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Perth Net home finder sets up shop in Melbourne

PERTH-based Internet real estate listings company aussiehome.com will launch into the Melbourne market next month.

Spokesman Charlie Gunningham said Melbourne had been chosen because of the amount of interest the Perth site was receiving from Singapore and Malaysia.

“Singaporean and Malaysian investors are mostly interested in Melbourne and Perth property mar-kets, while Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan investors prefer to invest in Sydney and the Gold Coast,” he said.

“So by including Melbourne on the site we are expanding to cater for our already captive audience.”

“When we launched the site 12 months ago we were getting about 20 visits a day. Now we are up to 600 a day and 35 per cent of those are from overseas - the majority from Singapore and Malaysia.

“They are potential property buyers who qualify under the Foreign Investment rules and are interested in our western suburbs and blue-water developments including East Perth, Subi Centro and inner city developments.

“Melbourne’s south-eastern sub-urbs attract the same demographic buyer as Perth’s western suburbs and also draw strong interest from Singapore and Malaysia.

There are already two on line dot.com real estate companies operating in Melbourne, one owned by News Ltd, but Mr Gunningham doesn’t see them as a challenge.

“The initial Melbourne market research has shown that we will be well received,” he said.

“They love our interactive maps and the clean and simple way the site operates.

“We have proved our formula in Perth is very successful. The Melbourne sites are going back-wards and we can see what they are doing wrong.

“Our customer service leaves them for dead.

“They expect the real estate agents to go online and update their own listings.

“We do everything for the real estate agents. This means it is a hassle-free service for them and because we stay in control of the listing the site is not only professional, but fast.”

He says that since their launch aussiehome.com has focused on an eight-second rule.

“People make their sites too bulky. More than 50 per cent of the community won’t wait longer than eight seconds for a page to download,” Mr Gunningham said.

“It is better to have several fast pages than one clever slow page.”

He says the company is cash flow positive and is winning awards for its initiatives.

“Somebody will get the real estate online business right in the end,” Mr Gunningham said.

“We are doing well. I believe to win you have to stay independent and focus on service.

“It is tempting to sell out to major sponsors like banks and media but if you do you limit your opportunities. Other banks and media won’t work with you. If you stay independent you can trade with everyone.”

While aussiehome.com is setting up a Melbourne retail office, all the online work will be done in Perth.

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