New ven­dor en­ters real es­tate mar­ket

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - AU­DREY MALONE

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

SUP­PLIED

Han­nah Walker with her hus­band Tyson have founded on­line real es­tate busi­ness Proppy.

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