New vendor enters real estate market
A Te Kauwhata house was be the first Waikato property up for sale in an online auction by real estate agency Proppy.
Although the auction moved to buyer negotiation, a former Hamilton Boys’ High lad is leading the charge to get oomph behind online real estate agencies.
Tyson Walker and wife Hannah have been operating Proppy for eight weeks.
During that time, eight properties have been listed and two have been sold, one in an auction.
‘‘So that’s an average of one listing a week, which isn’t too bad,’’ Walker says. ‘‘We think it will really kick into gear after Christmas.’’
When people sign up to sell their house online, it is listed online, a sign is made up and sent to the vendors along with flyers, and then it is up to the vendors to operate open homes themselves.
‘‘We think the homeowners are the best people to sell the house. They know all about it, its quirks and what is in the area.’’
Proppy does all the negotiations and running of auctions, though, he says.
The couple didn’t go into the realm of online real estate selling by chance. It was two years in the making.
The pair conducted focus groups across the country - Auck- land, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
He said some real estate agents were taking a lot of money for not necessarily doing the best by the property.
Proppy offers a rate of 1.5 percent commission. He said traditionally agents get 4 per cent.
‘‘I think people know more about the internet and wanted more control over selling of their house.’’
And it’s really not surprising they started an online business - it’s where they met.
‘‘The internet really has been a big part of our lives,’’ Walker says with a chuckle.
As any new business owner would attest, there have been challenges.
‘‘The industry has been reasonably staid and not garnered the use of the internet, so for us to come in - well, we are finding out some people don’t like it.’’
That is always going to be the case for the first people to tread a new path, he says.
‘‘Hannah and I are both entrepreneurial, so we were always going to do something.
‘‘Hannah has a background in IT and finance industries and I have been in banking for the past 15 or 20 years, so real estate is an easy fit.’’
He says Proppy offers most services a traditional agency does, it just does it online.
‘‘We like to think we are selling the house, not the agent.’’
However, starting a new business means that there is no time to rest, Walker says.
As of last week, there another Walker in the mix.
Hannah had the couple’s second child by caesarean section.
‘‘So that will be two boys under two, and I guess Proppy is the third child.’’
But because it is a new business there was no time off.
‘‘The phone will still be on. I still have to work.’’ is
Hannah Walker with her husband Tyson have founded online real estate business Proppy.