Looking for a brand new home is far from a simple task. The difficulties are often understated, but those who have tried to search for homes online know the hardships all too well. Jody Clower has been in real estate for years and knows all about it. In fact, it was what inspired her to launch Nestiny, Inc.
Jody revealed that the company name, Nestiny, which blends the words ‘nest and destiny’ means to “realize your dream of your ideal home” and the entire company is focused on easing the burdens along that journey. She believes that everyone deserves a home, but simply lack the right tools to make it happen.
Through the company’s “accurate and expert advice,” homebuyers can easily “discover their own personal readiness to buy.”
The Nestiny Founder and CEO also admitted that consumers make costly mistakes unnecessarily because of a lack online of solid, curated advice. By providing a free, fun and hassle-free environment that changes the way people learn about real estate, she hopes to radically reduce the time and money wasted by consumers and give them more clarity.
It’s been three years since the concept began and the company is doing just that. The journey to get to where they currently are has been far from easy but is finally paying off.
The Establishment of Nestiny
As an experienced real estate agent, Jody Clower knows the ins and outs of the industry better than most people. In her years on the front lines of selling real estate, she watched her clients and fellow agents suffer from problems the internet had created in the home buying/selling process.
These problems mostly centered around inaccurate information that served to confuse and mislead clients rather than help making the entire experience more unpleasant and painful than necessary. People jumped right to looking at homes online and skipped critical steps with discovering more about what they needed or could afford.
To counter this, Jody began making plans for what would eventually become Nestiny, Inc. Her background in the software industry, made it difficult for her to ignore there was a better way to help people navigate the home buying journey online. They have created tools like their “True Affordability Tool” to help consumers figure out what they can comfortably spend and a game called “Home Pinwheel” which is like “Tinder” for home styles to help them narrow down their home search.
The website’s friendly and approachable vibe is the result of her collaboration with her team which includes very talented web developers, content creators and graphic designers. What began as a prototype site quickly evolved into a slick, engaging user experience with unprecedented and interactive tools as Jody partnered with more and more consumers and agents to test functionality and features and get continual feedback.
Besides the manpower, creating a website from scratch required tools and the appropriate funding. Tools like Slack and Asana helped aid the emerging company in their collaborative efforts. The capital source was derived from bootstrapping and angel investing. Plans to begin fundraising are already in motion to further fuel the company’s progress.
Support is also something that Nestiny had been blessed with from day one. The startup, from the get-go, had the advantage of having professional investors and advisors to rely on. This helped them avoid rookie mistakes that might have been otherwise inevitable. Jody considers this their ‘secret weapon’ of sorts.
The local community of Richmond, Virginia has also proven to be an excellent source of support to not only Nestiny, but entrepreneurs in general.
Company Culture and Business Management Style
Jody considers herself an independent person and creative thinker. This translates into Nestiny’s company culture. As a team, collaboration is a must.
Among the things she wished she had known as a younger, less-experienced entrepreneur was the need to totally surround yourself with the right people. She wants her team to feel empowered but always feel free to share ideas and grow personally and professionally. Having a strong mission helps tie it all together. Companies grow best when everybody involved marches in the same direction.
Although the significance of team collaboration is entirely realized, independent creative thinking is what fuels all of their combined efforts. Productivity is something that Jody rarely has to worry about due to her team’s obvious passion and energy. Their synergy, creativity, and work ethic is a powerful combination that cannot be denied.
Perhaps a little too powerful at times. When approached with the topic of work-life balance, an amused Jody admits to not having much of that. The company’s hectic schedule leaves very little for personal endeavors. This is hardly a problem for the company, truth be told, since their professional growth and progress is already of significant personal value to each of them and each team member is her chosen family.
Advice Received and Advice to Give
When it comes to advice given to her by other entrepreneurs, Jody stresses the one thing that stuck out for her: persistence. The unshakable belief in one’s work and the subsequent dedication to it is something that sticks out in her own career, as a result of this advice.
Being open to advice, but not overly so are also tips she has taken to heart. After all, allowing too many extra opinions may lead to clouded judgment, which in turn can lead to trouble. Staying true to your vision is important.
As a highly accomplished entrepreneur herself at this stage in her career, Jody has her own advice to give to those just starting out. Fear is an emotion felt by all, especially risk-takers such as entrepreneurs.
For those who wish to spread their wings and soar, Jody can advise only bravery in the face of potential failure. She has had her fair share of troubles after all, but nothing she presently has would be possible had she allowed fear to dominate her.
Bravery to pursue your calling is the one thing she’d like to impress upon others.