California: Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs and Los Angeles

Brokerage Size

30 agents at May 2018

Average Gross Volume Per Agent

$7.2 million


Architectural search

REW Products

Custom web & app design, SEO, PPC

Derek May has been a Real Estate Webmasters client through several different real estate ventures over the past 10 years.

Today, he is the CMO and co-founder of Nook Real Estate, a niche brokerage in California that is changing the way people search for property.

Derek May, Nook Real Estate
Derek May

Co-Founder/Chief Marketing Officer

With an average gross volume per agent of $7.2 million,

Nook Real Estate has discovered a winning model that leverages Real Estate Webmasters technology to attract top-performing agents, provide an unforgettable client experience, and build up a thriving brokerage.

Specialist in boutique real estate marketing

Nook Real Estate

With a newly minted degree in marketing, Derek “fell” into real estate with a role at Strada Properties shortly after he graduated. As Strada became the market leader and later acquired by Coldwell Banker, Derek’s remit expanded and grew into a management role.

Derek went on to become one of the 12 original members of Surterre Properties, a luxury real estate boutique boasting over $7.5 billion in sales. At Surterre Properties, Derek found Real Estate Webmasters after he was tired of being told “no” by website vendors who could not accommodate his requests for customizations.

Together with REW, Derek went on to win multiple awards for Derek approached REW six years later to create another website for start- up luxury property brokerage Villa Real Estate LLC where Derek earned numerous awards for brand, web, and print campaigns.

The birth of Nook Real Estate

Nook Real Estate

While running his own real estate marketing consulting firm, Derek designed a premium real estate brand called Nook on the side. At the same time, he met Back Bay Funding, a mortgage company in Irvine, CA, that was looking to revamp their real estate division. At their initial meeting, Derek showed the partners his idea for Nook and they loved it. Derek recalls, “They said ‘I want that, let’s do that’ and offered me an equity partnership instead of a consulting gig.”

The idea of architectural search is at the heart of the Nook brand. “When people close their eyes and think about their dream home, they always talk about a style. ‘It’s a Craftsman or it’s Victorian’, and I thought, why can’t they search like that? Why can’t people search by property style?” said Derek. He knew from his marketing background that a niche service lends itself to search engine optimization (SEO) and that by hiring specialists, they could offer a better client experience..

Derek May

Co-Founder/Chief Marketing Officer

“A specialist knows the nuances of their niche. So, for example, if someone is looking for properties that are ‘live-work’, a specialist in that type of property will know the tax implications and zoning rules.”

Recruitment | Attracting the best specialists

Nook Real Estate

“There are three things that will kill you in real estate: rent, print, and staff. If you are a brokerage and you are heavy on those things, you’re going to lose.”

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