Innovation puts locals ahead of the IT pack

PERTH’S own web-based real estate services company,, won both the most innovative IT business award and the coveted people’s choice award at the recent annual Asia-Pacific ICT Awards.

Company founders and directors, Charlie Gunningham and Nick Streuli, were delighted to receive such prestigious recognition of their creative and successful business.

“We’re thrilled to have won both these awards – the business category was packed with many innovative companies and this is great recognition for what we do,” Mr Gunningham said.

Mr Streuli noted in particular the significance of the people’s choice award.

“Winning the people’s choice award was especially pleasing as it shows we have a lot of fans in Perth,” he said.

Both Mr Gunningham and Mr Streuli agreed that the success of was based upon the development of a strong business model and sound business practice. Both men possess MBAs and it was this formal training that allowed the co-founders to create a solid base upon which to build a sustainable Internet business.

“Nine out of 10 startups were get rich quick schemes which lacked the support of a viable business model,” Mr Streuli said. “This explains why a great many of them have failed, along with the whole crash of 2000.” has steered well clear of the web enterprise collapse due to the meticulous planning and thought that went into the business before even a single line of the site’s code was typed.

“For any business enterprise to be successful it must, from the outset, establish who its paying customers will be and determine exactly what those customers want,” Mr Gunningham said.

“In our case, the paying customers are the real estate agencies of Perth and what they want is a service that enhances the operational effectiveness of their businesses. It was this knowledge upon which our business model, and ultimately the web site, was built.”

Mr Streuli said there was some initial reluctance in the real estate industry to the concept.

“To a certain extent we had to overcome the unfounded fears of some real estate agencies that may threaten their livelihoods,” he said.

“However, once the local real estate industry realised that the Internet is nothing more than an information distribution mechanism, it immediately saw the value of to its own profitability.”

This is clearly the case, as presently has 85 real estate agency offices as customers in WA, with more than 50 of them hosting their own web sites through the system.

The public web site displays 3000-plus properties for sale or rent in WA, and features interactive mapping, dynamic suburb price trend charting and related businesses. Real estate agencies can manage their listings online, track hits and review enquiries.


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