GUIDED BY THE POWER OF AN “EXPANSION MINDSET,” THIS SELF-MADE VISIONARY CRAFTED ONE OF THE GLOBE’S LEADING LUXURY BROKERAGE FIRMS
BY ELIZABETH HAZARD • PHOTOS BY ALEX BARRETO
As founder, CEO, and president of Nest Seekers International, Eddie Shapiro is a pioneer and powerhouse in the realm of luxury real estate. Overseeing a team of more than 1,500 agents and employees, Shapiro’s vast enterprise is a premier, global organization with 30 offices and storefronts in the world’s most sought-after locations, from New York City and London to the Hamptons, Miami, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and beyond. Traditional logic might assume this would be enough to keep one man busy, but that’s not the mindset that catapulted Shapiro to the top of his field. For the tenacious entrepreneur, his journey has always been about expanding. In fact, one of Nest Seeker’s founding slogans is “Expansion Always in All Ways.”
“It’s always been my life mission to expand,” said the self-made mogul. “Always and in all ways. I never sit in one place. I’m always looking for the next move.” For Shapiro, this means expanding into new markets with Nest Seekers’ newly launched Fine Art, Private Aviation, and Yacht divisions. Foraying into these new luxury sectors was a natural evolution for Shapiro’s business. “Luxury real estate, yachts, private planes, and fine art are all assets with something in common. They appeal to the same customer: those that want the aspirational, highest quality lifestyle. There’s a need to create and preserve wealth amongst aspirational clients.” Delving into these luxury markets gave Nest Seekers the ability to provide its client base a full-service, in-house experience, something that further sets their team apart, said Shapiro. “We are the only real estate brokerage that can provide a true in-house, full-service solution for our high-networth clients internationally and across all of their hard asset trades and advisory. Our ability to manage and trade these hard asset classes under one platform creates a unique and unparalleled customer experience designed to service our clients across the board with a trusted adviser that operates in the same space the client does.”
Drawing on this constant theme of expansion, Shapiro is confident they’ll continue to expand and grow as a team. “I see Nest Seekers continuing to expand and become the quintessential, ultimate brand of choice for aspiring consumers. We will most likely triple in size and further extend to all key major destination markets in the world.” For the CEO, this also means continuing to grow the team he built when he launched Nest Seekers in 2001. He puts an emphasis on leading through inspiration and motivation. “The community we built together inside the company is very important to me. Every day I wake up and think about the people in the organization. How can I inspire them and help them grow and succeed? They are my biggest motivator.” He’s also motivated by a constant need to create and innovate. This led to the recent opening of the women-helmed team in Rumson, an area well-known for high-ticket real estate. “Our office opening in Rumson was an incredibly exciting endeavor for us, and we are proud that it is a female-led office,” he said.
“This is such a vibrant area for Jersey Shore real estate, and our goal for this new office is to continue to provide the same quality of service and experience that our customers have come to expect from us. We are delighted to become a part of the community throughout the shore and contribute to it in every way we can.” This idea of community and collabora-tion is one that Shapiro credits for his and his team’s success. He said, “The success of any venture depends heavily on collabora-tion, and in my role, I strive to create an environment of collaboration where everyone is respected and can contribute toward the success of the team. Everything meaningful and powerful is created when like-minded individuals come together and operate toward a greater goal. It creates a multiplier effect and the parties drive ideas and inspiration from each other. We have something internally that we promote called the power of WE. Anything that happens in the company belongs to everyone that participates. It gives people a sense of ownership, deeper affiliation, and associa-tion, and that drives us all forward as a team.”
With a team mentality and steadfast focus on momentum, Shapiro admitted there aren’t always enough hours in the day, and it can be difficult to accomplish every item on his to-do list. To add to that list? More than a dozen TV shows he has in development. With the success of HBO Max’s Selling the Hamptons and the BBC’s Crazy Rich Agents (Shapiro served as executive producer on both), the CEO-turned-producer has leveraged the power of television to provide global exposure for Nest Seekers agents. “Global media exposure can be a powerful tool for achieving success,” he explained. “By increasing visibility, agents can reach a much wider audience and generate significant brand awareness leading to an influx of new clients.” Shapiro noted the differences and similarities between the roles of a real estate CEO and a television producer. “Being a television producer can involve different skills than working in real estate, but there are similarities in terms of the challenges they both present,” he said. “Creating a successful television show requires an understanding of the audiences’ interests, just as developing a successful real estate project requires an understanding of the needs of the buyers. The brokerage business is very much about acquiring and developing talent. Media and television are exactly the same in that way. An executive producer is also a CEO or part of a team that creates the show. That I have a lot of experience with.”
Whether he’s negotiating a real estate deal or producing a new show, Shapiro is always looking forward, but he knows the importance of looking back to acknowl-edge the lessons and insight he picked up along the way. “I always make sure to take moments throughout the day to step back and reflect on the progress I’ve made and ask for feedback about what I can improve,” he said. He defines success as being able to do what you love every day and get paid to do it. “It’s also about creating some-thing that will have a lasting impact that will live long after me.”