When Syndi Zaiger moved to the North Shore from New York twenty years ago, she noticed the natural beauty of the region with its “hidden gem” quality. She also noticed a hole that needed to be filled.
“I saw a hole in the marketplace for real estate companies that were highly skilled in both marketing and real estate strategies,” said Zaiger. “So I created this boutique firm, Nest Real Estate.”
Zaiger started her career in graphic design and brand development in the advertising agency sphere right out of college. “I was really hungry for living by the sea and the arts, music, and culture of Boston,” she said, “So I packed up and moved to the North Shore.”
Her North Shore career began with entrepreneurial endeavors, like converting an old mill building into an artist space. Eventually, she decided to put her marketing background, real estate knowledge, and entrepreneurial spirit all into one brokerage, Nest. “I was setting out to create something unique in the real estate industry on the North Shore,” she said.
Zaiger talks about Nest as a team of agents working together to combine their resources and provide their clients with a full-service experience. Her team can offer much more than a single real estate agent can, because of their combined assets. If a client needs staging work done, they have a stylist on their team. If a client needs help moving, they can bring in packers.
“This is our biggest difference: we’re out there marketing properties,” said Zaiger. She says that with some real estate companies, houses just sit on the market, sometimes for 200 or 300 days. “But we dig,” she said. “We try to figure out why something isn’t selling. We don’t just lower the price. We say, ‘What aren’t we doing? How can we get more buyers?’”
Nest recently partnered with Compass, broadening the scope of their resources even more. They were already providing advertising agency-level marketing to their clients—now, Zaiger says, they’re “superpowered.”
“When I was approached by Compass, I realized that we have a very similar mission statement—we’re both advertising agencies for homes,” explained Zaiger. “It’s a great fit. We’re this boutique, on-the-ground firm, now with this really upper-level marketing platform.”
Nest has even more tools at their fingertips now that they’re Nest powered by Compass. For example, Compass has a concierge program that provides financing to clients who might want to paint their living room, or stage their property, before they go on the market. Compass itself was founded by technology wizards, and calls itself a real estate technology company. “While [Compass] offers these beautiful, big programs,” said Zaiger, “[Nest] is on the ground, providing that one-on-one service to the clients.”
Zaiger is also passionate about making sure that potential buyers are looking toward the North Shore as a second home or even a first home option. She’s been noticing a pattern of buyers turning to the North Shore instead of Cape Cod because of the lower housing prices, proximity to Boston, and natural beauty. “I feel very strongly that the North Shore is an undervalued and undiscovered place,” she said.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nest is showing its stuff now more than ever. They’ve been taking this opportunity to reach out to their clients and ask them what they need, even if it’s something as simple as groceries. “It’s not about dollars and cents for us,” said Zaiger. “It doesn’t have to be about real estate and it doesn’t have to be about making money. Our goal is to help people.”