.
The seller then chooses a marketing package, which is paid upfront; the property is then listed on all the major real estate websites, with listings integrated into the Nesters app. The seller can then receive information around the listing in real time, answering buyer questions and arrange home opens through the Nesters app
While the agent is chasing leads and negotiating prices, Flores and Gibson said, the vendor can take control by accepting or refusing offers directly.
Once an offer has been accepted, the vendor works with the agent to sign the contracts, as they would in a traditional arrangement.
Buyers, meanwhile, can browse properties through the usual online outlets or directly through the Nesters app. If interested, they can then ask questions or request viewings through the app.
To build Nesters up in Perth, Flores and Gibson said they will be looking to secure partnerships with companies that complement their business with a view to expanding the business to each capital city over the next 12 months.
“Our only priority is our clients and our goal is to deliver a product and service that makes them a winner from inception.”
Image: Maurice Flores and Yadi Gibson. Source: Supplied.