Editor's note: A recent Inman News industry survey found 61 percent of those surveyed thought discount real estate companies would grow in the coming years. This story is the first in an occasional series on how discounters operate and how they find their niche. Higher commissions aren't what drive Heather Sittig and neither is a tough, competitive workplace. Sittig founded Maison Nouveau Realty in March 2003 to put the customer first, and the agents and broker second. She believes her gamble is paying off. The Berkeley, Calif.-based company is trying to revolutionize the local real estate market by offering a one-two punch to the traditional means of selling or buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, the second most expensive real estate market in the nation. Maison Nouveau has reduced commission fees on higher-end homes and established a service strategy designed to put customer needs first. "I founded the company after realizing that most real estate businesses are broker...
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