Some of the United States' largest and most influential MLS organizations have come together to build a rival to Zillow, Realtor.com and CoStar.
Nestfully is the name of the real estate portal being funded by California Regional MLS (CRMLS), REcolorado and Bright MLS which is scheduled for launch in Q1 2023. Nestfully is looking to recruit more MLSs to come on board with the project and is being built in collaboration with Constellation1, a company that provides software to agents.
According to a press release, Nestfully will feature "a differentiated search experience", the ability to ask the listing realtor a question on the platform and the ability for users to schedule a showing. It was not clear whether the ability to schedule a viewing would be instantaneous as the most recent product update from Zillow claims to be.
"A consumer-first orientation was at the top of our list when we designed Nestfully," said Art Carter, CRMLS CEO. "Nestfully is world-class and feature rich. We cannot wait to show it to consumers and brokerages alike."
"Consumers will get the freshest information at their fingertips, optimized for mobile viewing, so they'll be able to make educated decisions about homes they're considering quickly and efficiently," said Brian Donnellan, Bright MLS President and CEO.
The fact that powerful regional Multiple Listings Services have seen fit to invest in another challenger portal is indicative of the bad deal many realtors think they are getting from the current incumbents.
Zillow's model of allowing agents to advertise and put contact details on listings represented by a rival has long been a bone of contention for realtors. Nestfully will provide leads for free, will not promote premium content in its results and will not allow advertisements.
The United States does already have an industry-backed portal in Realtor.com which is the official portal of the National Association of Realtors. However, some realtors have become dissatisfied with Realtor.com since it was taken over by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in 2014 after a series of disastrous management mistakes.
There was also Homesnap, a challenger which was paid for by agents' NAR subscription fees. Homesnap was bought up by the commercial real estate giant CoStar in 2020 for $250 million. Now CoStar is in talks to buy out Realtor.com, potentially leaving the industry looking to Nestfully to be the true industry-backed knight in shining armour.