Founder Spotlight: Nico Jodin, CEO of beycome

January 29, 2024

Nico Jodin has had an anything-but-average trajectory on his path to founding the real estate startup, beycome. As a young man, he initially set his sights on becoming a chef, training at the Culinary High School Château Des Coudraies in Paris and later working at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Rostand. After a frightening oven incident that almost cost him his life, Nico eventually left his culinary dream behind and decided to return to entrepreneurship. At 18 he had founded Flore En Scene, a FoodTech startup that he sold to Groupe Charraire, who kept him on to lead operations for another three years. 

Now 28 years old, Nico landed on the idea for an e-commerce platform selling home security products. “I find the world of tech to be incredibly fascinating, addictive even, as things change every day. The new solutions, new projects, new technology – I love it, and I love working in tech even more,” recounted Nico.  He eventually sold to LifeBox Groupe in 2016 and received multiple offers to replicate his e-commerce platform in the United States. At his wife’s behest, he chose to relocate to Miami over New York.  Nico’s wife’s family has always been in real estate, and he became interested in how technology could change the sector after trying to buy his first home in 2017. 

"I remember contacting agents listed on Zillow and quickly discovered that most of these realtors were just door-opening agents with no real knowledge about the property. They were simply paying Zillow to gain me as a lead. I expected more from someone making a 6% commission on my purchase." Nico recalled.

Frustrated with the service (or lack thereof), he went to his brother-in-law to ask him about the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) where real estate agents list properties for sale. "As a broker, he had access to the MLS and we were able to deal directly with the listing agent and even, in some cases, with the homeowner. What I discovered was that no one knows a property better than the homeowner, which makes them the best potential real estate agent for selling their home. Because I was dealing directly with the homeowner, the 3% commission that would normally go to the buyer’s agent ended up in my pocket, and I saved a lot," said Nico.

After reflecting on this, he wondered why the real estate industry has been so untouched by technological advancement. "It was great saving all that money when buying a house," Nico remembered.  "It dawned on me that I could make the real estate process a win-win situation for the seller and the buyer; they’re already doing most of the work, so why not give them the tools to take over the entire transaction and keep that 6% commission?”  And thus, beycome was formed.

The buying and selling of real estate has remained unchanged for decades, with most sellers and buyers defaulting to real estate agents as a guarantee of credibility. A home purchase is usually the single largest transaction a consumer will ever make, and most people on both sides of the transaction are reluctant to bypass the agent out of fear of appearing less competent. “Realtors were promoted as the fountain of all knowledge by the real estate industry. That common bias inspired me and my co-founders, Philippe Kalifa and Herve Barbera, to launch a platform that gives the power back to the consumer,” recalled Nico.

Founded in 2017, beycome is a licensed real estate brokerage that allows property owners to  become their own agents. Users can access a powerful set of digital tools, including listing on their local MLS and the dozens of listing websites that pull their data feeds from it. In 2021 alone, beycome sold more than 1,800 homes without employing a single real estate agent. Despite COVID-19, the company took off, and Nico concentrated his efforts on growing his senior team in order to take beycome to the next level. His magnetic personality has attracted some great people to share his vision, among them Steven Martinez, who quit Wall Street to join beycome as Chief Financial Officer in January. Nico attributes the growth of beycome to his attention to detail, commitment to his team, and most importantly, his tenacity. “Never give up! Never never never! If a door is closed, pass by the windows, and if the windows are closed, pass by the fireplace. Nobody is waiting for you, make it happen.”