How to guides:
What is Nest?
Nest is an online tool for people with disability and providers of disability housing. Nest matches people with disability to homes that meet their needs, support requirements and lifestyle choices.
Nest makes it easy for providers to shortlist eligible applicants and quickly fill vacant properties and rooms. With listings from disability housing providers, community and social housing providers, real estate agents and private landlords, Nest is the go-to website for people with disability looking for a home.
Nest is free, fully accessible and independent.
How does Nest work for disability housing providers?
People looking for accommodation input their needs and wants and these are then matched against properties and rooms listed by disability housing providers. Once suitable matches are made, the person (or their carer/support worker) can apply for that room. When this happens, as a provider, you receive their information and details about how they are matched to your room. You can then contact them to start any discussions about filling the room.
Nest is not a room management service. After you have been matched with potential canditates, it's up to you as the provider to deal with any enquiries, check compatibility, offer rooms and finalise agreements.
What are the benefits of Nest for providers?
See our quick guide to Nest for Disability Accommodation Providers here.
What criteria does Nest use?
As the first step, the Nest platform examines key aspects for properties (such as location, number of rooms, garden, proximity to public transport etc.) and then ranks them against a person’s needs. For a room, Nest looks at requirements such as service level, modifications such as hoists, room availability date and specific preferences or needs associated with each room. If a person requires a higher level of service, rooms that don’t provide that level will not be displayed as a match.
Who is Nest for?
Nest is for all providers of disabilty housing including: - SDA providers - Disability housing providers who manage and/or own disability funded accommodation - Disability service providers who manage and/or own disability funded accommodation - Real estate agents or individuals who manage and/or own accessible accommodation - People with disability looking for a home now or in the future - Families of people with disability looking for a home - Carers/support workers of people with disability looking for a home - Disability services providers
Is Nest provider neutral/independent?
Yes - this is a key feature of Nest. The platform has been developed to help people with disability match to whatever rooms are available in the market. For that process to work properly Nest needs to be freely available to all providers with no preferences given to any one provider.
As a disability housing provider, do I have to register?
Yes - to list properties and rooms, you will need to register and create a personal profile for yourself and a business profile for your organisation. Your business profile will be verified by Nest Administrators before your properties/rooms can be viewable/searchable on the Nest platform. By registering, you agree to adhere to the Nest Provider Code of Conduct.
Can I set up multiple accounts for my organisation?
Yes – multiple account holders from the same organisation can have access to the same business profile. The person who initially sets up the business profile will be the Primary Contact and administrator of the business profile. If you are the Primary Contact, you can add or delete users to and from your organisation’s profile. Other users are known as linked accounts. Linked account users can add, edit and delete properties and rooms, and view applications.
See How to Set Up Your Organisation’s Profile and Primacy Contact for more about creating business profiles and linked accounts.
What about the privacy of my personal information and the information about my organisation?
We take the privacy and security of your personal information and any information you provide about your organisation very seriously. We do not share your information with others unless you agree to us doing that. As a provider, you will receive information, including contact details of applicants, however, applicants will not receive the details of providers.
I’m a real estate agent, can I list my properties?
Yes! If you have homes for rent that are accessible, then you can definitely advertise these on Nest.
I’m located outside of NSW, can I register and list my properties/rooms?
Yes! While Nest has officially launched in NSW, South Australia and Australian Capital Territory, you can upload properties located anywhere across Australia. We are planning official launches in other states in the near future. Join our Facebook page to keep up-to-date on our news. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk about opportunities in your state or territory.
How will my property appear in searches?
When a user conducts a search, Nest will give them a range of accommodation options that match their funding requirements and personal preferences. Whether a user has registered and how much information they have provided will determine what information they will see about your property.
The more information you can provide, the better the matches Nest can generate for you. Nest tries to match the most important needs first (i.e. support and funding requirements).
What information does Nest provide to providers?
When a user applies for one of your rooms, you will receive all the details from their profile. This includes contact details (email and phone), funding level, support funding level (if applicable) and other personal preferences. You will be able to download a CSV file with details of all applicants.
Do I have to pay to use Nest?
No – in its initial phase Nest is free for everyone – disability housing providers, people with disability and carers/support workers.
There is an expectation that in time there may be some form of cost-recovery applied. Part of the point of the release of Nest is to see how it works in the real-world, what the real value of it is to providers and what it costs to run. There will be plenty of communication about any changes to the cost of Nest and options available to providers further down the track.
How many properties can I list on Nest?
You can list one property or as many properties as you wish. If you have lots of properties you can use our bulk upload tool to list them all at the same time. For more information on using the bulk upload tool, see our guide about how to upload multiple properties
What is the difference between a “Property” and a “Room”?
A “Property” is the whole building, like a group home, house, villa or apartment.
A “Room” is a room, bedroom, unit or other space within a property that is occupied by a person. Most of your properties will have a number of rooms, some of which will be available and some which will already be filled. To list rooms, you first need to upload and list the SDA property and then add the rooms or other spaces (known as rooms) within that.
A one-bedroom unit will have just one room, but you still need to list the property and the room separately.
Once a property or room is uploaded to the Nest platform, you can make it visible to users/searchers, hide it or set a date for when it can make visible. You can also edit the information/images, change its availability and manage it in real time.
You will need to give each property a unique name to identify it. We recommend property names be descriptive to differentiate your property. Do not use the full address of the property, but you can use the suburb. Good examples are titles such as “Spacious House in Earlwood” or “Two storey accessible villa in Dubbo”.
When naming rooms, we recommend you choose practical titles to help with room management – for example. “Room 1”, “Room 2”, “Room 3” etc.
Do I have to use the Nest display template?
Yes. The Nest display template has been created to best display your properties and rooms in a consistent manner. It is also designed to be accessible for people with disability (meeting WCAG 2.0 AA standards) and optimised for desktop and mobile use.
What’s the difference between Visible, Hidden and Release Date?
When I’m listing a property/room, what is the difference between visible, hidden and release date in the Search Status?
If you select “visible”, your property/room will appear in searches.
If you select “hidden”, your property/room will not appear in searches.
“Release date” is the date you want the property/room to become visible in searches.
What does “existing stock” and “legacy stock” mean?
These are classifications defined by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) that help to determine the SDA price for the dwelling. See the NDIA Price Guide (PDF) for definitions and more about the classifications.
What are definitions of SDA design categories?
See the NDIA SDA Price Guide for definitions of the categories (PDF).
What are the definitions of the accommodation types?
These are defined by the NDIA. See the NDIA SDA Price Guide for more information.
What is affordable and social housing?
According to NSW Family and Community Services (FACS), “affordable housing is housing that is appropriate for the needs of a range of very low to moderate income households and priced so that these households are also able to meet other basic living costs such as food, clothing, transport, medical care and education.” Read more here.
Again, according to FACS “Social housing is secure and affordable rental housing for people on low incomes with housing needs. It includes public, community and Aboriginal housing.”
I’m struggling to write a property description, do I have to include this?
Yes – it is good practice to include a short description about your property. Read our guide for tips on “How to write a property description”.
I’ve uploaded my properties and rooms, but I can’t see them on the system yet?
As part of our quality control process we check all property and room information to ensure that it meets the standards and requirements. This is designed to protect the reputation of the Nest platform and to ensure properties and rooms are presented properly. The verification process should take no longer than 24 hours (during normal business hours). Once your listing has been verified, it will start appearing in searches if you have selected “visible” as the “Search Status”.
Can I upload upcoming rooms or new properties that are not completed yet on Nest?
Yes. Nest has been designed to allow you to manage new builds or any other upcoming disability housing projects.
Upcoming room dates up to two years into the future can be inputted.
If the property is not yet built, then anyone making an enquiry will be told this so they are aware that the room date shown is an expected date, not an actual date.
I don’t have any images for my properties, do I have to add images?
We recommend including at least one image with each of your property listings. Nest works by providing consistent information for all properties and rooms in a uniform layout, including images.
Uploading images is quick and easy using our drag and drop tool which is automatically formats your images to the best display/size. You can also add images by selecting files from your computer. The maximum file size for each image is no more than 2MB. We recommend you choose good quality images, landscape in format.
See our guide about How to upload images
Do I have to add a floor plan of the property?
You can still upload a property without a floor plan, but we do recommend you add a floor plan as one of the images for your property. You can use the image drag and drop function to upload floor plan files. The maximum file size for a floorplan file is 2MB.
See our guide about “How to upload images” for how to upload a floorplan.
Why do I have to put a description on images that I include for my properties?
Adding a description (known as “alt text”) to your images is an accessibility feature so a person who can’t access the image (such as somebody who is blind or has low vision) knows what it is.
The description/alt text is read out to devices such as screen readers. Nest is designed for people with disability so adding this feature to your images is essential.
Is the address of the property ever disclosed on Nest?
No - the information provided to anyone searching is always restricted to only the suburb, postcode or town. This is to stop unwanted visitors turning up at properties and to protect the privacy of people currently living there.
We do require that you input the physical address of the property so we can be assured it's a genuine property, but this is not displayed as part of a results listing. When you are managing your properties on the system, you will be able to see the full address, but this information is never available to the general public or users who are searching for properties. To help this process, make sure you don't put the address in any images or image descriptions.
Can I specify the Supported Independent Living (SIL) service provider for my rooms?
Yes. When you are listing a property or rooms, we will ask you to indicate the Supported Independent Living (SIL) service provider working at that property. The NDIS recognises that it's not practical to have multiple providers at one property, so it's important to include this information so potential applicants are aware of the SIL provider.
Why does Nest allow multiple people to apply for a room?
As an online matching platform, Nest can only match people to rooms to some extent. Complex issues around compatibility require personal discussions between the provider and the person with disability and this cannot be covered via impersonal online categories. Similarly, it might be important to the final matching process that the person is eligible for specific NDIS funding normally included as part of an application process. That again cannot not be adequately covered via an online form.
Due to these reasons, Nest provides a shortlist of matched candidates so there is a better chance of finding a person who is compatible. We will change the parameters and results of these matches over time based on the real-world experience of using Nest and up-to-date data on how many people are needed in a shortlist for a likely final match.
Why don’t I have any applications for my rooms?
Nest is currently in the early stages. Our first step is to build our database of properties and rooms by signing up disability housing providers. With lots of properties/rooms we can attract people with disability and their carers and support workers to register.
If your organisation supports people with disability looking for homes, please share Nest with them and encourage them to sign up. Ask us for resources about Nest that you can share with them.
When I fill a room, will the property and room be deleted from Nest?
No - all properties and their rooms/spaces remain in the Nest system. You will be able to switch the status to "Occupied" so new users do not submit an application. This is to make it easier for you as a provider to advertise new rooms when they become available in your properties without having to recreate or upload the property and room details. When a room becomes available again, you will be able to “Open” it for applications by editing the property/room information.
This also means that properties with filled rooms may still appear in general searches to give people an idea of what is available in the market. Users can add these properties to their favourites list, and will be notified by email if a vacancy appears, but they won't be able to apply or make an enquiry.
How can I see details about who has applied for my room?
When you are logged into your organisation’s profile, you can see who has submitted an application by clicking on “Your Properties” and clicking the applications button in the room information. This will show you a list of people who have applied, what time they applied and if they have SDA funding. For full details about applicants, you can download a CSV file which includes contact details.
Do I have to respond to every application?
Yes. It is important that every application you receive is responded to as part of good customer service; even if it is to tell them the room has been filled. Responding to all applicants is part of the Provider Code of Conduct which all providers agree to adhere by registering on the site.
Nest limits the number of active applications allowed for each room, so you will not be overwhelmed with applications. You can set this limit yourself during the process of uploading rooms.
Why do I have to tell you when I have matched a room?
This is part of the Provider Code of Conduct and ensures we receive feedback about the process. We don’t need to know who you matched with, just that a successful match has occurred and you have offered the room to somebody.
Can I search Nest for people that might be suitable for my rooms?
No. Nest is designed to match people that are suitable and for the person with disability to make the decision about whether they want to enquire about a suitable room or not. However, the more information you can provide about your property the better the matches and shortlists Nest can generate for you.
Is Nest accessible?
Nest has been designed to meet the international benchmark for accessibility (WCAG 2.0 AA Level). It should be accessible to a variety of users, including people using screen readers, keyboard or other device inputs. If you are having issues accessing any part of Nest, please contact us by emailing email@example.com.
Can I see Nest on my mobile?
Yes - Nest is designed to work on desktops, laptops, tablets, mobiles (iPhones, Android and Windows).