Meet the Real Estate Tech Founder: Georges Benoliel from NestApple
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Georges Benoliel, Franco-American, happily married to a Costa Rican Wife and proud father of 2-year-old tri-national Lily. I am the co-founder of New York-based next generation real estate technology and brokerage firm NestApple. My firm is offering (i) home buyers the opportunity to earn a 2% rebate check off the sale price and (ii) home sellers the option to list an apartment with full-service brokerage services for only 1%. Technology has changed the way business is done in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago. Residential real estate practices should adapt and evolve now that buyers and sellers have unlimited access to property listings and other information that was once hard to get. Twenty years ago, brokers were receiving apartment listings over fax, had access to information not available to the general public and were considered to have an insight into the business. Brokers are still useful and play a significant role in real estate transactions. However, their role has changed and should, therefore, be reflected in the commissions they receive.
What problem does your product/service solve?
This is simple: real estate broker commissions are too high: they are 2 to 3 times higher than in the rest of developed countries. I believe buyers can look up properties themselves. All the information is available online. All clients need is a guiding hand and experienced agent to assist them in pricing and negotiating. The role of brokers has changed, and so should the commission they receive. Our goal is to bring sellers and buyers together in a more efficient way, and pass the savings onto our clients.
What are you most excited about right now?
I am motivated by what is ahead of us: a large pipeline of deals, placing several new offers every day and all the closings to come. Nothing makes us happier than handing a cashback check at closing. We take a picture of each of them and post it on our Instagram “Wall of Fame.”
What’s next for you?
My goal for 2020 is to close 200 transactions in the five boroughs of New York – our core market. We are already active in Long Island, Westchester, the Catskills, and upstate New York. I want to grow NestApple to other states. We expanded this year in Connecticut and the goal I to build on the East Coast first.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
My wife and I believe in corporate responsibility of entrepreneurs and that businesses should play a role in social innovation and engage the local community. Before we created NestApple, my wife (and co-founder) has always been working in non-for-profits and international organizations. Every time NestApple closes a deal, the company donates on behalf of the client to a local charity (chosen by the client). If the client has no preference, NestApple gives by default to the South Bronx Educational Foundation. This organization fosters the development of young kids in the Bronx, and each check we send finances a mentoring program for a kid. Our partnership with SBEF allows us to give back and create a sense of community in our company nod our lives.