Mann Report ResidentialGiant Steps Forward Nest Seekers International Eddie Shapiro, President, CEO
Nov. 1, 2012
Turn on the television, flip through the real estate section of a news paper, or take a drive though some of New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods, and chances are you will encounter Nest Seekers International. Whether they are representing large development projects, closing high-profile deals or battling it out on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, the dynamic company has been steadily carving out a niche as one of New York’s pre- mier residential real estate companies.
The firm specializes in the sale and rental of Manhattan real estate, but also has dealing in the Hamptons and overseas. Be- cause of its ubiquity, Nest Seekers is able to tailor its services to each specific client. The firm employs agents and affiliates from all over the world to ensure that each and every sale is personal, and professional. A solid history of providing expert financial consultancy, property management and development options, real estate investment options, and full partnerships to their ever-expanding, yet high selective, database of clientele, has ce- mented Nest Seekers as one of the best and brightest boutique real estate firms in New York.
The company was created in 2001, when President and CEO Eddie Shapiro saw an opening in the New York residential real estate world. The big step forward was well calculated. Within months following Lehman’s collapse and the beginning of the recession, Shapiro announced to his team that this is the time to define the future of the firm and solidify its place amongst the industry leaders. “When everyone is down, looking to pick up the pieces, that is when you step in, take leadership and make aggressive moves forward,” one manger recalls.
Shapiro spent the early years, building a strong foundation for this 10-year-old firm including advanced technologies, a core base of very strong home grown producers, a financial founda- tion and solid roots in the community. He then waited patient- ly for the right opportunity to make the big move.
in the Hamptons began to take place and the expansion was in the making. It was time to take a leap of faith and make the move. In just two years’ time, Nest Seekers has more than tripled in size, gained major exposure in industry trade press, mainstream media and national exposure through its partic- ipation in Million Dollar Listing, but also for its continued achievements and practices.
By early 2009 plans for new offices where underway and an aggressive advertising campaign was in the making. He also started conversations with the production company for Mil- lion Dollar Listing. Shortly thereafter, conversations with firms
“Timing is sometimes a critical factor in real estate and in busi- ness in general. While firms and players in the market place were licking their wounds, trying to figure out what happened and how to survive in the new environment, cutting budgets left and right, and consolidating, we decided to go in exact- ly the opposite direction. We had all the right circumstanc- es on our side and we just needed some courage, wisdom and hard work. It worked and it set us up substantially to becom- ing a very important player in the new real estate boom,” Shapiro says.
Since its inception, Nest Seekers has prided itself for its global approach, its international affiliates program and its ability to bring new interest to the market place from overseas. It contin- ues to expand on this effort and singling itself from the com- petition through this niche. Nest Seekers’ strategic placement in the Hamptons has also helped grow the company. With a flagship office in South Hampton and additional locations in East Hampton, Watermill and new locations to be announced soon, it is slowly gaining important market share and blanket- ing the area with its purple property-for-sale signs. A summer playground for affluent New Yorkers and generally an east coast destination for upper middle class and wealthy individuals, gaining a sure-footing in this exclusive enclave has given the company a competitive ‘in’ on some of the industry’s biggest deals and dealmakers.
One of the firm’s biggest assets to date and most likely its larg- est investment to date is the infrastructure surrounding the firm’s website. With over 200,000 unique visitors per month, feeding off thousands of portals, search engine, social networks and other proprietary technology, agents at the firm enjoy high quality consistent sourcing of new business. Unlike in most
other firms where the agent is responsible for creating their own marketing exposure and new business, this firm seems to sup- ply an ongoing flow to its agents.
That would explain the many loyalists that have been with the firm from its inception ten years ago. “The most important responsibility that I have as principal is to make sure that my agents are able to earn commissions every day, all day. My ap- proach is always, what can I do to help drive their interest and business forward ahead of what I’d like for myself. When I do that it naturally translates to the success of the entire house.” Shapiro says.
market place, what is next for this growing firm and its strong leader?
With nearly 500 agents and employees, 10 office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island City and the Hamp- tons, and one of the strongest marketing strategies in the
“We are continuing to strengthen our foundations so that there is always better support, training, marketing, man- agement and direction,” says Shapiro. “We are working on our next development project as principals; we contin- ue to absorb great number of some of the strongest agents in the industry and planning to go back to working on South Florida.”
Nest Seekers is also making good on its International name. With affiliates in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, the company’s global status helps to create immense exposure for all property listings, and allowing for prospective buyers in any country to express interest.
Nest Seekers looks to continue its current M.O.: provide the best for the best.
Although Shapiro has been challenged over the years with various business and legal obstacles along the way, he attributes those challenges to natural course of busi- ness and refers to them as his business degrees and what thickened his skin. He does not seem to be phased and refers to himself as the eternal optimist, which is what every strong leader must be. “A little paranoia will keep you sharp and aware, but most important is to maintain constant optimism.
To some a controversial figure, to others a courageous, so- phisticated and experienced leader, Shapiro continues to drive the firm towards greatness, breaking new boundaries and benchmarks and moving his substantial enterprises in giant steps forward.