Opening Doors for Homebuyers: MLS's Consumer Portal to Provide Free Leads and Exceptional Listings
It is a chorus that has reverberated across the industry: let those who actually work in real estate guide the evolution of how homes are bought and sold.
Now, some of the leading voices elevating this mantra are putting their weight behind a brand-new consumer-facing listing project, dubbed Nestfully. Meant to provide the accessibility and features of the big real estate portals, but built on the principles and knowledge of experienced real estate practitioners, Nestfully is set to launch in Q1 2023.
“Providing a better consumer experience is what drives the team at Nestfully,” said Amit Kulkarni, Bright MLS chief marketing officer, in a statement. “Nestfully makes the property the focal point of the home-discovery experience, with the aim of reducing friction in the real-estate experience for consumers and the brokers and agents who represent them.”
Along with Bright MLS, REcolorado and CRMLS have joined the venture, with Bright MLS CEO Brian Donnellan telling RISMedia that there are ongoing conversations with “several” more MLSs and brokerages. Nestfully currently claims 240,000 subscribers between the three MLSs.
“REcolorado is thrilled to be among the leading MLS organizations who have united to offer an industry-operated consumer portal that will strengthen the connection between consumers and brokerages, while also streamlining the real estate experience,” said REcolorado President and CEO Gene Millman in a statement. “Nestfully is a perfect complement to REcolorado’s strategic focus of providing solutions that evolve the customer experience by providing leads to the listing brokerage and ensuring access to reliable listing data.”
Boasting a deep bench of industry insiders and a bevy of insights derived from caches of granular real estate data, Donnellan adds that Nestfully aims to tune out the noise for consumers, focused on a “simple” experience rather than trying to encompass “the whole chain” of real estate as other platforms have.
That means adherence to Fair Display guidelines as well as a feature that connects consumers instantly to the listing agent to ask questions about a property. Additionally, all Nestfully leads will be provided to brokerages at no cost, according to a release from Nestfully.
“Our job isn’t to keep anybody at Nestfully. Our job is to get them to the brokers and agents as quickly as possible,” Donnellan says.
At launch, Nestfully will provide a fully functional mobile, desktop and native iOS and Android app experience, according to the release, along with the ability to schedule showings and apply individualized filters for searches. The project is also emphasizing “pristine” listing data, which Donnellan describes as real, comprehensive and up-to-date, meant to efficiently facilitate a real estate transaction rather than just attract attention or clicks.
“We’re going to put a really good basic service out there, and we’re just going to continue to iterate on that,” Donnellan says. “We’re not trying to boil the ocean here; we’re trying to have a real impact on what’s happening out there.”
The MLS industry was initially resistant to consumer-facing websites, which allowed relative outsiders like Zillow to quickly establish themselves in the mid-to-late ‘00s. Donnellan says that while there were attempts by large MLSs, including Bright and CRMLS, to build consumer-facing listing portals, Nestfully is the result of giving that project the attention it deserves.
The name, Nestfully, is also a way to show that the project transcends any single MLS or brokerage, according to Donnellan, and is open to collaboration across the real estate industry.
“Our egos are left at the door. We’re doing something that’s industry-positive,” says Donnellan, “and the more that want to go by the rules that we are—which is brokers and agents and consumers the best experience out there—the more the merrier.”
“A consumer-first orientation was at the top of our list when we designed Nestfully,” said Art Carter, CRMLS CEO, in a statement. “Nestfully is world-class and feature rich. We cannot wait to show it to consumers and brokerages alike.”
Nestfully also promises “seamless integration with existing tools,” and Donnellan notes that the power of MLS data insights (and expertise from Constellation1, which is providing technology services to the project) will allow Nestfully to grow on the cutting-edge of what both consumers and agents expect from these services.
“With Nestfully, Constellation1 is looking forward to providing a smoother real estate experience for consumers, one powered by brokers and MLSs. Together, we are going to drive forward the consumer experience for the benefit of consumers, brokerages and agents,” said Andrew Binkley, president of Constellation1, in a statement.
“There’s a lot of research that the team is going through…to look at what the consumer wants, what the consumer is demanding,” he says. “We believe that this is what the consumer is looking for—they want to look at the listings, they want to contact a REALTOR®. And that’s what our focus is—to put them with somebody who is going to answer their questions right away.”